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Understanding the Visual Elements that Underpin a Brand

When most people think about a particular brand, the first things that inevitably comes to mind are the visual elements that represent it. Whether it is famous Nick ‘swoosh’ and its ‘just do it’ tagline or Apple’s outline of an apple with a bite in it – these visual elements are distinctive enough that they underpin the brand as a whole.

If you want your brand’s visual elements to fulfill that same role, it is important that you truly understand what they are and the role that each plays.


Conventionally a logo is meant to be a symbol that represents your brand through sometimes ‘logotypes’ that are essentials words with a specific typography can fulfill the same role. Although many logos directly connect to the brand name, you could also use a logo that is linked to its message in some way – So long as that link is clear. Regardless of the type of logo that you choose, it should be unique and distinctive, as it will be the visual element that is most often directly associated with your brand.


Tagline or slogan

Unlike the logo, your tagline presents an opportunity for you to communicate your brand’s identity. It should not be a direct recital of your mission statement, but should reflect it and communicate the corevalues of your brand in same way. Preferably the tagline should be something that will cause people to think of your brand in a way that is in line with the image that you’re trying to project.


Color palette

Often people underestimate the role that colors play in branding, and look on them as merely a design feature. Nothing could be further from the truth however,as your choice of color palette will determine the emotional connection that people feel with your brand elements – including your corporate logo design and tagline.



It goes without saying that the typography in your logo and tagline are extremely important, but it extends beyond that and to your website, printed materials, and any other items connected to your brand. By having a consistent style of typography that cuts across all these areas, it will become a part and parcel of your brand’s image.


Style and design guide

Aside from typography, the overall style and design should be consistent. In an online sense you can try to use certain types of images, headlines, callouts and other design elements across your website, social media, and any other platforms. Similarly printed media such as brochures, letterheads, posters, and so on should all incorporate the same visual style and design.


Make no mistake there are other visual elements that may be part and parcel of your brand, and you should try to make them as consistent as possible and use them to communicate your brand’s message. The elements listed above tend to be the most universal however, and by understanding the role they have in your brand’s identity – you should be able to do the same for any additional elements as well.

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Understanding the Visual Elements that Underpin a Brand


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