A brand’s visual identity is one of the most important — and trickiest — elements to get right when getting your brand off the ground. The Video Vantage team spoke to visual design expert and Biteable’s Visual Designer, Flavia Mar, to discover the A-Zs of creating a consistent and memorable visual brand.
Keep reading for an inside look at Flavia’s process, or hit play below to watch the whole episode.
The process of building a visual brand
Flavia is no stranger to developing and redeveloping visual brands for companies and clients. With seven years of experience, Flavia recently undertook one of the most extensive redesign projects of her career. Biteable wanted to update the look and feel of our branding, website, and socials — and Flavia was the force behind it all.
Flavia shared her process from start to finish. If you’re looking to develop a new visual brand, it might look a little something like this:
1. Start with a brief
All good projects need to start with a good brief. This ensures that everyone is on the same page with aligned expectations and a solid understanding of the task at hand. According to Flavia, the most vital info to gather at this stage is:
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the goal of the brand/rebrand?
- What are competitors doing?
For the Biteable redesign, Flavia’s brief was to update our brand’s identity to reflect a slightly changing target audience. The goal was to create a visual identity that reflected our brand’s new goals and attracted our new target market.
2. Research, research, research
Next up, research. According to Flavia, this step is a bit of a balancing act. “It’s a fine line between being recognizable as a brand within a certain field and, at the same time, you don’t want to look just like everyone else,” Flavia shares.
Competitor research isn’t about stealing ideas and copying your competition — it’s about noting what’s consistent and expected across brands in your field and identifying what makes your brand unique.
“You don’t want customers to look at the branding for a bank and think it’s a restaurant,” Flavia explains. “It’s important to see what other companies in your field are doing so that you can see what customers might expect from a brand like yours.”
Then, it’s all about finding your sparkle. What makes your brand different from competitors? Flavia explains that, for Biteable, even though our new branding is a little more clean and modern, we’ve kept that friendly, quirky vibe at the core of our brand.
3. Brainstorm and experiment
This is where you start putting pen to paper. Or stylus to iPad, as Flavia recommends. You want to think about what you’re trying to say, then get creative with how you say it.
Flavia explains that if you’re working with a more corporate brand, for example, you might look at a colder color palette with more shades of blue or green to inspire a more trustworthy vibe.
Or maybe you’re working with a brand that sets itself apart with a homemade, natural product. You might find yourself reaching for a warmer color palette with fonts that have more of a hand-drawn look and feel.
“It’s really about matching what you’re trying to say to the graphics and visuals that give that same energy,” Flavia says.
4. Brace for feedback
After you’ve spent some time brainstorming and experimenting, it’s time to present your top two or three options to your company or client. Flavia suggests covering a few completely different bases instead of sharing options with only slight differences.
“I usually try to offer two completely different directions — this one might be friendlier, and this one might be more serious — to get a feel for what they’re looking for.”
Your client might immediately have a favorite, or you might end up combining elements from all of your options to make something new. “That’s usually how it goes,” explains Flavia. “You get to try lots of different things.”
Flavia’s top tips for building a visual brand
Flavia is the first to admit that building a new visual brand from scratch is no easy task — it takes a lot of time and a lot of thought to bring a brand to life. To help anyone looking to get started building a visual brand, Flavia shared her top tips and insights:
Stay on top of trends
Part of your job as a visual designer is to keep an eye on what’s trending outside your brand. Staying on top of changing trends helps you know when you might need to experiment with something new or when an audience’s expectations might change.
Don’t be afraid to take a risk
Some of the best ideas stem from an out-of-the-box idea. Don’t be afraid to take a risk or offer a seemingly wild suggestion. Imagination breeds innovation. Plus, the worst thing that can happen is that someone says no.
Never stray too far from your goal
As much as design trends may change, what’s most important is to keep your goal in mind. Who is the target audience? What is the mission of the company? “Because those things don’t change,” explains Flavia. “They might evolve, but that’s always where you’ll find the core of the company.”
Create flexible assets (especially for video)
Another of Flavia’s pro tips is to think about variations you might need to create for your assets to thrive in every scenario. For example, you’ll want to make a few variations of your final logo — maybe a black and white one, one that works on a lighter background, and one for darker backgrounds.
For video creation — which is increasingly popular all across social media — you’re likely to need logos and assets that work with all different video ratios (portrait for Instagram Stories and landscape for YouTube videos). ‘
“You need to make sure you allow for flexibility,” Flavia explains.