Take a second to think about one of your favorite brands. A logo, storefront, color, or memorable ad campaign will likely pop into your mind. That’s because a brand’s visual identity is a powerful tool for telling a company’s story, building customer affinity, and increasing revenue.
If done effectively, visual identity can communicate a particular feeling or message without words. But a poorly-designed identity can confuse customers with lackluster messaging and disjointed graphics. So it’s no surprise that consistent brands are 3.5x more likely to have strong brand visibility than inconsistent brands.
Visual identity plays an essential role in branding, so it’s important to understand what makes up an identity and how to create one. We’ll cover all of that and share examples of successful brands that have developed a strong visual identity.
What is a visual identity?
A visual identity is the visible representation of a brand, from the logo and colors to the website and design of physical stores. It encompasses everything you can see in connection to a company.
Visual identity can be made up of many elements:
- Animations, icons, buttons
- Color palette
- Store design
- Digital and print ads
Developing a strong visual identity comes with a number of benefits. It helps create an emotional connection with customers, which leads 57% of customers to increase spending. Consistent visuals unify a brand’s messaging so people instantly recognize the company across all channels.
They can build brand trust by informing potential buyers about products or services. And a well-designed visual identity can boost brand awareness and make people more likely to purchase, especially since 64% of people want brands to connect with them.
Although visual identity sounds similar to brand identity, its unique benefits and elements set it apart.
Visual Identity vs Brand Identity
If brand identity is the personality of your business, visual identity is the visible expression of that personality. Think of a person who’s outgoing and creative (brand identity) and is known for wearing eccentric outfits and jewelry (visual identity).
Brand identity gives customers the feelings they associate with your company, and it’s made up of everything that creates the brand as a whole. It includes your values, mission statement, tone and voice, style guides, brand persona, unique value props, visual assets, and more.
Visual identity is a part of brand identity, but its focus is on how a brand is visually represented. It requires a separate approach from brand identity, yet it needs to complement the brand. This is why designers and creatives are usually in charge of visual identity, whereas marketers and branding teams are in charge of brand identity.
5 Companies with Strong Visual Identity
When a brand takes the time to craft a strong visual identity, it becomes easier to attract customers and drive the business forward. As you look through the following examples, consider how every element works together to form a cohesive visual language.
On a mission to improve the health and happiness of the world, Headspace takes a quirky approach to visual identity. The meditation app is full of charming characters, bright colors, and memorable moments that aim to establish its unique identity in the world of wellness. Even the animations add a sense of connection and humor while explaining mindfulness concepts.
The art collective Meow Wolf is out to inspire creativity through art, and their visual identity is chock full of imaginative graphics, installations, and images. The psychedelic color palette instantly draws you in, and the extraordinary characters hint that you’re in another world. It’s easy to get lost in a realm of fantasy and immersive art just by scrolling the brand’s Instagram.
From flexible dates to unique stays, Airbnb’s visual identity highlights the brand’s willingness to embrace adventure. Their pink logo, playful graphics, and incredible imagery encourage people to explore places beyond conventional options, which is exactly what you can do by booking or hosting a homestay through their platform.
Listening is everything to Spotify, and it’s clear through the brand’s visual identity. A bold color palette and clever ad campaigns, like #SpotifyWrapped, showcase the company’s passionate and playful brand across the app, online platforms, and print ads.
Visual identity is more than logos and ad campaigns — it’s the feeling people get when they see your brand. Yeti is a great example of how to make brand and visual identity work together to create a specific feeling for customers, which the brand does with Yeti Presents. These short films inspire adventure in a way that’s more authentic than other outdoor brands and fits the company’s laidback, active identity.
How to Create a Visual Identity
Creating a strong visual identity shows people who you are, why they should interact with you, and helps establish an emotional connection to your brand identity. Whether you’re creating a visual identity system for the first time or looking to revamp your identity, just follow these steps to come up with an eye-catching visual language.
1. Define your brand identity.
Your brand identity is the core of your company personality, and it informs your visual identity. If you don’t have all the aspects of your brand laid out, your visual identity can flounder from a lack of direction and cohesion. Before designing your visual identity, make sure to have the bare minimum brand requirements decided, such as values, voice and tone, persona, and mission statement.
2. Understand the principles of design.
When starting my own business, I decided to create my logo and website. But when getting feedback on my visual identity from a graphic design friend, it was clear I wasn’t trained in the principles of design. Visuals play a major part in how people perceive your brand, so it’s important to get them right. You can learn the six elements of design yourself, or hire a graphic designer to help bring your visual identity to life.
3. Create a story.
People remember stories more than facts, which is why visual identity must focus on telling a great story. You can draw people in with characters and conflict, or incorporate your values into your visuals. The Swiss paragliding company, Advance, uses storytelling to highlight the quality of its products and the adventures that are possible because of them. The key is to show, not tell.
4. Stay consistent.
Consistency is simple when your company is small and you review every asset before it goes live. But the bigger the brand, the less likely it is to stay consistent. From ad campaigns and conference decks to social media posts or sales one-pagers, it’s easy to let visual style slip. But creating a brand style guide, and outlining the specific visual identity systems and styles, can help your team combine existing visuals with new elements as the company grows.
5. Keep the medium in mind.
Visuals look different on every channel — a printed logo can appear darker than on a screen. So it’s crucial to cater your visuals to the medium you’re using to promote your brand. A graphic designer or branding designer will understand how to adjust visual assets for each medium to ensure all elements, from colors and fonts to images and animations, appear consistent across channels.
Once you outline your visual identity and create graphics, you’re ready to share your visual language with the world. With time and consistency, people will be able to recognize your brand at first glance.
5 Project Management Essentials That You Need to Know
Project management essentials represent step-by-step instructions on how to complete projects successfully, on time, and on budget. Poor project management will cost you more than just money. When deadlines and budgets are missed, it harms your reputation, self-assurance, and client trust irreparably.
Here we discuss the top 5 project management essentials for a successful project, how to implement them, and how they can benefit you and your whole team. Let’s dive in!
What Is Project Management?
Project management is the use of procedures, methods, techniques, abilities, knowledge, and experience to accomplish particular project goals in accordance with predetermined guidelines. Such management is determined in terms of budget and time.
When done correctly, project management makes every aspect of the business work more efficiently. Your team can concentrate on the important work without being distracted by unmanageable budgets or projects that grow out of hand.
Why do Companies Need a Project Manager?
If there are delivery delays, companies risk losing customers, which can harm the whole company. Project managers can help companies achieve their goals efficiently and on time by designing the project plan. As a result, the teams working on the project have a clear vision that is aligned with the company’s objectives.
Aside from creating the project plan, project managers are also in charge of project scope documents and costs in order to avoid distractions for the designated team. To avoid risks, they schedule tasks appropriately and report progress to leaders so risks can be addressed quickly and effectively.
What is Project Lifecycle?
The project lifecycle represents the stages involved in a project’s progress. It includes:
- Definition and planning
1. Project initiation
The first step is project initiation. In this phase, project managers determine the project’s objectives and overall scope. A project manager looks for and identifies vital stakeholders during this phase while defending the funding for the project.
Project initiation can include numerous sub-activities, such as identifying the scope, project stakeholders, and deliverables, drafting a statement of work, and determination of initial costs. All of these activities can easily be determined by using the technology for efficient project management.
2. Definition and planning
Once the initiation is done, we move to definition and planning. In this phase, managers create a project plan, which includes the project’s tasks, schedule, resources, and constraints. In this stage, project managers establish the project budget, identify potential risk, and prepare necessary mitigation strategies. Along the way, managers can use manager feedback tools in order to keep each other updated and notify one another of possible errors and risks.
3. Project Execution
The majority of the work on a project is done in this phase. Project managers make adjustments depending on unforeseen changes that arise throughout the project and ensure that designated tasks are done in line with the established timetable.
Say your social media marketing campaign is kicking off to promote your new event. During the execution of the campaign, you need to be able to track the progress across all platforms, analyze the results, and improve with each step.
4. Project performance
In this phase, project managers can use different project manager tools. Usually, they use specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor the progress of the project. They adjust the plan where necessary based on the ongoing results of this measurement.
Pro Tip: When you kick off a project to introduce your new product to the customers, iterations of your project development will include receiving feedback and ideas from the audience directly. Optimize this process by using tools such as a feature request tracker to navigate through information easily and prepare the next generation of your product.
5. The closure
A project is closed once the team has completed all tasks and the project owner has signed off on all deliverables. During the course of a project, project managers must prepare resources and budget utilization reports as well as lists of tasks that were not completed. Once the project is evaluated for performance, it is determined if the project’s goals were met.
Top 5 Project Management Essentials
Let’s identify the essentials for successful project management and what kind of tactics, tools, methods, and project management software you need to use!
#1 Collaboration tools
The project cannot be successful if there’s no successful collaboration. Thus the right collaboration tools are essential when working on projects. Collaboration tools make it much easier for people to stay in touch and communicate.
Rather than relying on email for communication, collaboration tools allow people to know the progress of tasks and deliverables in real-time. Integration tools help keep teams in sync by integrating disparate systems in a flexible and autonomous way. Such tools are especially important when there’s a need for staff augmentation due to the increased number of employees on one project.
#2 Gantt Chart
The Gantt Chart is the most popular project management tool. It organizes every little detail on your project. The tool’s charts let project managers properly allocate resources and time for milestones and deliverables.
It helps recognize limitations and, more importantly, adjust deliverables accordingly. Also, in a Gantt chart, links between tasks can be automatically adjusted if one task is delayed.
#3 Project baseline
The baseline represents the standard you set for your project against the actual performance of the project. The project baseline is a project management tool for scoping, costing, and scheduling projects. Your baseline enables you to monitor your ongoing improvement.
#4 Workflow software
At its essence, project management is all about ensuring that all the moving parts reach the right people at the appropriate times.Keeping things organized on an individual basis is essential, but it’s even more beneficial to have a workflow software that keeps things going smoothly and as effectively as possible.
Use one tool to assign, automate, track, and train. Some advantages include more accountability, improved consistency, fewer mistakes, less time spent looking for solutions, and quicker training.
#5 Project team activities
Team activities can bring a bit of fun, improve morale, and boost energy and productivity in a team member all at once. Furthermore, it can motivate team members to work together to find the best possible solutions by encouraging creativity and highlighting their talents. Such activities are great for bonding together and stepping out from all those project tasks to gain motivation and inspiration.
Project management is ubiquitous in almost all organizations and companies. But in order to complete a successful project, each business will need project management essentials.
Using such tools will clearly define goals and project management processes. Thus, organizations that use project management tools are more likely to achieve their objectives and hit their sales targets.