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Create a Visual Identity for Your Brand

Developing a visual identity system is core to building a brand. After all, the way we most frequently encounter brands is visually. When it’s done right, design grabs the audience’s attention, encourages them to engage, and helps them remember your business. 

Good design will also elevate other aspects of your brand, like your mission and vision, tone of voice, and brand touchpoints. Learn how to create a visual identity for your brand that supports your goals.

Design a logo

When we think of the world’s most successful brands, often the first thing we think of is their logo. Partly because it appears on all your brand touchpoints, a logo should visually capture your brand’s quality, values, and message. Good logo design sets audience synapses firing and conjures up ideas about what your brand means to them.

Some logos leverage beautiful typography to spell out their name. Others use iconography to visually translate their brand, and some rely on symbolism.

There are some brand logos that will apply aspects of all three of the above approaches.

If you have graphic design skills or have a designer on your team, get them to try out some of these ideas. If not, you might want to experiment with a free logo maker, or hire a professional designer to help you explore your ideas.

Choose a color palette

When picking a brand color palette, don’t just rely on instinct. If you research your brand audience, you can learn which colors they prefer, and A/B test them to see which palette yields stronger engagement.

Think about the feeling you want people to have when they come into contact with your brand and explore colors that convey that meaning and express character. Start by experimenting with a few color options on your website.

Define your brand typography

Brand fonts can be a make-or-break finishing touch to your visual identity.

Typography should be:

  • Easy to read. It should draw people in, not let them pass by.

  • Usable on every platform. Choose fonts that will look as great etched into a window as they would laid out on a website.

  • An encapsulation of your brand message. Consider the personality of your business and how text can help bring it to life.

Squarespace templates are thoughtfully designed to showcase your brand imagery. Explore some of the fonts available on Squarespace and see how great typography can enhance your online brand.

Create brand imagery

From the shapes and textures of your graphic design elements to the illustration and photography styles you develop, brand imagery helps bring consistency and personality to your brand.

Illustration

With a structured illustration system, you can enhance your audience’s understanding of your brand. You can create custom images that depict specific aspects of the content that you’re sharing on your channels. For example, an illustrated blog image that shows a customer using your product for the first time.

Photography

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to create meaningful photos for your products or brand. For example, if you’ve launched an online business consultancy, you may want to take photos of the consultants on your team so that potential customers can see who they would be working with if they choose your firm. Alternatively, if you’re selling a physical product like candles, you may want to take photos of them in different environments to showcase where a customer might put them in their own home or office.

Shapes, textures, patterns, and lines

The fine detail of a great visual identity system is in how you employ certain graphical elements that the audience doesn’t necessarily notice, yet instantly recognizes. Some brands will, say, zoom in on a fragment of their logo and build it into their layouts as a visual enhancement. Others will sit their text in bubbles or boxes. Still others will use textures and patterns drawn from nature or their own imagination. These graphical elements can help to enhance your brand value by symbolizing its message. 

Develop brand guidelines

Once you’ve made decisions about your visual identity system—from fonts to logo design—capture the details in a brand guidelines document that anyone working on your brand communications can access. This brand guidelines document will ensure that you maintain brand consistency, no matter who is involved in rolling out your message.

Your guidelines should include links to your typography and logo usage rules, photography and illustration styles, and guidance on how to use your color palette. A comprehensive brand book will also include information on tone of voice for copywriting, brand message, and brand vision and mission. This document will essentially act as your brand manual for anyone working with it, ensuring that you deliver a consistent customer journey that delights and engages.

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