Visual Identity: Essential Knowledge to Nail Your Brand Narrative

January 29, 2021
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Visual identity and brand narrative play a big role in a successful brand establishment. A lot of global brands know that and therefore, have managed to become successful. As an example, such brands as Airbnb and Dropbox have a great visual identity and today you will learn how to make your business stand out by building an effective visual identity.

First, to understand what visual identity is, you need to be familiar with the concept of branding. Branding exists to distinguish a business from its competitors and get recognition among consumers. 

Okay, but where does visual identity come in place? Every brand needs visuals to be represented and remembered, all the visuals and graphical information that tell what a brand really is known as visual identity.

It is a fact that visuals perform better than words when delivering a message to customers. Why?  Because visuals deliver an idea in a primal and emotional way, and it can be very persuasive, that is why it is crucial to build a good visual identity. The main objective of visual identity is to cause certain feelings and emotions in consumers and to inform them about the nature of the brand and what it offers.

There are several elements of visual identity which need to be implemented to make things work. Do you wonder what they are? Let’s dig in:

1. Graphics

Graphics refer to picture assets, and their design can be very simple or extremely complex. Everything from logos, icons, and illustration is a type of graphic. According to recent trends, the simpler the design, the better. 

There is even an unwritten design rule – “KISS” which stands for “keep it stupid, simple”, which conveys the same message that simplicity should be the focus on the designs. You can find other interesting visual trends for 2020 here.

2. Typography

Typography is the design of the text used. Text can be of different fonts, styles, shapes etc. All these have a different effect on consumers. The style of the text should “match” the idea of the message a company wants to deliver to its customers, that is why it is important to choose the right one so it emphasizes company’s advantages, not vice versa.

3. Color palette for the brand designs

Every person has their own favorite color, which is connected to an emotion or a memory, this is why some colors bring a very strong effect on humans. Choosing the right prevailing color in a brand’s logo, icons, and illustrations, would put the customer in the right state and prepare them for what to expect from the brand.

When it comes to the color choice, it is advised not to use more than three colors in the designs. The reason is that the graphic shouldn’t overwhelm your viewers. Keeping it simple will help the customers to perceive and understand the brand easier. 

Usually, a brand’s designers choose one main color, a secondary and an accent one. The main color should be present in all brand related items, starting from the logo and ending with merchandise. In this case, people will associate the color with the brand.

4. Imagery

Imagery is a photography, video content or even spokespeople who act as a face of a brand. Using this element, it is especially important to use only images which fully represent the brand’s personality and customers. Images should be authentic, so people trust a brand.

Finding authentic images can be extremely hard, unless you use in-house photographers, and even so that can be costly. This is where the stock image platform JumpStory comes to the rescue. JumpStory only offers authentic images with real people and emotions, in comparison to the rest stocks image platforms which offer staged visuals that nobody can really relate to.

Coming back to imagery, it is the element which relates to the target audience the most. People tend to naturally see themselves reflected in the brands advertisement. That is why the imagery should be in line with the target audience.

Imagery in this sense are mostly used digitally, but also still very popular for physical brochures, billboards, tv and magazines.

5. Physical brand assets

Physical assets are the tangible objects which are related to a brand. They can be layouts and designs of stores, employees’ uniforms etc. These things also send a message to customers and represent a brand in general.

Now that you have read all the important elements of the visual identity, you should have a better understanding of how to use visuals to create a more impactful brand. Here is a summary of all the steps that should be performed to achieve a successful brand narrative:

  • Define the brand identity

Before you step foot in the visual universe, you need to define the character of the brand, answering the following questions will help:

What is the mission of the company? What are the core values? Who is the targeted customer? What is the communication style of the company? These questions will help in.

  • Get acquainted with the elements of design

Visuals have a different effect on people and mean differently, that is why there is a need to learn about graphic design and apply the elements of design always in a right way. Make your research before you spread the graphics.

  • Tell a trustworthy narrative

Visual content cannot perform well alone without a good story, the story about a brand. Images attract people’s attention, and the story retains them.

Now, it is your turn to implement all these in your business to become distinguishable from the competitors, gain new and retain existing customers. Good luck!

About the author

Makar Patapau has worked as a Country Manager at JumpStory. He is a world citizen with big dreams and the goal of making the world a better place. He has experience in Marketing (SMM, content, email and marketing analytic) and Sales.

Makar Patapau