When business owners look at their brand’s visual imagery, they usually perceive the obvious elements such as their logo design, stationery design and perhaps a few other elements such as their social media channels and their website all of which simply have their logo slapped onto them.
But a brand’s visual imagery goes much deeper than that. Successful brands create and use visual imagery that ties into human emotions and seeps deep into the various touch points that their target audience including packaging and campaign imagery. The way a brand’s visual imagery is created and utilised can either infuriate a customer base or dramatically increase sales.
A carefully crafted visual identity can unify a brand and communicate the right kind of message to the target audience. By evaluating and defining the key elements of your visual branding, you can ensure that your brand visual imagery is working for your brand and not against.
The key elements of your visual imagery are relevance, quality and consistency.
Do the visuals align with and support your brand strategy and brand promise? Are they relevant to your brand message? Are they relevant to your target audience? These are the questions that need to be asked when evaluating your brand visual imagery.
Do not skimp on your brand’s visual imagery. If required, reduce the company beer budget and invest in getting high quality visual elements.
The biggest issue with most businesses is the lack of consistency when it comes to their brand’s visual imagery. Inconsistency can come in the form of their logo usage, fonts and colors, type and style of photos, tone and voice of the messaging and more.
Being consistent in your use of visual language is very difficult without an editorial overview of your content. As a minimum, identify one individual who is responsible for reviewing all your brand visual content.
Create solid brand identity guidelines and adhere to them strictly.
Creation of your brand visuals must be assigned to a professional who has experience and understands your brand message. Here is a list of the minimum brand visual assets you would need to build a successful brand.
This is your primary logo design which acts as the official symbol of the brand. It should follow the following principles:
It is advisable to always have a secondary brand mark that would support your primary logo and enhance the brand message. The secondary brand mark can be utilised to create variety by using it on social media channels, packaging, menus and more. A secondary brand mark can also be used a watermark or a stamp. The possibilities are endless.
Every requires an official brand pattern that can be made up of elements from the primary or secondary brand mark or with design elements that are consistent with the overall brand language. An official brand pattern can used effectively on the website, package design, printed sales materials such as brochures and in the office internal decoration.
An official brand pattern creates a larger than life effect on the audience. When they encounter a subtle pattern that is strategically placed and repeated at various touch points, your audience will perceive the brand to be a solid one.
Before you do anything else, it is crucial to identify and nail down a distinct look and feel for the photos you would use in your content marketing. This includes photos you use on your website, the blog, your social media channels and the brand print materials.
As suggested above, once you have signed up for a subscription with one of the popular stock photos websites, brainstorm and come up with ideas for design elements that can be added to the photos before publishing them. These design elements should make the photos distinct and one should be able to recognise a photo as belonging to your brand.
I understand that this is easier said than done but with a little planning and effort, it can be done. Here are a few ideas that can make your photos distinct:
Here are a few examples of photos from the brand Lululemon. You can clearly see they have a consistent look and feel and composition as well as typography.
This topic is quite a large one and this article may not do justice. However, there are other articles that I have written that cover other areas of improving your brand’s visual language including making your package design stand out, making your dull product interesting, creating powerful sales materials, creating a powerful publicity strategy, improving your brand message and more.