Over at Elephants, we love to get involved in projects that get us using our creative skillsets. Over the years, we have worked with great brands to rejuvenate their brand identity, from renewing packaging to rewriting brand guidelines. And with that, comes the exploration of their visual identity.
What is Visual Identity?
Visual identity encapsulates all the imagery and graphics which convey who a brand is and what makes them different.
While visual and brand identity are closely linked, they operate as separate concepts. Brand identity refers to a complete expression of all the elements that make up a brand, which includes the visual identity but also all non-visual components such as voice, core values and so on. In short, visual identity helps to externally express a brand’s look and voice to the public.
Visual Identity Checklist:
There are quite a few elements that come into play when putting together the visuals for a brand. In this post we’ll focus on the top four: logo, colour palette, typography and graphics.
One of the first things people think of when discussing visual identity is likely a brand’s logo. A logo acts as a brand’s symbol, usually serving as the easiest identifier for customers (think Mcdonald’s golden arches or Apple’s… apple). Logos impact many of the visual identity decisions throughout a brand, from graphics to typeface, so it is crucial to have a logo which accurately represents your brand.
Colour is key to connecting with your customer. Picking the right colours to represent your brand is not so simple as picking blue over red. Instead, it is journey to carefully select cobalt over vermilion. The hues, shades and tints used can elicit a range of emotional responses from your audience. Of course, choosing to not use colour is impactful too.
Typography refers to the shape and style of text you use for your brand. There are an abundance of type and font that produce different impressions on your viewer and have varying degrees of legibility. You will need to think about the wordmark (to go with your logo) but also the type and font for your headline and body copy in advertising and any written assets.
Graphics are the image/picture assets that have been illustrated or designed for a brand. They can vary from simple logograms to animations but will always be distinctive to the brand (think Oatly’s bold lines and illustrations). You’ll see branded graphics across social media, advertising materials, packaging and more.
Ultimately, the above elements are all crucial in bringing together the overall visuals for any brand. Having a cohesive logo and graphics in colours and fonts that make sense for your brand, will inform your physical brand assets, social media assets and more.
At Elephants, we are always looking to learn more about how brands can put their best foot forward and share our learnings. Keep an eye out for a guide on how to implement this checklist effectively when designing your brand’s visual identity.