When you think of ‘visual identity’ – what do you think of? Most people probably think of a logo, perhaps a colour palette and fonts. These are all important parts of it, but a visual identity is more than that; it includes everything that’s visual in your brand – icons, patterns, diagrams, as well as photography. Some types of photos you might need for your website and social media are headshots, product shots and some general lifestyle images.
As humans we are very visual, and when looking at a website for example, the imagery and photography is usually the first things that attracts our attention before we start reading anything.
When working on a visual identity, a big part before starting on the actual design or photography, is research. What makes your brand different? What type clients do you want to work with? How do you want people to feel when they visit your website? These are all questions which will help when designing your visual identity.
An important part of the branding process is looking at what inspires you visually. Personally, I love using Pinterest and I always ask my clients to set up a Pinterest board where they pin anything that inspires them. For branding design, it could be logos, colour schemes, fonts, but also photos that inspire, like interiors, flowers, holiday photos. For photography, it could be headshots and personal branding photos that you like, but in the same way as for branding design, you can also pin other things that inspires you as it all will help setting the tone for your photography.
Keep it consistent
Consistency is important for your visual identity. Logo, colours, fonts, design elements and photography should all be in harmony, and set the same tone to your brand.
If you would describe your brand as energetic, fun and happy for example, that should all be reflected in your visual brand – both design and photography. If you had a great branding design but your photos were dark, moody or too serious, that would clash, and send out mixed signals to potential clients.
Or, if you on the other hand would want your brand to be seen as professional, serious and trustworthy, you wouldn’t want a branding design or photography that were too bright, carefree or fun.
DIY or using a professional?
It can be tempting to design a logo yourself and use free stock photos or your own personal photos. The benefit of using a professional however, is that she or he will design your brand based on things like your brand values and ideal client, and make sure everything works together in harmony – logo, colours, fonts, icons, photography.
This means that your business is much more likely to be seen as professional, and is also more likely to attract the types of clients you want.
So look at it as an investment – hopefully next time someone researches your profession, if you’re the one with the most professional looking and memorable brand, you are a lot more likely to get the deal!
If you are looking for help with your visual identity (branding design, photography or both), I would be more than happy to discuss! Just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org