Throughout my 14 years in the design industry, I’ve used countless tools to work on my design projects. One of the first tools I used was the venerable design workhorse Adobe Photoshop, and it became my favorite tool for web and print design back in 2004. In the early days of my career, I considered Photoshop to be the most complete tool in terms of web design and mobile application design. Challenging Adobe’s dominance, Sketch arrived in 2010 and in my opinion revolutionized the UI/UX design process for Mac users. I loved Sketch and used it whenever I could for my web projects, but its lack of compatibility with PCs proved to be an inconvenient limitation in mixed-platform environments.
What is a visual brand identity, you ask? It’s only one of the most important things about your business. Branding is far more in depth than aesthetics. It delves into the core of why you exist as a business. It requires hours of research and analysis to ultimately cultivate something visually appealing that communicates your message: your visual identity. A visual identity is comprised of a system of external expressions such as a logo, color palette and texture, typography, iconography, illustration, photography, motion principles, and composition.
As a human being, you too have a visual identity. It can change only slightly when you wear your hair differently or dress casually, but the core of your aesthetic will not change. Your nose is like a logo. Your eyes define your primary color palette. Your hair is a composition style. Your clothing is your texture palette. Your brand is no different. Having a polished visual identity makes a solid impression just like you do when you comb your hair, brush your teeth, put a suit on, and smile.
When is it time to re-brand?
But is it time for a brand facelift?
Does your logo feel modern? Relevant? Do you have a color palette defined? Are your fonts working to convey your message well? Does everything feel seamless and intentional? How does your photography look? Do you have motion defined in your brand? A custom icon library? A unique illustration style or two?
If any of those questions left you feeling unsure, you might be thinking to yourself, “How do I know if my logo is relevant?"
What’s your logo’s role in your visual identity?
A logo is usually the first thing people think of when you say “brand”. While it is incredibly definitive as the most focused and widely used deliverable your brand can have, it is only just one facet of your visual identity.
Just like there are different types of people in the world, there are different types of logos: an abstract mark, a mascot, a combination mark, an emblem, a lettermark, a pictorial or symbolic mark, or a wordmark.
Factors like your brand’s industry, target audience, length of your brand name, your brand’s age, and business goals play a huge part in determining which style is best for your brand. These factors also play a role in determining the other aspects of your visual identity. Patterns and colors that compliment your logo, photographic styles that relate to your audience, iconography that sets you apart in the industry, or choosing a typeface that better communicates your message are all key in developing a successful visual identity.
If you haven’t gotten the chance yet to invest in a complete and total visual identity for your brand, then If this blog is making you feel good about your brand’s visual identity, congrats! Your investment to create it was worth it. let’s chat We’d love to have a brand strategist audit what you’re currently leveraging!.
Our expertise is only as good as our ability to share it with you. Here are the latest thoughts and ideas from our team.
When I tell people that I’m a user experience (UX) designer, most people nod politely as their eyes glaze over for a second, and they try to move the conversation along. Early in my career I thought they were completely uninterested, but over time, I came to realize that many people simply don’t know what UX is and might feel awkward about asking. On behalf of misunderstood UX designers everywhere, please allow me to introduce you to the wonders of quality UX and why you should care about it.
I went fishing the other day and all I caught was a good UX lesson for you. Here’s the deal: my daughter entered the neighborhood annual fishing derby. For a decent UX guy, I’m a terrible fisherman. But I do know how to bait a squirming worm and unhook the slimiest of fish.
From Google and Dropbox to Slack and Airbnb, big brands made custom illustrations a rising trend in 2018, and 2019 doesn’t show any signs of this trend slowing down.