Vintage Spanish Ad by Pepsi

3 Must Haves For Visual Identity

Concepts to remember when leveraging your visual brand to communicate with consumers.

A Visual Language:

No, I don’t mean hieroglyphics. Every design conveys a certain sentiment, a message encoded in color and texture, solidified by rules for usage. Making all of the brand’s visual content consistent is the key to making a cohesive and understandable design system. When SMAKK was invited to create a visual identity for a brand called Latin Baby we focused on bright motifs of edible flora inspired by the brands’ Latin roots. These design decisions helped communicate to new customers that the company was not only exciting and youthful, but also healthy and fresh. The patterns are reminiscent of papel picado banners which brings some hispanic heritage into the visual identity. The patterns also signify the health conscious nature of this vegan baby food brand by using images of produce instead of cut out illustrations like the original banners.

Papel Picado Paper & Latin Baby Packaging by SMAKK Studios

That Little Black Dress:

Keeping up with trends is important to consider when you are designing, but it isn’t what should be completely driving your design thinking. Designs always go out of style way faster than you think they will. Our Creative Director, Katie Klencheski likes to remember the Yves Saint Laurent quote: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” Do you remember when Ed Hardy T shirts were a thing? …Yeah me neither. The visual identity of a brand should be built to last, and considered for every context and touchpoint, with a focus on longevity. Like a little black dress, a brand should be versatile and ready for any occasion.

Yves Saint Laurent

Back It Up:

Many people think that visual identity or creating a new brand is just to make things “look pretty.” Of course, designers make things look nice, but every design decision should have purpose to it. There is a process in branding. First we always have to define the challenges, what are we trying to solve for? What is the goal? The process is about understanding not only the company and their history, but also the space that the company lives in. The company must separate itself from the competition while still connecting to them. While soaking in all of this new information, it is important to dive into some art history. By calling up design movements of the past we know what symbols and textures evoke certain emotions or remind us of certain times or places. Everything from the typeface to the smallest underline, should have a reason behind it.

Creation of the Brooklyn Friends School Logo by SMAKK Studios