Sunday, January 18, 2015

How 'Visual Identity' Can Help Your Retail Space

Starbucks has just the right cozy feel to its coffeeshops thanks to its deep green and brown interiors, which also happen to be the company's colors. Ikea is thought of a brand of accessible contemporary style: it uses simple furniture design and eye-popping primary palettes on its products and logo. Cebu Pacific, a Philippine airline that offers cheap flights, uses a combination of bright yellow and blue on their website, planes, communication materials, and various paraphernalia. The colors are bright, welcoming, cheerful, festive -- characteristics often ascribed to Filipinos. Furthermore, these colors were derived from the Philippine flag. It makes the airline look and feel Filipino. It makes the airline accessible to "every Juan."

Every company has traits and characteristics that make up its image -- its corporate identity -- which is built, communicated, and reinforced through branding.

Branding is a practice that enforces visual identity, which consists of elements like colors, form, and shapes that, when put together in the form of a logo, or interior decor, or product design -- invoke a certain character, atmosphere, image, or message. 

Having a distinct visual look that communicates your brand -- what you are as a business, as a store; what it means to wear or use your products -- will provide you with a definable identity that can distinguish you from the rest. Imagine: a logo or signage on your shop front that reflects your brand’s elegance, or edginess, or practicality, or affordability. With this, the lifestyle, image, and message your products advocate are distilled into a visual form that can pique a customer's attention in seconds. It's something that can forge a subliminal, emotional, psychological connection.

If you’ve established your corporate identity, all you need to do from here on out is scout for branding professionals who can flesh out the visuals that best encapsulate your brand. Branding agencies, designer collectives, and even freelancing graphic designers offer their services to this end. 


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