We have all heard that first impressions matter. Just like how you want to make a good first impression on a job interview, you should also want your business to make a good first impression on your customers.

Visual branding is one of the most important things to do to reach new audiences and help your business shine.

While the products and services your business offers are the reason why customers look for you, how you brand yourself is how they will decide between you and your competitors.

Customers want brands they can relate to. Part of this relationship is through your values and goals as a business, and part of this is through your visual brand identity too.

Just like how you would want to look your best for a job interview, you should want your business to look its best for potential customers.

When building a visual brand package for your business, you should start with these five elements to get you started to make your best impression.

1. Logo

Your logo is the face of your brand, it should be unique to you and recognizable to current and potential clients. The imagery within the logo should represent your business’s identity and what you do for your clients.

You will want to have different versions of your logo to fit different mediums you need to brand.

  • Full color
  • All black version
  • All white version
  • Any icons used in the logo (so you can use them later in graphics or for social icons)
  • A stacked version when space is limited
  • A long version for letterhead and when space is not an issue

2. Colors

Color is an integral part of brand identity. In fact, 90% of customers focus on brand colors when making purchases. Studies have shown different colors trigger different emotions. When building your color pallet, consider how you want your clients and customers want to feel about your business and the services you provide.

  • Reds: excitement, love, strength, energy
  • Oranges: bravery, sociability, success, confidence
  • Yellows: creativity, happiness, warmth, cheer
  • Green: nature, healing, freshness, quality
  • Blue: trust, peace, loyalty, competence
  • Pink: compassion, sincerity, sophistication, sweet
  • Purple: royalty, luxury, spirituality, ambition
  • Brown: dependable, rugged, trustworthy, simple
  • Black: formality, dramatic, sophistication, security
  • White: clean, simple, innocent, honest

3. Fonts

Just like color, fonts can trigger different emotions.

  • Serifs fonts establish a sense of trust, respect and formality. You see a lot of use of serif fonts in law firms, insurance companies and government agencies.
    • Brands that use serif fonts: Wells Fargo
  • Sans serif fonts evoke a sense of innovation, bold and modern. Teach companies, fashion brands and start-ups usually use san-serif fonts.
    • Brands using san-serif fonts: Google, Apple
  • Script fonts give brands a “special” look to make designs more elegant, whimsical or creative. These fonts work great for food, children’s and fashion brands.
    • Brands using scrip fonts: Coca-Cola,

When creating a brand, you should try mixing two different font categories to elicit different emotions. When selecting serif and san serif fonts, look for expansive font families with different weights to give you more options when creating visual content.

4. Imagery

After deciding on your logos, colors and fonts you want to use to represent your brand, you then have to figure out what type of imagery you will use for your marketing. Do you want to use graphics, photos or videos? It is recommended to use a mix of all three to convey different types of information.

According to Social Media Examiner, Facebook posts with images contributed 87% of all engagements on brands’ pages.

When crafting social posts and advertisements, it is important to provide visuals that grab attention and make people stop while scrolling on their feeds. Using photos and graphics helps optimize the first impression your audience has of your business.

You will want to decide how you want to get these images. Do you want to use stock photos? Hire a photographer for product photos? Or shoot them yourself on your phone.

Once you decide, start collecting photos and have them organized in a place where it is easy to find for what you need for social or email.

5. Consistency

Now you have built your brand you want to keep it consistent so your audience always can pick you out in crowded social media feeds and inboxes.

Use your logo in everything you print, only use the fonts and colors you chose and keep your images consistent in look and feel.

You can always rebrand later if you feel like your business has outgrown your current visual identity.

Ready to build your visual brand but still not sure where to start yourself? The IPSM team can assist you in creating visual branding to best represent you and your business.