5 Keys to Successful Visual Brand Design

The best visual identities make an impact. They are memorable and they instantly evoke feelings of the brand with which they are associated.

Bad visual identities, on the other hand, are forgettable. They look unprofessional and they don’t tell you anything about the company.

Creating a successful visual identity can influence the overall success of your brand and therefore your business. Whether you are a logo designer yourself or you are looking to hire a designer to create your logo, understanding the qualities of effective visual brand identity is vital.

Here are five ways to make your brand work:

Simplicity

One of the most important aspects of successful brand design is simplicity. There should be clean lines and minimal details like shading or other artistic touches. Colours should be limited to a few choices and text should include only the brand name. In logo design, less is more. Some great examples include Target, Chase and FedEx.

Recognition

Your visual identity will be synonymous with your brand and therefore it must be instantly recognizable in any format. No matter what colour, size, or medium, your logo should be identifiable as the image of your brand. Think of social media icons such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter: They use elements of their logos, such as the “P” in Pinterest or the “F” in Facebook, and often manipulate them to suit various themes, but despite being presented in different colours, shapes and formats, they are always recognizable.

Uniqueness

If your visual identity is to be recognizable it must be unique; otherwise, who is to say that the star in your logo is not actually the star in another company’s logo? Common shapes may be used, but they should be altered to create a unique style for your brand. However, it is a much better idea to create a unique identity that uses a distinctive shape or item that is not likely to be used by another company. The CN (Canadian National Railway) logo is a great example – the CN letter forms representing a continuous railway track. The smile element used by Amazon is another excellent example.

Tone

Your visual identity must tell your audience a bit about your company. What are your values? What kind of products or services do you provide? While a simple logo may not be able to convey all this information, it should create a certain tone that reflects your brand. For example, a brand with a comic sans font and bright colors will convey a sense of playfulness that is perfect for a toy company; however, if you are a financial services company this may make you seem unprofessional. Be sure that your brand creates the right tone for your company.

Flexibility

Your visual identity will be used on every item associated with your brand, including print materials, your website, social media, and e-mail lists. It is important that your logo can not only be easily transferred to any of these mediums, but also that it will be recognizable in each of them. For example, an animated logo may look great on a website, but you won’t be able to use it in a print campaign. Will it look as good as a static image? If not, you may want to consider a new design.

Does your logo have these qualities? Would you like a professional second-opinion on your current brand identity? For some expert feedback, share your company website in the comments!

The power of good design