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Visual brand identity: 5 color trends to use in 2022

What are the must-have shades for your brand and marketing content this year? Taste and color are not debatable… And yet, like every year Pantone sets the general tone to define the trend colors of the moment. But how does one adapt them to “branding” and include the right color trends in your creative marketing campaigns? What are the major brand trends to know in 2022? Here’s our little view on the graphic trends to adopt in 2022 and our pro tips to choose them according to your niche.

Pantone Color of the Year 2022: “Very Peri”

The “Very Peri”, reference PANTONE 17-3938, is a blue nuanced by red and purple undertones. It follows the trend of the deep blue “Classic Blue” of 2020-2021, which was intended to be reassuring and serene in the face of episodes of containment and global epidemic crisis, but it comes in warmer, brighter and more cheerful shades. “Encompassing the qualities of blues with a touch of red-purple, Very Peri expresses a bright, joyful attitude and dynamic presence that encourages bold creativity and imaginative expression,” says Pantone Color Insitute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman.

Pro tip for using Pantone 2022 colors in your branding: The hues in the Pantone Symphony color palette soothe the eye but also help draw attention in a non-aggressive way. These colors are perfect for combining the pastel hues of blue and green with the vibrant hues of purple and pink. Graceful and reassuring, these colors immediately catch the eye. If you integrate these shades into your brand identity, it will catch the eye of your audience!

The natural and minimalist look with pastel shades 

Serenity and calm will still dominate in 2022! There is still a trend towards natural colors. Soft, natural, soothing hues will reassert themselves with beautiful pastel gradients in creative graphic designs for 2022. Pastel tones from organic colors (pastel pink, champagne, muted green, coral…) are perfect for a modern yet minimalist look. This is definitely a trend to follow to seduce all types of audiences! 

Pro tip for using organic colors in your branding: use plants, interior design elements, stationery or modern workspaces with natural lighting. This color trend works well for modern brands, try incorporating lifestyle photography to support your brand, use shadows, colors of muten greens, nude, beiges and sandy/coral to best represent this 2022 trend. 

Bright and bold colors for a punchy branding

In total contrast to the softer pastel colors, we also have this 2022 color trend to incorporate very bright and “punchy” colors. To symbolize the desire for renewal and optimism, we turn to the acidic colors, almost fluorescent or “neon” as lemon yellow, fuchsia pink, azure blue, acid green or carmine red. They refer to this pop and daring universe which corresponds to the need to find a life full of joy and optimism. Ideal to attract your customers and revive a brand that would perhaps tend to “age”. These shades appeal to young and middle-aged people looking for positive vibes and a touch of freshness.

Pro tip for adapting these bright colors into your brand identity: These colors look great on screen! However, when you print, you risk losing that beautiful brightness in the colors (when converting from RGB to CMYK). Use special print finishes and spot color ink (Pantones are great!) to increase the quality of your branding on printed materials. 

3D metallic textures and the Y2K trend

Influenced from 1990’s Pop Culture, and latest advancements in 3D graphic rendering software, this modern metallic visual texture trend uses bright, dreamy, fluorescent colors, matched with holographic and iridescent textures and colors! Immediately bringing a highly modern, cyber and retro look to your brand, to use this Y2K trend, include metallic 3D textures in your content. It is a modern day, pop culture-infused cyber culture: Y2K trend in the visual branding universe which makes your content attract a young, and cyber-focused audiences. Think about it, it’s a futuristic and retro look at the same time! This type of branding is all the rage in China, and is well suited to rejuvenate your brand image and attract more young people in your marketing campaigns.

Pro tip to adapt this 3D metallic Y2K trend in your visual brand identity: the color associations must be well worked and aesthetic. Using this approach in your content will bring a “futuristic” and abstract feel, with a pop culture inspired retro feel! If this suits your brand image, then it may be a must for you to try this year! Try creating a mix of bright tones and strong colors in a very cyber focused way with shadow effects on 3D metallic textures, best created in pro graphic design software like Adobe Dimension

Primary color palettes to add a little fun with flat vector art

What’s better than a little nostalgia with “flat design” and the assortment of primary colors for a retro look straight out of the 70’s and 80’s. Use primary colors, flat and “fun” vector art to support your branding. This color trend is easy to use, and creates a sense of “fun” for brands. The idea is to marry these simple color palettes with fun, almost childlike designs, and use original vector illustrations in a “cartoon” style to bring your visual identity to life. 

Pro tip to adapt these primary colors in your brand visual identity: Simple iconography is also strategic in content communication and marketing, because when we quickly skim through content, we don’t read everything, and seeing bright visual icons helps convey your message. Use primary and simple color palettes combining shades of lemon yellows, cyan blues and bright reds and ultra cheerful visual color, to emphasize key points in your content marketing and brand communication strategy.

Want to know everything about the colors of 2022? Check out this YouTube video “Color Trends 2022 + Pantone Color of the Year” to get inspired and creative. The images alone are enough to give you plenty of ideas for your next creative marketing campaigns in 2022. You want to be accompanied in the creation or redesign of your brand identity? Our agency specializes in branding and logo design. Take a look at our portfolio of visual identity creations.

How to build a powerful brand identity? THE Guide to create your branding

How to build a powerful brand identity? THE Guide to create your branding

86% of consumers say that authenticity is an important criteria when deciding to support or buy from a brand. Powerful branding is key to the success of any marketing strategy. Yes, your brand must be beautiful to seduce your ideal clients. But it must also create meaning, have a mission, tell a story, represent your values! This is to continuously attract customers by creating trust and connexion between your brand and your audience. In reality, your brand identity is not only a story of logos, marketing campaigns or communication! Your branding represents the DNA of your business in all your communication, it is the basis of your brand strategy. How to create an authentic visual identity for your business to stand out from the crowd and naturally attract your ideal clients? Here’s the simple way to build a powerful brand identity and create your branding step by step.

1. Do your creative brainstorming on Pinterest

In your head, you probably already have an idea of what your brand identity will look like! The trick is to translate it into visual references, using Pinterest as THE most creative and useful tool. Here’s the starting point for creating your branding: create an inspiration board or “moodboard” on Pinterest. Save all images, logo screenshots, graphic elements and visual worlds of other brand concepts you like. Don’t limit yourself in your imagination, add all the pins you want, that better reflect your company values. 

AM Studio Créatif Brainstorming on Pinterest

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you embark on this creative brainstorming process:

  • What ideas, styles, typography, images best illustrate my business?
  • What colors and color palettes inspire me?
  • What are the fonts and graphic patterns that speak to me the most? Cartoon style or modern, vintage or fine and pure, round and feminine or square and strict… 
  • What are the visual styles I like: more natural and fresh, more high tech and urban, more cheerful and colorful…

Once you have collected your ideas (between 20 and 30 pins minimum) try to group them into coherent visual styles by creating sub-tables. You’ll see the magic happen: your brand’s visual universe will take shape little by little! And that’s it, you’ve laid the first stone of the artistic direction to give to your brand image. Now, let’s go into a little more detail.

2. Define your logo style among the 3 main typologies 

Your logo is the symbol of your brand. It must be defined according to your company name (naming), your value proposition and your business values. On the techy side, it must be both original to appeal to the public; durable, meaning that you must be able to keep it or make it evolve easily; and flexible, so that it can be adapted to any medium.

Even if there are many different ways to approach a logo design project, we have selected for you 3 main modern logotypes that will allow you to define a unique visual identity:

  • The simple logo with a custom typography (Example #1 below) based on your brand or company name. We speak of “logotypes” for these logos that include only text.
  • The standard logo with a vector icon (Example #2 below) representing your core business and a custom typography.

The premium custom logo (Example #3 below) which includes a main icon, a unique  typography of your business name and additional graphic elements.

Choose which type of logo you’d like (type only / with vector icon / hand drawn logo)

3. Choose your brand colors

Your logo is not the sole element of your branding: once you’ve decided on the style and shape it will take, you now need to choose your brand colors. 

To choose them well, we advise you to take into account :

  • the colors that attract or associate with your ideal customer (Example: if yours are female entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s, vibrant and feminine colors with a touch of pink gold or gold would suit for example)
  • the primary colors of your logo: often 2 to 3 main colors that you want to have in your logo.
  • the secondary colors that you will use on the web and in print to contrast with the primary colors.

The final color palette of your brand identity will certainly be composed of 4 to 6 colors, harmonious and well associated, for a perfectly coherent visual identity.

Choose your brand colors

4. Select your typographies: Serif or Sans Serif?

“Typography is the visual art of words” said the designer Dylan Todd: the font you choose tells a story through all your branding! Your typographies must correspond to your brand image and also be adapted according to the uses (print, web, logo…). 

Generally speaking, there are 2 main groups of typefaces:

  • Sans Serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana… give a more dynamic, modern look to your brand. Clear and simple, they symbolize progress and focus on the future. Sans Serif fonts are preferred for the web because they improve readability on our small mobile screens.
  • Serif fonts such as Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond… give your brand a more personal style with a more artistic dimension. They can also express authority, professionalism, and the weight of experience in your brand identity.

How to choose among the thousands of fonts available? Consider your brand in a global way: do you think it will be better represented by a bold, modern “Sans Serif” font – like in the WHA example below? Or by a more relaxed “Serif” or script font – like in the Bébé Zen example below ? In fact, the choice is not so difficult because you can combine these two types of fonts in the same graphic charter, as in the Sophrology Connect example!

Choose your fonts and visual universe to support your brand. At our studio, we use a Brand Board (examples above).

5. Illustrate your business with a visual universe

Finally, you need to define a photographic style for your brand image. These images – which it is often recommended to refine with a filter corresponding to the atmosphere of your brand – and specific graphic elements that will support all your corporate visual communication. The goal is to allow your audience to immediately identify with these images and to concretely project themselves in using the products and services you offer! 
Choose 8 to 10 photos on Pinterest or on royalty-free photo banks (such as Pixabay, Unsplash or Pexels) that illustrate your core business and show your universe and/or typical customer (or customer avatar).

Create your universe and attractive branding to fully illustrate your brand across all platfoms

Congrats! You now have all the elements and the method to create a powerful brand for your business.  The final step is to assemble all this into a single strategic document, your Brand Board. It is the basis of your graphic charter. 

Building a brand image is a crucial step in the creation or evolution of your business: choosing to invest in a (truly) professional branding is a decision you will never regret! For 1 simple reason: the creation of your 100% aligned and authentic branding doesn’t stop there. How will your visual universe be declined in your different communication channels? How will you adapt your brand discourse to it? It can be a real challenge to answer those questions! 

Do you need help? Our Branding Packs are our best visual identity creation offers for professionals. We create all the graphic elements of your authentic brand identity: logo, graphic charter and complete visual universe 100% customized. And our teA+M will help you build an effective and coherent brand image, in line with your history, your values and your objectives! For any custom request, please contact our team directly.

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