Why can't brands exist without visual identity?

In this article, our Sketchy Digital Team would like to discuss brand identity and awareness. Why’s it so important for your brand? What gravity does term “brand” have in general? What’s the difference between visual identity and brand identity? We hope that after reading this article, you'll determine the visual identity of your brand and whether or not you need it.

Brand Basics

Let’s start with key points such as what a brand is.

Originally, a brand was just the name of a product. Nowadays, most marketers use it to designate a name, a term, a sign, a symbol, a color, an image, a sound, or any combination of the former, designed to differentiate their product (or service) from others.

A brand serving just as a name or a trademark isn’t particularly interesting in this day and age. Simultaneously, marketers note that in the first few years of their launch, 80% of businesses and their products disappear from the market.

Why does this happen?

In all likelihood, the goods weren’t conspicuous enough. If consumers were asked what the late product looked like, it’s unlikely they’d remember anything about it, particularly if the goods lacked visual identity, essence, purpose, message, or prominent features. This is why successful businesses shade their brand under a concrete visual identity, broadcast a clear message, and make promises to the consumer.

Brand elements

Here are some elements that make up a brand:

* Name: The more interesting it is, the better chance it has. It should be unique, but suitable for your business sphere.

* Slogan/Message: How do you stand out from your competitors? What reflects the essence and philosophy of your product or business?

* Logo: This is the most important part of a brand creation. It will appear in customers' minds every time they hear the name of the brand. 

* Corporate Identity: Colors, fonts, and symbols say more for you than you might realize. We’ll discuss “What is visual identity?” in the next chapter.

The products that manage to stay on track have the required marketing characteristics, values, and messages. Through their promotion, a business invests certain, and often weighty, practices and promises. To avoid getting off track, we recommend that you read on further and closely examine what visual identity is.

Brand identity elements

What is visual identity?

Visual identity can't be described in a single phrase; it’s the complex interconnection of components that make your brand recognizable. 

Key elements of visual identity:

Color highlights the energy of your business, and how you frame the character of your product. In the midst of so many competing brands, you need to be able to stand out and express yourself loudly and independently. Are you an aggressive entity, a subtle one, or some confident combination of both?

Font can either screw up even the best color scheme, or it can serve as the perfect fixture for which your identity hangs. Therefore, carefully selecting a font for your visual identity is essential.

Graphics such as templates, patterns, objects, and gradients make your style diverse and engaging. Make sure that graphic placement doesn't end up as an afterthough. Layout helps to emphasize individuality and character. By the way, here at Sketchy Digital, we create high-end graphics. Come take a look!

Illustrations and Photos need to have a common style. For example, advertisements, articles, websites, and social networks are cool if their art is diverse and varied, but if they’re disjointed, they only serve to perplex your consumers. What if it actually turns them away from your company? We know that it’s all too real sometimes. Therefore, our Sketchy Digital specialists never make this mistake because we have professional designers and illustrators. We create high-quality business illustrations and attach them all to one main idea.

Purposes of Visual Identity

Visual identity is the first impression that consumers have of your brand. If you’re expressing your identity properly, it actively affects overall consumer perception of your product or service. Here are some of the goals visual identity pursues:

Uniqueness: If you work with experienced professionals (for example with the Sketchy digital team), and know exactly who you are and what you represent, it’ll be easy to distinguish yourself from competing brands. 

Loyalty: If your target audience understands you and your values through an attractive visual identity, it won’t be complicated for them to associate your brand with their own values. Keep in mind that with understanding comes loyalty. 

Chain Reaction: If you establish exactly who you are as a brand early on (i.e. a name, a value, and a message), a graphic design logo and other important components supporting your visual identity simply fall into place. Eventually, your logo will grow and inform more consumers through brand awareness.

In other words, visual identity is a language through which the visual elements of the brand "speak" to our perception of its products or services. How and what you put into the palette, shades, templates, illustrations, and fonts will affect the following development of your brand.

Visual identity creation for your brand

Brand identity and visual identity

We can metaphorically picture your brand as an egg - your visual identity is the shell and your brand identity is the yolk. Let’s go through it. Without the shell, the egg wouldn’t survive, as it provides strong protection (consumer perception). In the visa versa, a shell without a yolk isn’t an egg at all, as it lacks any nutrition or substance (the product or service it provides).

Without a brand identity, which includes everything you read in the first chapter (a name, a slogan, a mission, values, and everything that defines your foundation), there is no visual identity. It complements and amplifies all that you broadcast to consumers. Therefore, once you establish the yolk, the consistent and strategic sequence of visual elements that we discussed in the second chapter will help you tell your story.

Simply, one can’t exist without the other, such as how there can’t really be a coloring book without colored pencils, caramels without attractive wrapping, or a product without its packaging. 

Let's sum it up

The day and age when a brand could be successful through a catchy slogan or its name alone is long gone. With recent IT developments, consumers have become more selective and perplexed by the large number of existing and competing brands. Nowadays, how can one achieve something different, yet relatable at the same time?

This is why, in addition to brand identity, you need a visual identity that allows you to communicate to a consumer through visual perception. It isn’t that simple though. Finding the right visual solutions for your brand might take a matter of years. 

Don’t forget that there are experts who would be happy to help you in this matter. For example, our Sketchy Digital team is sure that we can assist in giving life, spirit, and character to your brand and help create your individual visual identity. 

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Alex Jakov
Chief Executive Officer
Former co-founder of Opendoor. Early staff at Spotify and Clearbit.

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