Things are more than what they seem but what most people don’t realize is that most things don’t get a chance for the consumer to experience them before they are then disregarded.
This is why in business, it is very important to focus on visual branding.
Catching the attention of the market not only adds to credibility, gaining new consumers, and catches attention, it also promotes brand retention.
There are a few things that have to be learned in order to build your visual brand.
These chunky details might be hard to swallow but piecing everything together would allow the company to come up with an iconic brand that not only looks good but is also very effective at retaining consumers and making new ones.
One important fact to point out why brand retention is very important is that it allows the consumer to think of the brand first before the competition.
One perfect example of this is when a consumer is driving in their car and is feeling really hungry on the way home.
Would they think about Red Lobster or some fancy restaurant?
Chances are this won’t cross the consumer’s mind and they would automatically go for some fast-food chain like McDonald’s.
How about on a hot day where you just want something to drink, the consumer might not think about their favorite complicated drink that they really love.
Most likely, the consumer will think about Coca-Cola, a soft drink.
Not only have the ads successfully embedded themselves into the minds of the consumers, but they have also gotten the consumers very used to seeing the products which is why they make purchases even within their comfort zone.
One example is when buying a car, most people would rather go for the more familiar Ford or other brands instead of going for something a little more daring but might still offer better performance.
The consumer’s trust is most of the time based on how well they know the brand not just due to their advertising efforts but how they are able to attract visual attention through visual recognition.
Visual recognition goes beyond just the logo that everyone sees.
This is just a starting point but visual branding leading to visual recognition is much deeper.
Coca-Cola, as an example, has changed its logo throughout the years not just to be exciting and fresh every once in a while but to properly adapt to the market.
They have changed their logo in order to adjust and attract the generation of today.
Logos have shaped the way consumers look at the company and this is why Steve Jobs decided to pay $100,000 for the Apple logo!
The payment didn’t go into the complexity of the design but rather in the simplicity of it.
What logo would be easiest to remember while still leaving the strongest mark ever?
The very first step when it comes to visual branding is starting the visual planning.
Just like any other type of business-related effort, visuals should definitely be made with a purpose and should retain meaning while being able to withstand the changing trends.
This is one of the largest things to navigate through, visual trends.
Aside from Coca-Cola, Lufthansa has already made drastic changes to their logo which are still able to retain themselves as visually recognizable.
The change not only keeps up with the times but also takes advantage of it making an iconic logo while still incorporating the original company behind it.
It is very important to now keep in mind that the main form of information distribution this 2021 is the internet.
This means that when making a logo, it is important to make sure it looks good online and prioritize the digital design compared to the physical design.
Of course, the logo might still end up on physical products, however, it will be widely spread online initially.
Building brand identity
Brand visuals are usually a reflection of the business which is why Apple brand visuals show either white or black with minimal colors making them look more futuristic and bring out the message that they are the brand of the future.
Although Apple focuses mostly on aesthetics and comfort instead of the performance itself, the brand itself has become a status symbol which also converts more people into consumers of their products.
Colors and shapes have powers of their like how bright red would really bring out strong aggressive emotions while light blue usually associates itself as calm.
Even the shades of colors give off a different meaning as light blue is for pleasantries while dark blue usually gives a more corporate and serious feeling.
The good thing about having a flexible logo, however, is that the company and brand will be able to flexibly change from one theme to another and keep up with current events.
A perfect example of this is fashion brands like Nike which utilizes their logo as a negative instead of telling the whole story, an accent to their products that become their iconic trademarks.
Different types of visual branding
As mentioned earlier, a logo is just the start of the whole branding process and there are numerous other visuals that the business can focus on.
There are also a number of other factors that can contribute towards a very memorable visual identity of the business that skillfully takes advantage of these factors.
- Image styles
- Composition styles
- Memorable color patterns
In order to pick out the perfect visuals, it is very important to know the audience. Different markets go for different things.
If the Starbucks logo was put on a car, it might not be too sellable since it doesn’t really give a sense of reliability but rather creativity.
The brand itself speaks differently and the company’s promotion has a different purpose.
Successful startups usually take advantage of targeting the right audience to get a head start despite having a disadvantage against other companies that might have been on in the industry longer.
With competition getting harder, focusing on building a strong brand is very important to get a head start.
Association is very important which is why surveying the market what a logo would invoke is a good way to get a clearer picture of a good logo.
Aside from just logos, this would also give the company a clearer way to market the product and allow them to tap the right audience and market without having to do the whole trial and error which is something very costly if done repetitively.
The largest brands around the world oftentimes use the simplest logos ever.
As noted a while ago, Steve Jobs spent $100,000 in designing the perfect Apple logo and as a result, the iconic logo has not only a very strong presence but also a very memorable one.
Another good example is how National Geographic made a kids version of their logo staying true to their identity while tapping into a new audience as well.
Due to the kids’ logo being friendlier, it attracts the target audience perfectly.
One of the most iconic uses of typography is how marvel uses its name in different designs giving different meanings ending in different emotions.
Despite the modernity of Marvel’s material today, it still remains true to the Marvel it always was.
This is a perfect example of how Marvel takes their logo to a whole new level with modern animation.
With every movie, Marvel seems to be slowly adding on to how they utilize the typography of their logos.
- Image styles
More complex designs usually evolve along the way and the main trick is keeping them recognizable despite the change.
When the designer creates an image, it is usually created in a specific style.
However, when styles evolve through time, the pressure is to retain the essence of the design while the style evolves.
One perfect example of this is how the Starbucks logo has evolved throughout the years.
While the design still retains its essence and complication, it evolved into something a bit more modern and more recognizable this 2021.
- Composition styles
Some brands make use of different logos that are linked to the core of the brand itself.
One perfect example of this is not really a brand or logo but the Batman symbol.
Despite changing every once in a while, Batman still retains its original symbol despite changing its logo.
With the change in styles, Batman is still able to retain the essence of the superhero behind the logo itself.
Despite the different changes in composition styles, it is important to retain the brand despite the evolution.
- Memorable color patterns
It is important to choose the right color patterns for the company.
Depending on the industry, the color could actually be more important than the design itself.
One example of this is the colors that Caltex chose to represent themselves.
Despite changing their logo a few times, they remained faithful to the tone of red color that they have been utilizing throughout the years.
Today, Caltex is still very recognizable and even more recognizable due to the blue tone that they decided to add as another iconic detail in their piece.
How to build your visual brand
When it comes to building the right visual branding, the message should trump the design.
Although it’s tempting to use bits and pieces of what looks good in others, it is still very important to make a strong presence for the brand that doesn’t just look good compared to other visual designs but also looks different and can be recognized right away.
When building a visual brand, there are steps that can be followed in order to come up with the perfect representation of the brand behind it.
Although there is a lot that can be done in order to come up with the final design, there are a few essentials that can be followed as a guideline towards building a strong visual brand.
- What are the company’s goals
It is important to be very thorough with the company goals to provide a clear direction of what the design should come back to.
The stronger and more detailed the goals are, the easier it would be to formulate a strong brand.
Instead of a general description about wanting to change the industry, go into how the brand plans to do so.
- What is attracts the ideal market
Learn what works on the target market, what attracts them, and what makes them get involved.
Although this might be a very wide scope, it is important to look for key features like automobile buyers would look for a steady and strong design while fashion buyers might look for a more trendy or classic design.
- What is the competition doing
Studying the competition would give more ideas on making the design.
Find out not just what they are doing right but also what they might lack.
Once there is a clear laydown of this and that, it is important to look for not just what part of the design evokes certain feelings but how they are doing so and why a certain design leads to this and that.
- What would perfectly represent the brand
Finally, when everything is collected, it is important to find out how to put everything together building the visual brand that would allow it to reach the goal, how it will attract the target market, and how it stands out from the competition while incorporating what the competitors are doing right.
Visual branding can be very complicated but with the right focus on the right parts, attaining the brand goal while being able to attract the target market is still very doable.
It is important to not just think about what looks good now, but also what will look good despite the change in trends in order to come up with a strong logo that remains its influence despite its change in design.