What They Are & Why They Matter

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When we create a brand, we create an experience that reflects a purpose. Visual identity is an important part of this brand experience. Colors, graphics, and fonts turn brand concepts into recognizable visual identities.

Once a brand is established, it must become a recognizable identity that the outside world can perceive. This recognition comes with consistency, and achieving that coherence requires a strong visual identity system.

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To create a visual identity system, you need all the visual elements that the brand has. The basics of the visual identity system are a strong brand guide and its implementation tasks. The ultimate goal of this system is to turn all brand assets into principles that the entire content team can follow to ensure that their online presence is aligned with the original brand concept.

Benefits of the visual identity system

A visual identity system is a way to make things easier, help people achieve a manageable and effective workload, and avoid mistakes. These mistakes can occur when there is no clear guidance on how to achieve excellent work results.

Systems start-up turns complex processes into easy-to-understand steps that increase efficiency.

An effective visual identity system will help an organization:

  • Improve the outcome of your content creation process.
  • Avoid mistakes related to misunderstanding what the brand entails.
  • Facilitates collaboration between teams.
  • Create complex strategies with a solid foundation that can help you implement them.

How to create a visual identity system

Step 1: Develop your brand identity

A visual identity system begins with what we know as a brand image. This includes the logo, fonts and colors of the brand. Ideally, you already have them in a brand guide, but if you don’t, you should develop them in this step.

Step 2: Create a Mood Board

Moodboards are similar to visual identity systems in that they represent much more than just a logo and a combination of colors. Moodboards go a step further by displaying photos, videos, and even audio or smells to get a full feel of a brand.

Moodboards are selected content (that is, not developed at home in a company or organization) and are not public. They are strictly useful for getting inspiration and feedback from stakeholders on what the official visual identity system might look like once completed.

Step 3: Get feedback

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But this can be a step in the process that you review several times before establishing the perfect draft of your visual identity system.

Instead of creating proprietary content for your visual identity system each time you receive new feedback, use your mode dashboard from the previous step to stream your vision. Once you get the membership, you’re ready to set up your own visual identity system.

Step 4: Include guidelines

For a visual identity system to work well, it is important to include guidelines for using each item. These guidelines answer specific questions “How do designers create new content without breaking consistency?” and “How does a website developer understand what a website should look like?”

There are, for example, content types where a logo is not the best option to add, so designers may opt for a word tag or a simplified logo.

It is important to be very specific and particular with the guidelines so that there is little confusion and designers can develop discernment about best practices for using the visual identity system.

Once you have them in place, it’s time to add guidelines for each item. There are several ways to structure it, but here are a few common ones:

  • Dedicates a page to each item and includes guidelines on the same page as the item.
  • Include your branding guide at the beginning of the visual identity document and add guidelines towards the end.
  • Add a frequently asked question sheet explaining the guidelines for each item.
  • Add samples of things to do and things not to do so that your computer can see real-world examples of guidelines in action.

Basic concepts of the visual identity system

If you want to build your visual identity system to make your brand stand out from the crowd, here are some best practices that can help you avoid common mistakes and achieve great results.

Get to know your message.

Know your message, purpose, and how you want to talk to your audience. The basics of the visual identity system need a solid foundation for success. Think about the values ​​you want to share and the misconceptions you want to avoid at all costs. Create a calendar that prioritizes your main goals and allows you to create results that align with your values.

Knowing what you want to communicate will help you build a message that is not only cost effective but also aligns with your values.

Have a solid theoretical background.

Do you know that psychology studies the basics of the relationship between colors and feelings? Did you notice that a message can be read as scary or romantic depending on your font? If you have this information, you can shape how people visually perceive your brand.

Psychology tells us a lot about colors and how they can affect people’s perception of our brands. If you don’t know much about it, maybe it’s time to start immersing yourself in some research.

Create an effective system.

Create an effective but scalable system that can be upgraded based on your brand and business needs. The main goal of any system is to make things easier. This should go to the top of all the requirements that arise along the way.

Examples of visual identity systems are successful if they show the potential to scale without losing their efficiency.

Be specific.

Be as specific as possible, as this will prevent mistakes and unnecessary back and forth between team members. Choosing details such as stock photos that fit the brand can make all the difference.

Making things clear can be incredibly helpful for new team members who do not have the necessary brand background to understand the basics of the virtual identity system for themselves.

Create an amazing visual identity system

Building a system is a concept that sounds more technical and specialized, which makes it difficult to get started. But the truth is that even if you only have a lot of tasks together, you are already creating the first steps towards creating your system. You are close to the goal.

Systems can make everything easier, even if you start small with a lot of questions. You will learn the details along the way.

Have you created a strong visual identity system? If you haven’t already, today is the day to start.

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