Visual Thinking: How to come up with your brand image

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Branding Series

In our Branding series, we’ve established the importance of knowing your brand inside and out. By now, you’ve figured out your target consumer, brand mission, and voice and have begun to narrow down your brand colors through your understanding of color psychology. In this next stage of brand development, we’ll walk you through creating your brand’s visual identity. 

We recommend creating a vision or mood board for your brand as you flesh out the visual identity. As you begin building your board, research the competition and determine the standards for your industry. Take note of color, typography styles, photographic styles, and logos. When adding to your board, ask yourself, “Where does my brand fit within the industry? How does it differ?” Remember that while personal preferences can sway your visual branding, the goal is to create an identity that will resonate with your target audience.

When to stand out, and when to blend in

For instance, your favorite color might be orange, but your brand is focused on massage therapy. Orange is a lively color that tends to evoke feelings of enthusiasm, energy, and confidence. It’s also connected to warning signs. Because of these connotations, orange may not best suit your massage therapy brand.

However, if your industry tends to be dominated by a single color, choosing a color that will stick out could be to your advantage. Let’s say your massage therapy brand is trying to disrupt the industry. You’re employing new tactics and want to clarify that your brand is totally different from the norm. In this case, orange’s ability to convey enthusiasm and confidence could be highly beneficial. 

The same concept applies to font choices, photography styles, and your logo. Below, we’ve created a sample mood board for a recent project to illustrate the process.

Petworth Summer Saturdays was a pro bono project we took on last summer. The client had no specific requirements beyond the logo being “fun and family-friendly.” We broke down what to do visually into a few questions.

1. What is Petworth Summer Saturdays?

Petworth Summer Saturdays was a free concert series that took place every weekend on Upshur Street throughout the summer of 2021. Local bands performed on the sidewalk in front of Upshur businesses, attracting crowds of all ages, including many families with small children. 

For our mood board, we compiled images of Upshur Street, Petworth families, and other images that convey the atmosphere of Petworth Summer Saturdays.

We wanted the Petworth Summer Saturdays logo to invoke the arts, music, community, joy, optimism, reawakening, and engagement.

We wanted the Petworth Summer Saturdays logo to invoke the arts, music, community, joy, optimism, reawakening, and engagement.

2. What are similar experiences in the area doing visually?

We looked at the flyers and artwork created for other concert series in DC and neighborhood festivals, adding some of our favorites to the board. 

3. What works for the brand? What doesn’t?

Here, we narrowed down our favorite existing logos and defined the attributes we liked best in them. We also noted the things we didn’t like about the logos we removed.

Once you’ve figured out what you do and don’t want, you can work with a graphic designer to bring your vision to life!

Read other posts in this series<< How To Choose The Best Name For Your BusinessThe Ultimate Guide To Logo Creation >>
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