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How to Create a Visual Language for your Brand

By Vinsha Vijayan


Vinsha Vijayan May 31, 2019 | 5 min read

A visual language is described as any other language. And misunderstandings arise if the language is not understood by everyone using it.

The best stories are the ones you can visualise when someone even speaks about it.

Brands are no different in the power they have to create a flow with regards to their voice, tone, and temperament.

 

Today let’s focus on the few patterns when it comes to visual language and how different are each in the world of patterns

Custom patterns

Patterns can be found all over corporate design, web design and packaging. And for good reason: they’re an amazing way to build and strengthen brand identity and style. And if you look at it, there’s a pattern out there for everyone.

 

While patterns are really on trend right now, technically, they have been around forever. If you want to find the right pattern design for your brand, it’s very important to first understand your audience, who they are and what mood and style you want to convey.

 

custom brand patterns 

Customised patterns have become a great tool for establishing a connection, a specific feeling by creating a customised image without having to put it into words. But first, it is important to set the mood of what you want your brand to represent—and how the pattern you choose can help you with that.

 

For eg: Floral patterns - This has been a popular pattern choice but we need to understand that it doesn’t work for every brand. Like can you imagine seeing a floral pattern on a lawyer’s business card? Somehow the message isn't correctly received. However, when you design a business card for a florist or a cosmetics packaging, it would fit perfectly!

The reason is obvious: the flowers in the pattern have a direct connection to the brand’s service or product.

 


When we think about a floral pattern, we have this instant association to certain things—such as femininity, beauty or a sunny meadow—which is exactly the mood a brand would want to create when using thy type of pattern in connection with their product.


 

If your client is craving beauty and harmony, there’s a good chance they will be drawn towards your product if the mood of the packaging conveys just that.

 

The foundation of your brand identity is your logo. So, if you want your logo to have even more impact, you should consider turning it into a pattern. Because it will even in itself (or as a simplified variation of it) act as a symbol that’s repeated in your pattern.

Keeping Your Brand (message) Consistent

One of the most critical strategies for marketing a brand is consistency. However, it does become very difficult to maintain that consistency in our ever-evolving world of multi-channel marketing.

We need to make sure that these communication channels to present a clear, concise, and consistent and unified brand identity that is revolving around brand style, substance, and story.

 

In packaging design using patterns can be helpful, especially when you’re trying to visually differentiate the products, while at the same time maintaining a consistent connection with your brand.
For example, one can utilise the same pattern in different colour schemes and variations to signify different flavours.

Photography Style

An established photography style allows you to broadcast your brand and its personality and creating a photography style guide will keep your branding consistent.

 

Key Brand Photography aspects to look at:

 

Colour Palette

This is basically one of the most recognisable aspects of your brand identity. Often viewers will recognise your brand even if your product is not in the image as colour palette extends to your photos. Your palette should consist of complementing colours and similar hues.

 

Pallette

 

Saturation

With the colour saturation, you can dictate the emotions your brand wants to evoke. More saturated “screaming” colours can evoke passion and are more suited for a younger audience, while a more muted colour palette is thoughtful for mature audiences.

 

saturation

(Source: RClayton)

 

Shadows 

If you look at brand page photos, they are usually no shadows and clean-cut while their social media images can be more realistic and offer more character if you include shadows in it.

 

Context & Location

This comes in handy if you are looking to associate your products to consumers with a certain lifestyle or emotion

 

Mix of Photos

Your overall photography content strategy will usually include a combination of styles, with clean-cut feature images, few close-ups, and lifestyle shots. And most importantly how much of each would you use,  also defines your brand.

 

Content & Consistency

The content of the images and their consistency go hand in hand. It should be in line with your overall content and marketing strategies.


Always remember to use the same filters, shadows, and retouching techniques in post-processing for a consistent style and offer resonating photos of models from the right age groups and subcultures you are targeting. 


Even when it comes to retouching, we need to remember that consistent retouching to vintage, glossy, or analogue look, adds yet another layer to your branding.

 

topshop style gallery

(Source: Topshop)

Illustration style

When it comes to illustration, we need to understand that one can draw the same image in a million different styles, and they’d all look great, but the question here is which one has the ability to reimagine reality in a way that is familiar yet delightfully uncommon.


It is all about visualising the Narrative


 

An illustration is majorly used to express brand value, especially on the web and brand illustration system is defined as a collection of images with a cohesive mood and style that clarifies a brand’s promise, often with a nod to human experience (humour, hope, irony, etc.)

It is particularly useful when an idea is difficult to explain. It’s a powerful way to cut through distractions and relate complex emotions quickly.

 

In all, we need to remember that, there are different types of patterns out there, but what is important, comes down to the fact “how you can find the perfect pattern for your brand”

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