Visual Identity

brand identity

If the logo is a company’s signature, all the design and content should be written in the company’s “handwriting.” Just like a person’s handwriting identifies who wrote a particular message, all the visual elements of a company should tell customers who the author is of that product or service.


“Identity is often (mistakenly) used interchangeably with logo, but an organization’s identity encompasses much more than its logo. The organization’s name is equally as important as the picture used to represent it. Other elements, such as the color of a company’s mailing envelopes or the music customers hear while on hold on the telephone, are elements of the identity. Most of the logos we admire more often than not are part of a well-designed system. In such a system, the application of the logo (as well as these other elements) has been as carefully considered as the logo itself. It might help to think of it this way: The logo is a picture; the complementary elements and application decisions form a program; and the perception created by the picture and the program form the visual center of the brand.” – Brand Identity Essentials

People are visual thinkers. We remember images better than words and we associate feelings and opinions with certain colors and shapes. By establishing a distinctive visual identity for your company, you are making it a lot easier for customers to remember you and to remember what your company stands for.


A strong visual identity makes an impact on your audience. It makes it easier to leave a lasting impression in your customers’ minds because they have a visual reference to attach to their thoughts about your company. It helps them remember and identify your products and your company.


All aspects of your identity should reinforce the essence of your brand – who you are (as a company) and what you stand for. A lot of this will be done implicitly and may even tap into your customers subconscious associations. The colors you use, the font you choose, the style of photos, the way you phrase things – all of this should work together to tell customers who you are and what you offer them.


Having a distinctive visual identity not only makes your business unique, but also establishes credibility. By choosing the right visual elements, you can project an image of professionalism or expertise or fun or innovation or whatever values are important to your company.


All of the visual elements of a brand should be:

  • True to the product or company
  • Relevant to your audience
  • Flexible for multiple formats
  • Consistent


If you want to learn more about the principles for designing a brand identity, visit Brand Identity Essentials. They have identified and defined 100 principles that are essential for a successful brand identity. Here are just a few of those principles:

  • Create a visual style & an aesthetic niche
  • Use color wisely
  • Contrast
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Fit in to your industry
  • Use shapes & symbols to convey meaning but are distinctive to your brand
  • Show your personality (images, colors, typography)
  • Tell a story
  • Be consistent