Current Adelaide time:
          

Non-verbal communication:

Brand Identity Design and the Role of a Visual Vocabulary

By Erin Ferree

 

Visual elements are a major part of your business’s brand identity design. The keystone of that design is the logo, but in many cases, the logo isn’t enough to convey all of your brand attributes. A visual vocabulary is a way to reinforce and add to the messaging that is contained in your logo.

A company’s visual vocabulary consists of the secondary design elements that are used in conjunction with your logo to form your brand identity. The visual vocabulary is composed of font styles, colors, shapes, layout conventions, backgrounds, photographic library, text treatments (such as taglines) and even the type of paper you choose.

These elements should be used consistently throughout your stationery set and marketing collateral and have the following 9 advantages over use of a logo and text alone:

The elements of your visual vocabulary become a graphic language, which takes your viewer deeper into your graphics and materials. They add visual interest and continue to tell your business’s story. They are another way that you can communicate about your business with potential clients and prospects, aside from the actual words and text about your business.

Graphics in a visual vocabulary are a method of communication that’s more quickly understood than text alone. A viewer can absorb the meanings of colors, symbols, photos, shapes and even font types much more quickly than by reading text. So, in cases where time is of the essence – when you’re marketing to busy people, creating motion graphics such as animations or commercials or designing items that people will quickly pass by, such as car graphics or billboards, this is an important consideration.

Many people have a deeper emotional connection with graphics than they do with text. Customers will be more likely to form an emotional bond with your brand and company if you use more graphics, as opposed to just using your logo and text on a letterhead, business card, datasheet or brochure. Color and photography are two of the most effective visual vocabulary elements to use to affect this emotional brand connection.

You can communicate some of the “personality factors” of your business through your visual vocabulary. You can make your company look more professional or people-oriented, more contemporary or traditional or communicate any of your company’s values by varying the shapes, colors and fonts used as the surrounding visual vocabulary. So, if you choose your vocabulary elements carefully, the story of the personality of your company can be told through those elements.

Using a visual vocabulary consistently throughout all of your corporate materials will automatically make your materials look more coherent, credible and professional, through the repetitive use of consistent elements.

The right combination of visual vocabulary elements can also make your materials more eye-catching. When your materials are in competition with others – in a stack of proposals, on a table with other brochures or even a postcard coming out of a crowded mailbox – they’ll have a better chance of getting noticed when they are designed with stunning and unique visual vocabulary elements.

Forty percent of viewers better remember visual elements. A visual vocabulary will increase the memorability of your materials as well, since people will have more visual elements to remember in your materials.

Elements of the visual vocabulary can reinforce your logo to help quicken the brand recognition building process. One common way that we do this is to use a large version of the company’s logo, or a portion of the logo, as a watermark on the letterhead, business card, envelope or website. Not only does this vocabulary element effect add visual interest, but it will help to speed the time that it takes for your potential customers and existing clients to recognize and remember your brand.

A visual vocabulary becomes a tool kit from which you can easily pull visual elements to create new marketing materials. If you have a business card and brochure and need to create a post card quickly, then many of your visual elements, such as color scheme, font styles and even layout and photograph choices can be pulled from the existing marketing materials and rearranged to create a new piece. This is especially convenient when you have a short time or low budget to produce new marketing materials.

The bonus function of a visual vocabulary is that when you’re doing a special promotion, launching a new product or extending your services or product line, you can vary elements of the visual vocabulary or even develop a new set of visual vocabulary elements, to make the materials for your new promotion stand out. While consistency throughout a campaign is important, the elements of your visual vocabulary aren’t as set in stone as your logo. This is especially effective when you work just with the colors and drawn elements and leave the text and tagline treatments the same. That way, your materials will still be partially consistent with your other company materials, but you can give your new product or promotion’s materials a voice of its own.

Adding some visual vocabulary elements to your brand identity makes communicating with your audience easier, quicker and more emotionally charged. This gives you a highly effective way to increase your visibility and memorability. When used correctly, they can increase your credibility as well. They even can help add some personality to your brand identity and can make future marketing materials easier to develop. And, unlike your company logo, you can modify the visual vocabulary elements you use from time to time to spice up your business communications.


About the Author

Erin Ferree, Founder and Lead Designer of elf design, is a brand identity and graphic design expert. She has been helping small businesses grow with bold, clean and effective logo and marketing material designs for over a decade. elf design offers the comprehensive graphic and web design services of a large agency, with the one- on-one, personalized attention of an independent design specialist. Erin works closely in partnership with her clients to create designs that are visible, credible and memorable – and that tell their unique business stories in a clear and consistent way. For more information about elf design, please visit: Logo design at http://www.elf-design.com

 

Reports I have written:

Measuring the impact and ROI of social media
Measuring the impact and ROI of social media - for Ark Group
Making social media work for your business
Making Social Media work for your business - for Ark Group
Social Media: the new business communication landscape
Social Media: The New Business Communication Landscape - for Ark Group
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation - for Melcrum Publishing
How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues
Contributing author to How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues - for Melcrum Publishing

How to use social media to engage employees
Contributing author to How to use social media to engage employees - for Melcrum Publishing

Contributing author to How to communicate with hard-to-reach employees - for Melcrum Publishing

 

 

Have you subscribed to my weekly newsletter yet?

As a subscriber you get kept up-to-date on when new articles are added.

Twitter Mastery for Business - subscribe and it's yours for free!Subscribe now! and receive a free version of my $79 report, Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business.

It's the first in a series of reports I'm writing on how to master the various key elements of social media.

Each report is an-depth, step-by-step process that explains in clear, plain English how to master a particular social media tool and help your business communicate better for better business results.

Each report is easy to read, easy to implement and easy on the pocket -- just $79 per copy.

But as a new subscriber to my blog and newsletter, I'm giving you a copy of the free version of Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business report as a way of saying "thank you" for joining my community.

Please subscribe, then check for the email you will receive from me shortly after, because in the email will be details of how to download the report [1.2mb pdf]

Subscribe now!

Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


If you would like to use any of the articles on this site that I have personally written (they will either have 'By Lee Hopkins' on them, or nothing at all) please feel free to do so as long as you include the following 'resource box' text and a link back to www.LeeHopkins.com:

"Lee Hopkins the author of over 130 articles on business communication, and is recognised world-wide as one of Australia's leading experts in online business communication, including Social Media or Web2.0 as it's also known.

To connect with him, please email him at Lee at LeeHopkins.com

Visit his site at www.LeeHopkins.com to find many more articles on business communication. He also blogs at www.LeeHopkins.net. Whilst there, why not pick up a complimentary copy of his 'Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business', which explains all about this latest seismic change to the business communication landscape!"

EzineArticles.com Platinum AuthorCreative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Finally, if this site or any of the articles have been of any help to you, perhaps you'd like to say 'thank you' by throwing a few pennies my way. If so, please click on the button below and donate whatever you feel is appropriate. The payment is handled by PayPal and is extremely secure. Thanks.

 

 

 

Follow me on TwitterFollow me on FacebookFollow me on LinkedInFollow me on YouTubeFollow me on Google+

Subscribe

Subscribe to my newsletter now and be the envy of world presidents

Subscribe to my weekly business communication newsletter and receive a FREE version of my highly-regarded report, 'Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business' (that sells for $79)
Find out more...

 

Related material :

Twitter

Better Business Writing course

A 12-step plan to take you from Twitter newbie to Twitter supremo and grow your business in the process.

More details

 

Better Business Writing

Better Business Writing course

You’ve probably always wanted to improve your writing skills in your workplace, but perhaps there wasn't a training course around to help you.

Well, now there is.

More details

Turn Guesstimates into Estimates & close more sales!

Award-winning ProposalKit gives your clients the detailed price quote and proposal they need so YOU close more sales (and boost your bottom line!) Finally you can quote with accuracy, increasing your profitability and professionalism. ProposalKit is easy, customizable, proven, and downloadable now! http://www.proposalkit.com

Social Media White Paper
(3rd Edition)

Social Media book for free

Trevor Cook and I wrote a booklet to help our clients and friends come to grips with this new online phenomenon called 'Social Media' or 'Web2.0'. Now in its third edition, it is still being widely cited and is receiving lots of favourable comments.

Download your free copy now (pdf)

Find out more about it (opens new window)

Vodburner rocks!
Vodburner is my tool of choice for recording skype video calls, either for later podcasting or simply for my own record. Now that video is becoming more and more important, I can't imagine online life without it.
More about Vodburner...

What you say about Lee Hopkins:
 

"One of the best days I've spent with a man! "


"As a speaker, Lee and his alter ego in the guise of avatar 'Lee Laperriere' played a key role in making our virtual event in Second Life a success. Lee was well-researched, engaging and enthusiastic about the possibilities that virtual collaboration brings and his presentation showed that he had really thought about the needs of our audience"


"Wow - what a presentation, it went so well, thank you very much! Fantastic job! "


"Lindy and Lee, you were both brilliant and I'm very thankful and pleased for your efforts, it was excellent. Thank you. "


"One of Australia's leading public relations practitioners in the so-called new media"


"While I only had the pleasure of actually meeting Lee face-to-face several months ago, I have been aware of him in conference programs and through feedback from one of my team members for a while. Lee has an amazing and unique skill for managing the new media to support business outcomes"


"Oz's best social network strategist"


"As for Local Royalty, you really are a Superstar among the bloggers and blogosphere!"


"Lee Hopkins, one of Australia's most respected social media experts"


"Lee was very entertaining and knowledgeable. He demystified social media for me and he made me feel it IS possible."


"His enthusiasm is infectious - exciting stuff!"


"Excellent. A really fascinating insight from an engaging speaker."


"A very difficult topic but it was explained in a fantastically simple way."


"The Walkleys relies on the good will of Australia’s talented communicators to make events like these happen and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out from your heavy schedule to make the convention such a memorable event."


"The workshop was very useful in that it enabled us to directly relate what we learnt in the seminar to our business. Lee was very easy to relate to and he presented all the information in a way that was simple to understand."


"Informative and engaging - gave good overview of new on-line technologies and how they can be applied to businesses. Particularly valued the opportunity to have a separate session to look at the specific needs and potential uses for my own business."


"Great to talk to someone who is expert in their field and passionate."


"The ability to interact one on one with Lee, as well as seeing new technologies and how they can be easily implemented into current business processes [was great]"


"Great. Lee was very engaging and presented info in easy to understand language and examples. Use of music, video, PowerPoint etc keep contents fun and educational. Great stuff!"


“Great! Even I could understand and appreciate the content. Excellent examples, wonderful presentation. I’m going back to share with my team. Thank you. "


“Lee was a great facilitator and his energy and passion for social media was evident."

“Excellent, enthusiastic presenter who is right into what he is talking about. Walking the talk. Just the right amount of info about the different topics. Not too geeky. Strong emphasis on how the tools can assist effective business communication. Relaxed friendly atmosphere. The workshop opened lots of doors, stimulating. I’m strongly encouraged to try things out. Many thanks.”


“Lee was great – knowledgeable, enthusiastic, generous in sharing his expertise. I liked the demonstrations."


"Great Workshop... helped me crystalise my thoughts on social media and now I feel ready to develop the strategy and make use of this great new medium"


Would you like me to run a workshop in-house for YOUR company?

Contact me to discuss how we can bring your company into this new and exciting communication universe.

View many of the presentations I have given over at Slideshare

View leehopkins's profile on slideshare

Why does employee communication matter?

Why does employee communication matter?

Download a presentation I gave to a group of PR students on slideshare

For your consideration:

 

Your special audio report on VOIP is here!

Free VOIP report

 

 

 

 


 
Your special audio report on website design is here!

Free Website design report

 

 

 



"I communicate therefore I am"
CommsCafe mug
Available in medium and large mug sizes. You KNOW you want one!

 

 

CommsCafe mug

Available in men's and women's fittings. You KNOW you want one!


Writing for a web audience

Netwriting Masters CourseWant to write more powerfully for a web audience?...
Right-click on this image and download the pdf file to your computer's hard drive.
"The definitive guide to writing for the web"
says Lee