This month at Papercut we’ve been talking a lot about branding, and how essential brands are for businesses of all sizes.
It’s been good to be reminded of those key elements that make up a brand identity toolkit, components that supplement your logo and form the graphic ‘face’ of your business.
It might help to think of your logo as the ‘boss’ of your brand, and the visual communication elements as the ‘employees’. In most of your communication materials, your logo won’t appear by itself, it will have the help of all of these visual elements to accomplish its job of communicating and connecting with your target market.
Some of the key design elements include font styles, colours, shapes and layouts. They all work together to create the impression of your business, and the way your business presents to your customers.
Your Visual Communication can include design elements such as:
- Font styles: You should have a small collection of typefaces, font weights, and styles that you use regularly in your materials. Consider fonts for both print and web use, and specify styles for headlines, subheads, and body copy in each case.
- Colours: Creating a colour palette for your business can add flexibility to your marketing materials and give you an easy resource to go to when choosing colours for illustrations, graphics, or any other part of your Visual Communication. If you keep your colours consistent and limited, then you’ll develop a more focused palette that will be easier for your audience to associate with your business.
- Shapes: The shape that you use for your bullets, break-out boxes, colour-blocked areas, and even borders in your materials can create a strong visual component that will contribute to your brand memorability.
- Layout: The layout of a marketing piece covers elements like the number of columns and the placement of all of the other Visual Communication elements. Remember that white space allows the eyes to rest, white space in any layout is crucial.
- Backgrounds: Using background screens or shapes, or even a specially designed watermark, can give your materials extra flair. You can also develop a special background that will make your materials stand out.
- Photographs: Photos can add a lot of personality to your materials and really help you to connect with your target audience. Stock photography is easily accessed; buy a few shots that are compelling and really match the rest of your Visual Communication. Make sure that you buy the highest resolution and the largest possible size to ensure you have images for both print and web.
- Paper type: Printing your materials on a special type of paper can make them look even more interesting. Papers come in different colours, textures, and thicknesses that can contribute to the uniqueness of your brand.
Crafting a tool kit for your visual communication and then using it consistently will define your business in the marketplace and create a strong brand.