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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.