Touch of Gold
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Touch of Gold

6 Steps To Building A Visual Brand Identity

Great visual brand identities are some of my favorite things to see. I appreciate the thought and effort that goes into them. Organizations, companies, and personal brands that acknowledge the importance of design can maximize their own potential. I’ve touched upon going beyond just having a logo to assemble a complete brand identity and importance of having brand guidelines.

Today, I’m going to give a few tips on how to assemble your visual brand.

Creating a visual brand identity is where you decide what the public will see when they see you. From the logo to the colors to the typography and more, you are creating a system of presentation. You are creating your own personal treasure trove of assets that you and your team can use as beacon for those already interested and those who you want to attract.

Determine Your Name & Your Values

What is the name of your company? What do you stand for? What do you provide? What is your brand personality? Answer these questions and more. Write down all the words and phrases you can think of that relate to your company or organization. All the creative has to represent you and the message you want to project. Know your brand strategy and goals. The probability of success increases (and the number of necessary revisions decrease) dramatically when design decisions are informed by a clear strategy.

Research & Understand

Research in design is crucial to understand what needs to be done for your brand within a particular market. Proper execution is only possible through understanding. You can not visualize what you do not know. Study the history of the company and the market. Know the competition as well as yourself so you can strategize. The overall brand identity must be established so that a consistent visual style can be created.

Create Your Logo

Think of your logo as the centerpiece. I love the challenge of logo design. A logo is the extraction of your brand’s essential meaning. You’re distilling your essence down to its simplest yet most recognizable form. One possible direction is to utilize any symbols or shapes that relate to your brand’s location, product, or service. For example, if you are in a music-related field, you can use elements that reference music such as notes, certain instruments, conductor’s baton, etc.

Give2Band logo including bass clef reference.

Color Theory

When I first start designing a logo, I do so without thinking about color. I focus on the shape and how well it will translate in different sizes and on different mediums. Once the logo concept is created, then I start to experiment with color. Color influences emotion as well as brand recognition. It is definitely worth your time to study color theory. Select colors that will push your message forward. Martin Christie talks at length about the importance of understanding the psychology of colors while designing an effective logo.

Typography / Font Choice

If a serious corporate brand used comic sans in all their communication, would you take that brand seriously? If a brand chooses an illegible font, it undercuts their ability to deliver their message. You can choose a font or have a font custom-built. When choosing a font, you want to take into account all the different ways you’ll use text. Header font may need to be different than the font used in the body text. Test all the fonts you may want to use by previewing them with sample text, taking readability and style into account.

Build Complementary Assets

Your visual brand needs to be versatile and applicable across many different platforms, digital and print. Most sports franchises have secondary, alternate, and wordmark logos that support the main logo. Building a comprehensive visual brand identity provides you with a playbook of marketing assets. You want to be ready with complementary visuals that flesh out your branding system. Your system may include letterhead, envelopes, business cards, and more. Everything within your visual brand system needs to work together. Each playing a particular role but designed to belong to the same team.

Tatooine Brand Identity presentation

After you have completed and approved of your visual brand identity, you may need to write guidelines on the use of those assets. The identity system is the visual language you use to communicate. Brand style guidelines are necessary to protect the integrity of your custom language and to teach ambassadors and designers how to use it fluently.

Communication is key. Do your due diligence to create and master your visual identity for the benefit of your brand.


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