What is visual brand identity?

If your brand is the story of who you are, and what you do, then its visual identity is what your customers can actually see.

The connection they make is important; are they drawn to an idea you want to represent, or is the message too dull or, worse, confusing?

As the saying goes, ‘a good picture can speak a thousand words’.

That is exactly what you want your visual brand identity to do; tell a story by encouraging an emotional link.

The concept of visual brand identity has several elements, all working in tandem.


When it comes to visual brand identity, a choice of graphics is fundamental.

Picture assets that you decide to associate with your brand can be range from simple geometric shapes all the way through to complex animations, depending on the medium.

An example of how powerful this can be for immediately conveying who you are, and what you do, is Coca-Cola.

It can post an ad that merely alludes to the shape of their distinctive bottle and still convey its core brand message.

Obviously, most companies don’t have the equivalent power to deploy this exact technique, but the principle of graphics or images being powerful tools for communication is clear.


Typography refers to the style of the text used in your branding.

Like the other elements of visual brand identity, it may seem like a small feature, but its impact can be profound.

Different fonts elicit contrasting responses from customers, and form an essential part of how your brand is perceived.

A brand that utilises comic sans as a font of choice risks looking unprofessional and cheap because it is linked to small firms who hurriedly produce their brand themselves for free.

Beyond the connotations of a font, another key element of typography is legibility.

Good typography both conveys an impression of your brand and, on a more practical level, should be easy to read.

Colour palette

Another integral part of visual brand identity is the colour palette.

Selected smartly, it can catch a customer’s eye amid a sea of competition.

Colours are probably the most basic way to link your brand to the concepts you’re attempting to exemplify.

They can also foster a rapid recognition.

For example, McDonalds’ hard contrast of red and yellow is a core element of the world-famous Golden Arches logo.

For the colour palette, it is recommended that you stick to three, or fewer, colours, principally to prevent your logo from looking too busy.

Using particular shades of individual colours can be a subtle touch that helps your brand pop out next to the schemes of brands with identical colours – something that counts in a saturated marketplace.

Finally, it is essential that the colours in your visual brand identity complement your other assets.

For example, a wilderness survival brand may do well with earthy greens and browns, but neon red and purple would likely cause confusion.


This element of your visual brand identity covers any photography, video or even ambassadors that are affiliated with your brand.

These are distinct images that people will associate with it, and so you must take care to ensure those chosen relate to your overall brand identity.

Stock images and videos can definitely work to create the right visual brand identity; they are stock for a reason, and can be customised to fit your overall visual brand identity.

Alternatively, custom imagery may be better for your brand depending on the associations you are trying to cultivate. While this is often a more expensive route to take, the results can be spectacular.

Because people naturally empathise with human faces, using ambassadors as part of your visual brand identity can be a powerful way to relate yours to your customers’ feelings.

They will warm to people they both like and trust and, most importantly, see themselves.

Cultivating this relationship is an important part of building a loyal customer base in the long term.

Physical brand assets

As the name implies, this refers to the physical embodiment of a brand.

A small brand might not even have a physical presence; that isn’t necessarily a reason to worry, because it can take time before this aspect of a brand’s visual identity is established.

Physical assets can include a variety of things.

Pens and mugs are common examples of small-scale physical brand assets that are pretty universal in use and function.

They passively spread brand awareness just by existing, functioning like micro ad campaigns.

More specialised aspects of physical brand assets might consist of things like the uniforms employees wear.

A uniform gives a powerful impression of professionalism, demonstrating a core reason why physical brand assets are an important part of visual brand identity.

Get in touch

If you would like to know more about how we can work with you to create the perfect visual brand identity, then get in touch today.

Collaborate with the team at Dawn Creative to complete your projects on time, within budget, and to the highest possible standard.

Get in touch today by calling 0161 711 0910 or send an email us at wakeup@dawncreative.co.uk

We’re so confident that you’ll love our work that we promise to pay you back if you don’t.