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Visual Identity: How to Create One for Your Brand

A brand isn’t complete without having a visual identity. Learn how you can create a visual identity for your brand to make a stronger impact in your marketing.

Building a successful business and brand takes more than the ability to sell a winning product or offer a high-quality service.

In order to truly establish your business as a unique brand, you will need to create a visual identity for your brand itself.

A strong visual identity is what helps to set a business apart from its competitors while also having an emotional, visual, or unique connection with those who interact with your business.

What is visual identity?

Understanding visual identity is the first step to truly grasping the concept of the basics of branding and brand recognition.

A visual identity, or a brand identity, is the cultivation of imagery such as graphics, colors, typography, effects, styles, schemes, and themes that are used to create a specific brand image, look, and aesthetic.

For example, one of the most well-known and consistent visual identity on the planet comes from McDonald's.

When you think of McDonald's, you can likely immediately envision the golden arches, the classic M, and the yellow and red signature colors. These visual elements are all aspects of the brand's visual language.

The use of a strong visual identity is essential when establishing a business today to stand out from the competition, especially in highly saturated and overly-dominated existing markets. If one of your business goals is to build brand loyalty with your target audience, you need to establish a visual brand identity as quickly as possible.

Difference between visual identity and brand identity

While a brand and visual identity may include many of the same elements, a brand identity encompasses everything that a business stands for, aside from just visual elements and aspects.

Brand identity may also include information such as your company's mission statement or core values, the voice you choose to use in your marketing efforts, as well as specific tools used for customer service. Brand identity is essentially all-inclusive, whereas a visual identity strictly focuses on color schemes, logos, art direction, and design elements that are involved with the creation and interpretation of a business or brand.

Why is visual identity important for business continuity?

Creating a brand guidelines is a necessity for business continuity as it helps others to remember your brand, its core values, and what your business has to offer.

Additionally, using the same visual identity across the board, both online and off, can also help your target audience to recognize your business and to place their trust in your brand, assisting with your ability to increase lead generation.

Whenever a customer is exposed to a logo design or a brand's name over time, they are more likely to trust the brand and believe in it. Brand consistency is often key to truly succeeding, especially in highly competitive and overly saturated markets that exist today.

Without brand consistency, there is no way to help others to remember what your business offers in terms of products, content, or services.

4 Main components of good visual identity

Establishing a visual identity for a brand requires a breakdown of a few main components. From choosing the right color scheme and font for your company name to ensuring your logo resonates with your audience, there is more to developing a visual identity than just choosing a relevant image.


The font selection for a logo is extremely important. In fact, it may just be one of the biggest decisions you will make if you are in charge of your brand's overall visual identity.

Whenever you see a brand for the first time or are introduced to its logo, you need to have the ability to easily read and interpret the logo's text and what it represents.

If you are using a font that is difficult to read or that requires a magnifying glass to make out, your brand will appear unprofessional and untrustworthy, especially to those who are unfamiliar with your business.

Color palette

Choosing a color palette is also a cornerstone of developing a brand's visual identity. Without a color palette, there is a lack of direction when it comes to designing surrounding elements for websites, marketing campaigns, and promotions to help others identify your brand.

Even if you choose to use black and white as your main brand colors, it is important to stick with them as you develop your brand's image.


What type of graphics do you intend to use to promote your brand? Will your logo use a professional photo, an animation, or a specialized illustration?

What is the message you are trying to convey with the graphics you choose to implement into your company's logo as well as the marketing campaigns you launch? Is there a specific graphic style that is most likely to resonate with the audience you intend to reach? If so, why?

Understanding the graphics you choose for your visual brand identity is crucial, regardless of the type of business you are running or the industry you represent.


The imagery and overall aesthetic of a brand's visual identity matter, whether you are interested in appealing to a wide generic audience or if you are working in a high niche industry.

Visual elements you use will immediately conjure up images, feelings, emotions, and responses from prospective customers.

Immersing yourself in the building of your visual brand identity is essential to ensure that your brand appears, feels, and resonates with your audience just as you envision.

How to create a visual identity for your brand

Creating a visual identity for your brand is possible by understanding your company's goals as well as the target audience you wish to resonate with and reach.

Consider your core values and brand goals

What goals do you have for your business and brand? Was your company established with the hopes of donating and giving back to the community?

Do you want to expand your brand internationally and outshine your current competition? Define and designate brand goals before you begin to cultivate a visual identity that matches.

Research competition

While this is not always a required step, it is advisable to always be cognizant of the existing competition you have in your industry while building your own visual identity.

Knowing how your top competitors operate and market to their audience can also provide you with inspiration or guidance when it comes to your own visual branding and marketing campaigns.

Define important brand elements

Once you know where you want to take your brand, you can then define important brand elements: Logo design, color palette, aesthetic, and typography should all be considered and kept in mind. This will help to provide you with a running start when it comes to the actual design process of your identity.

Choose a voice

Every successful brand today has a voice that is uniquely its own. From being casual to using a formal or more "corporate" voice, it is essential to establish a voice that works for your brand and your brand's short and long-term goals.

Choosing the right voice will be dependent on the audience you intend to reach as well as the type of communication style that they are most likely to connect and resonate with on a personal level. A voice that is too serious, informal, or off-putting to prospective customers will cause them to seek out an alternative source or solution.

Choose the right colors

Even if you have most of your visual elements together, take some time to find the color scheme that is just right for your business.

Learn more about the basics of web design and graphic design to avoid using colors that clash and do not go together.

Understanding the basics of design and color theory can also come in handy once you begin to work on your landing page design for your official website or specific promotional campaigns you launch. Basic color theory can also ensure you do not turn prospective customers away due to an unattractive campaign.

Consistency is key

Whenever you are building a brand or promoting a product, consistency is key.

The use of the same color scheme, font, imagery, and overall aesthetic across numerous marketing campaigns and channels can go a long way towards establishing credibility and your brand's identity, both online and off.

Consistency matters whether you are promoting your business in a local newspaper or if you are using third-party solutions to promote your brand across the web.

Monitor efforts

If you are in the process of establishing your brand identity for the first time, you may be unsure of what works and what is falling short of your expectations. This is why it is so important to monitor and track your campaign efforts, logo changes, and brand updates in real-time and with the use of A/B testing.

Launching A/B tests is often one of the best ways to gauge which colors, fonts, and voices your users are most likely to respond to and engage with, resulting in leads, sales, and revenue generation. Use A/B testing to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of your target customers.

Incorporate your visual identity in your email marketing

Using your company's visual identity in your small business marketing efforts, such as your email campaigns, can go a long way.

Establishing your visual identity not only on your official website but within your email marketing campaigns can help to solidify your brand's image and message to prospective users while also helping to lend credibility to your business itself.

If you are thinking of integrating your brand's visual identity into your email marketing campaigns and you are unsure of where to turn, consider Mailchimp.

Mailchimp makes it simple to craft beautiful, modern, responsive email newsletters with a variety of templates and the ability to implement your own logos, color schemes, and visual brand identity.

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