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Communication & Design

Visual identity: What is it and how important is it for companies?

19 August 2021

In this publication, you will understand why brands are increasingly investing in a visual identity consolidated, which transmits its values ​​and creates empathy with its audience. Although at first we may think that create a logo is trivial, it is important to emphasize that the visual identity is more complex than the simple creation of logos, and that it is a great strategic asset for organizations.

 

 

The visual aspects of a company don't always receive the necessary attention. However, in this post, you'll see that just as important as excellence in products and services is establishing a memorable brand. Below, see the topics you will see in this post:

What is Visual Identity?
How can it benefit a brand?
Is Branding Visual Identity?
Case study

What is Visual Identity?

In practice, visual identity (also called graphic identity) is the use of graphic, typographic, chromatic and design elements, designed to create a harmonious visualization of aspects that are important to an organization.

The colors, fonts and shapes are designed and designed to offer a communication that reflects the company, what it represents and what its mission is.

In this sense, we can make an analogy to us as human beings: the clothes we wear, our haircut, our perfume and accessories such as watches, rings, etc. basically serve two things: feeling good about ourselves and to pass an image of who we are to others. At a formal event, we dress accordingly; in a casual event too, but still, we have our own style, which can be used in both situations.

The same happens with brands: part of the design it is to express who she is, while the other party is to express how she wants to be seen by her stakeholders (ie employees, customers, shareholders, competitors and society in general).

The function of a brand's Visual Identity is to express who it is and how it intends to be seen.

How can it benefit a brand?

 

What are the first brands that come to your mind when you think about some categories, such as computers, cars, soft drinks…?

The brands he thought of are leaders in their business segment and their visual identity is an important factor in consolidating the brand. Of course, several other fronts are needed - such as having a good product or service, good means of production, distribution, availability, competitive prices, marketing investments, etc. -, but it is the visual identity that will make the brand be remembered.

A very interesting point of Visual Identity and design is that they are not limited to logo (also known as a symbol or logo) of the company.

A good visual identity includes developing a line of colors, fonts, shapes and elements so that they are used harmoniously throughout the communication material of the company, such as facades, shop windows, website, social networks, e-mail signatures, business cards, uniforms, envelopes, letterhead, vehicles, product labels and packaging, among others.

Sometimes this is so strong that it makes the brand recognizable anywhere even without having your logo or anything written on it.

Want an example?

blog-vfr-visual-identity

Colors and shapes also tell us a lot about Visual Identity and brand identification.

We don't need to say what product it is, do we?

Regardless of whether you drink soda or not, you recognize the brand to which this package belongs, right?

It is noteworthy that this type of brand solidification involves other efforts, such as branding. Wondering what branding is? So keep reading.

Is Branding Visual Identity?

The answer is no, although they are usually associated. Soon we will have a publication about Branding here in our blog with more information.

For now, just know that Branding and Branding are different things.

While Branding aims to work the brand positioning, defining who she is and who she intends to be, thinking about vision, values, purpose and mission, Visual Identity, as will be seen, is an allied tool that seeks to stamp these values ​​on the company communication, through colors, fonts, elements and shapes. 

It is noteworthy that some agencies and professionals mistakenly refer to Branding as the development of logos and Visual Identity. The point is that this may be a part of the Branding, but it doesn't represent the whole. Perhaps this confusion is due to an action known as rebranding, which consists of establishing a new positioning for a company, is, in most cases, associated with a change in the logo and in the Visual ID.

Case study 

As an example, we will use our own visual identity as a case study:

"VFR Tech arose from the dream of setting up a “dream team tech”, integrating the ideal partners to form a team of excellence. With operations and assets in several countries, we have a dynamic business model, capable of offering business intelligence and marketing business solutions for the most varied sectors and business segments."

The above quote represents a vision of the company's values ​​and attributes, which were mapped and defined after conversations and validations among the organization's members.

The symbol developed for the VFR Tech it is related to the connection. It encompasses four main fronts (business units) of the same, each of which, despite having autonomy and identity, is intrinsically linked to the whole, to the essence of the business, creating connection, synergy and fluidity. 

At the same time, the symbol represents the globe connected by our solutions, making it clear that we are a company without borders, capable of serving customers around the world.

In this sense, the design work involved studies of shapes, their elements and connections…

creation of visual identity Portugal

As well as studying the best typographic families to use, thinking about readability and compatibility (with web browsers, for example). 

creation of visual identity Portugal

In addition, there was, obviously, a study on the color palette to be used, as well as the existing harmony between them:

Reaching the result considering the developments of the VFR brand in its various fronts of action: BI, Marketing, People and Solutions.

VFR Tech logo
VFR Tech Portugal

Of course the work doesn't end there. As already mentioned, the objective of the visual identity is exactly to collaborate so that the brand has its identity preserved in all its applications. See some examples of the Visual Identity of the VFR, applied in different contexts (use the arrows to navigate through the images):

Now that you understand how important a structured visual identity strategy is, how about thinking of a new visual identity for your company? 

Our marketing unit specializes in creation of brands and visual identity in Portugal and around the world.

Please feel free to contact us. It will be a pleasure to help your company build a memorable brand!

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