Brand identity e-book by Visme – an overview

It’s been well over a year (a year and four months for no one that is keeping count) since I’ve written about visme. The way I heard about this visual tool was when the “infographics” were all the rage. It’s now been years since and they kind of fizzled out. Anywho, at that time I read a very cool, crisp and well structured e-book for improving visual presentationsby Visme and I was blown away by its quality.

Just a few days ago, they released a new free e-book on a brand’s visual identityand I was eager to take a look. Visually, it was less appealing compared to the first one but the information it contained was still very useful and I definitely learnt new things. Here is a resume of what I learnt for those too lazy to download and read it in its entirety.

Visual brand identity

This e-book was all about brand identity. As a marketer I deem it as relatively important, depending on the industry in which a company operates. The more brand is “visible” (such as a fashion brand), the more important its visual identity.

Ensure coherent content for your brand

One, a brand’s identity should be consistent. Values correspond to their actions and their image. Logical enough. To me, this just means coherency. Do things seem to “fall into place” and belong together or are they clashing?

Two, figure out the WHY and the WHO before the WHAT. There is a concept behind these wh questions and they come from Simon Sinek’s TED talk– have a look. 

(At this point, I’d like to mention a “malfunction” that I encountered when I had the e-book open in a browser; that’s how it “downloads”. Every time I would click on a link the e-book contained, it would throw me out of the book and redirect me to the new address. Consequently, during my read, I didn’t click on any of the links. I finally downloaded it on my computer halfway in because it was too annoying.)

Perception of the brand IS its reality

The visual identity of a brand is not really what the brand IS but what it looks like to the public, world, others. It is therefore extremely important to understand how the audience thinks and feels. But the visual identity of a brand isn’t just its visual parts but also wordsideasand the brand’s values

What is your brand’s story?

Now we get onto the “meat” of the presentation. First, understand what your brand stands forand believes in. Have a list of goals and be clear about your mission. Then, think about your narrative. Why was the company created? What problems does it solve? Who does it solve them for? 

In short : “What is your brand’s story?”

Now, construct your brand persona and try to target its personality. Then, look at the brand assets– I just call them pieces of the brand to make it simple – as part of an ecosystem (something that coexists and may influence one another). What brand assets do we know? There are:

  • logo 
  • font
  • colors

Be a good brand

Is you brand a good brand? How do you know?

Our e-book defines good brands as:

  • memorable
  • distinguishable
  • scalable
  • relevant
  • easy to understand and use

In my simplified language, I’d call a good brand a brand I can remember(I’ve mentioned this very briefly in the past), a brand that is easy to identifyor pick from a selection of brands (it may stands out), a brand that is set up to growsustainably and then relevant – I’d call this just needed. If it solves a problem, it is relevant. And the last part, which I find very crucial, a brand has to be easy to understand and easy to use. Here, Apple products come to mind. 

You can have THE best solution to a problem but if people don’t understand it quickly, it is a hard sell.

The brand assets of the ecosystem

20 pages go by rather fast and Lily Male, the author of the e-book and brand strategist for visme, now discusses typography, the type of font you should use depending on how you want the brand to be “felt” by the audience. Then, she briefly introduces types of logosand last, the construction of a colour palette. The three together make up the visual identity of the brand, so choose carefully. 

Choosing the right font & an awesome resource

Considering font, Lily suggests choosing a headerand body text font(at minima) and then introduces the main categories of fonts that exist. Fonts convey everything from seriousness, trust to playfulness and design, so do take your pick. If your ambitions are high and you wish to create a big brand, start off in the right direction! If you want to sell security systems for example, be careful not to choose a playful font as it won’t instil trust into your prospects (maybe even without them realising why). 

There are many more useful resources that Lily links to and I’d like to add one more she didn’t (with this, I’m assuming you have access to Netflix) : watch the 6th episode (called Graphisme in French) in the documentary series “Abstract: The Art of Design,” where Paula Scher is featured. She is an extremeprofessional in the field and the episode is really very informative. More on Paula here. I HIGHLY recommend it. 

Logo, colors & company’s templates

Another great recommendation Lily gives is to have your logo done in black and white first. Then choose colours for your colour palette. She introduces a cute colours emotion guide (page 14 if you want to jump right to it) connected to logos. It shows how different colours reflect different emotions and how a specific colour for a brand conveys their values and the brand’s ”feel”.

The book finishes off with the recommendation to accessibility test everything (I don’t know what that is), check contrast ratios and to set up a brand visual identity and components depository, an easily accessible url with all that is needed to keep the visual brand identity intact and coherent as the organisation grows. Here, you will save templates of different types of documents with the right colours, logo, typography, etc.

Final thoughts

I appreciated the information in this free e-book, especially the multitude of links to “learn more” and the tasteful placement of CTAs (calls-to-action) towards visme’s product and webpage.

I didn’t think it was as visually appealing as the A Non-Designer’s Guide to Creating Memorable Visual Slidesbut it did contain concrete and useful information from which I could learn so I definitely appreciated what I learnt here. 

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