Many businesses have started carving their digital presence to keep up with the changing times. But with a heavily saturated market, brands must exert twice the effort to stand out from the competition.
The digital sphere is highly visual. One effective way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by creating a strong visual identity. Your visual identity is part of your branding, reflecting the story, values and personality of your company. It’s an essential component of your communication strategy, helping customers understand your brand.
Crafting your visual identity doesn’t stop with hiring professional web design and development services. You have to ensure that the identity you built resonates with your audience across all platforms.
Below are three science-based tips for building a strong visual identity that connects with your target market.
When deciding on a colour story
Base your colour palette on the emotions you want your audience to feel. If you’re a fun brand, choose bright, bold hues that make people feel energised. Take the Color Run’s colourway, for example. They stick to a neon gradient of blue, purple, pink and orange, which are also the colours of the powder they use in their events.
Certain colours evoke specific emotions, which is why most fast-food restaurants use red in their branding. Use colour psychology to create a palette that suits your product and services and still appeal to your market.
Note that a good colour palette is consistent but should still be flexible. It should give your designers enough variations to keep your content creative and fresh without losing your identity. A typical brand palette has one or two primary colours with three to five complementary colours.
When designing your logo
Just like colours, people also assign meaning to different images and shapes, helping them process things visually. For instance, logos that are circular are perceived as warm, fun, caring and friendly. Meanwhile, angular logos are associated with durability and reliability.
A study by the branding firm Siegel+Gale supports this theory. They surveyed 3,000 respondents, asking them to evaluate the logos of top brands. The most memorable logos are segmented into nine categories: illustrative custom word mark, organic shapes, geometric shapes, sans serif word mark, serif word mark, holding shape, initials, font-based word mark and stylised effects.
The study also found one common trait across all the most memorable logos: simplicity. If your logo is easy to process visually, it’s also easier to remember.
When choosing your fonts
Apart from communicating your brand identity, the typeface you choose should be reader-friendly. First, select a font for the biggest portion of your page or website, which is most likely your body copy. This helps you prioritise readability over style. Your body typeface will be the basis for your other font decisions, such as headlines and subheads.
To make sure that your font choice is readable, see if it passes the Il1 test. Type a lowercase l, an uppercase I, and the number 1 next to each other. If you can’t differentiate the three, your readers may have some difficulty in understanding your text.
These tips are only meant to guide you in developing your visual identity. Some brands today are becoming more adventurous with how they present themselves visually. Carefully analyse your target audience and your products and services to determine the design that would represent your brand in the most effective way.