Is It Time To Overhaul Your Visual Identity?
Is It Time To Overhaul Your Visual Identity?
Visual identity acts as the first impression a business makes on its audience. People’s instinctive reaction to this affects their purchase decision making. Before a shopper visits your brick-and-mortar location or researches your brand, they’ve already made choices about your brand based on your visual identity.
“Creating brands isn’t about ‘branding,’” explained graphic designer and marketing expert Debbie Millman. “Humans use brands to project who we want to be in the world, how we want people to perceive us, and how we want to communicate what we feel about ourselves and our place in society.”
So how do you know if it is time to overhaul your organization’s visual identity? Consider some of the following elements of contemporary graphic design that transform uninspired branding into effective, successful visual identity for your small business.
Simple, clean design does not equate to black and white. In fact, you can add dynamicity to your visual identity by incorporating colors that stand out from the crowd. For example, Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017 is Greenery, described as a “fresh and zesty yellow-green.” This single color packs in so much meaning, from new beginnings to vitality and passion. Empower your visual identity by adding bright, bold colors to the equation.
Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Papyrus: it’s time to bid farewell to these old standbys. Today, typography isn’t just a font selected to write a document. The actual design of your words defines your visual identity. Does a serif type better capture the essence of your organization or is a sans serif font the better option? Maybe your company can better convey its message through the strategic use of several different typefaces. A picture speaks a thousand words and each letter of your branding is an individual story that your audience is experiencing. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to experiment with outside-of-the-box concepts.
We know that buying stock photos is so much easier and less expensive than hiring a professional for your business. However, smartphones have made everyone an amateur photographer. Pictures for your business don’t need to be Annie Leibovitz quality, but they do need to capture unique perspectives. With easy-to-use photo editing apps that are available on your phone, you can create and disseminate captivating pictures with a few screen taps. Whether it’s product pictures of staff snapshots, your visual identity relies on the authentic photography you capture and share.
Sorry to say but clip art is so 1990s. You don’t want your visual identity to feel standard like it was something pulled straight out of a box. The graphics you employ for everything from your website to your printed brochures have to feel one-of-a-kind. An effective visual identity requires an investment in thoughtful, unique graphics. It’s safe to say that you probably have at least a few competitors vying for the business of the same audience. To differentiate your products and/or services, you have to graphically set yourself apart from the rest.
First and foremost, keep it simple, silly. Second, simple does not mean boring. Users don’t need a ton of extra stuff clouding their vision. Your visual identity should be minimal but not dull. It should provide everything your target audience needs without piling on too much. If one picture can accomplish the same thing as multiple graphics, go with the single image. If a user feels like your branding is clunky, overdone, or excessive, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere.
While videos will remain a popular content marketing method, it’s worth looking into GIFs as a possible element to incorporate into your visual identity. Users love these easy-to-consume snippets that are device-friendly and tell a story in a fraction of the time as a video. Also, video marketing is an expensive investment to make whereas a GIF can be a fun, one-off effort that doesn’t have to be perfectly crafted.
It’s not enough to have a strong visual identity. It also has to be consistent. Your company’s Facebook page has to visually align with your website, which has to match the look and feel of any printed materials. If your product packaging has been updated to your new branding but your digital presence hasn’t made the switch yet, you are going to confuse your audience. Your visual identity has to be constant throughout all aspects of your business.
While your visual identity should boost your brand, it should not be dishonest about it. The story you tell through your visual branding not only has to be honest but it has to feel genuine. Any hint of phoniness and people will beeline it to the next option. Be true to you and the business you have built.
The visual identity for a small business relies on numerous factors. A seasoned graphic designer with knows how to transform your branding and innovate new methods for engaging any potential leads. If your organization needs a helping hand with its visual identity, contact Alt Creative today.