Visual Communication

Creative Experts Share Their Top 5 Visual Branding Insights

By Laura Box - 6 min read

Looking to create or update your brand’s visuals? According to experts, it takes more than just a pretty logo. From research to experimentation, visual branding and design experts share their 5 greatest secrets to developing the most effective brand message.

1. Research, Research, Research

According to agency Rule 29, all branding must begin with in-depth research. The only way to know how to develop your visuals or whether they need to be updated is by learning what your consumers will respond well to and how your brand can best represent this.

“Any creative project must reflect the goals and aspirations of the client and align those with their targeted personas, and the research conducted on these projects needs to allow the creative team to conceptually move a project towards those goals,” say the team at Rule 29 “The interpreted research outlined in the creative brief should allow your creative team to help them make that move”. So before you start developing your brand’s visuals, make sure you have a well-researched creative brief.

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2. Build Your Basket

Brand Nu Creative Director Radim Malinic argues that branding is about building a basket of many different components in order to make a comprehensive whole.

In his Book of Ideas, he compares it to buying milk. According to Malinic, you need many ingredients to make a decent breakfast, just as you need many aspects to make a good brand. “Countless clients might just be after a metaphorical pint of milk – a logo, business card or app icon – but a brand can’t survive on milk (or a logo) alone”.

While the logo plays a main part, says Malinic, it’s never as successful without complimenting fonts, colour themes, banners, packaging design and so on. In order to get to the milk, you usually pick up a lot of things along the way and leave with a full basket. Don’t forget to do the same with your visual branding.

3. Communicate Consistently

In the eyes of Siegel+Gale Brand Communication expert Bert O Phillips, “brand communication is all about using the power of language, the power of storytelling to influence what people’s perceptions of your company are”. To do this, Phillips recommends building a memorable brand voice. “You want to stand for something that sticks with people,” says Phillips, which means being consistent.

“If your social media marketing feels vibrant, fresh and relevant, but I have an interaction with customer service that feels corporate and transactional, the contrast between that and the different voice I’ve seen elsewhere makes me confused about who you are as a company,” says Phillips. In order to achieve consistency, he recommends creating a set of voice attributes, which act as guidelines for something you can replicate across all parts of your brand.

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4. Less Is More

The team at Sevenblue think it is too. Minimalism is becoming more popular, symbolizing tech savviness, simplicity and modernity. “Less does not mean decreasing effort or thought in creating messages. Instead, it requires detailed consideration to every detail,” says sevenblue. “Technological advancements push this growth, as minimalist branding caters to social media advertisement. With the shift in approach, companies must adapt in order to stay competitive in the market.” They recommend using clean lines and white space to help your brand’s design achieve a minimalistic image.

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5. Keep Testing

Rocky Roark, illustrator, designer, YouTuber, host of The Design Break podcast recommends testing multiple different visuals before settling on one. “One thing that I’ve found is that you can’t just go with the first design that feels right, you should always do a little more exploring before you commit to a design,” says Roark.

“Sometimes you create something better and sometimes you come back to the first one and say, ‘You know what, that’s the one’. The only way that you’ll come to that decision though is by going through and creating other options to compare and contrast the first one you did.”

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Summary

  • Research, Research, Research
  • Build Your Basket
  • Communicate Consistently
  • Less Is More
  • Keep Testing
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