How to DIY a Stunning Visual Brand for All Your Online Platforms (No Photoshop Required)

You can recognize the Nike swoosh on the shoes of your neighbor as he jogs past you. When you need a caffeine boost, you get an espresso shot from the café with the green mermaid and white crown. The apple logo on the back of an iPhone is easily identified.

According to developmental molecular biologist John Medina, “If you hear a piece of information, three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.” The impact of visual brands is undeniable.

Suppose you are a budding entrepreneur and your interest is in retail fashion. One of the most viable options for you is to create an online shop for clothes. E-commerce platforms like Shopify lets you set up your store and easily manage it. You don’t have to pay rent for a physical shop, and you can check and track orders anywhere there’s internet.

Here’s the thing, though. One look at the Medusa head of a Versace clutch bag, and you’ll know you’re dealing with designer goods. What about you, the neophyte? How do you make customers remember your store?

You make your own visual brand, of course. If you’re not a graphic designer and you don’t know how to use Photoshop, there are other photo editors you can use, like Canva or Hatchful. Those applications are easy to use, so a first-timer should be able to create visual brands effectively.

First Things First

Before you proceed to making your logo, you need to decide on your brand identity. When people buy your clothes, what will they think of? You should be able to answer that.

Consider the following items if you want to create a visual brand that customers will easily spot among hundreds of brands out there.

Logo and Images

Visual brands succinctly communicate the company values. The logo should be well-thought-out because it conveys the personality you are building. It should engage your target audience’s imagination and evoke positive associations. A Jaguar car’s logo, for example, tells customers that the car is as lithe, as fast, and as graceful as a jaguar.

Your logo should stand out from all other logos. That should also tell customers that your brand is different from the rest and has something unique to offer to the public. Today’s e-commerce industry is rife with competition, so a distinct personality will be your advantage.

Colors and Typography

Colors carry certain emotions with them. Bright colors usually represent activity and optimism. Dark colors represent calmness. Green, specifically, represents vitality and natural growth, which is why eco-friendly products often have green packaging.

Choose a color scheme that fits the personality of your brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color palettes, but don’t rule out the use of harmonious color combinations.

Meanwhile, fonts, or typefaces, also exude certain personalities. Serif fonts lend an air of formality, sophistication, and seriousness. Sans serif fonts imply playfulness and casualness. You can mix serif and sans serif fonts, but whatever you do, always make sure that your fonts are readable.

Layouts

There is a proper hierarchy of graphic elements in marketing materials, so the more important details should appear bigger on the copy. The size and shape of visual elements will affect what a reader focuses on.

Take note too of the way people read text because that determines where you should place the significant information. Give readers’ eyes enough space for resting, and make sure you group similar design elements.

When there is balance, symmetry, and coherence in your layouts, customers will be able to understand what your brand is about and what your message is.

Style Guide

When you’ve finally decided on your logo and brand, don’t forget to create a style guide. That little document contains instructions on how your brand is represented visually and in a consistent manner. It should contain your brand story, your company objectives, and your mission.

Your style guide specifies the typography, colors, and logos or images you will use. Graphic designers and other people who will assist you in your marketing efforts also need to know how the brand should not be portrayed across different channels, whether offline or online.

Outgoing and internal marketing communications can destroy or build your company image, so having a brand style guide is a must.

Final thoughts…

A strong brand identity is important for your business to thrive. This guides your employees on how they should behave and what they can do to align their values with that of the company. Visual brands reinforce the brand identity and customer loyalty. It takes time to develop those two things, which is why you should take time to create a unique and memorable visual brand.

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