Visual Identity

Identity Guidelines - Wavepulse Acoustics LogoRefer to these Resource Links:

Visual Identity

The identity system (brand) is typically made up of a logo plus directions on how to extend the visual identity systematically by pre-determined design decisions. In addition to the basic logo, which establishes the core of the visual “look”, examples of this system might include;

  • Variations on the logo (depending on various possible applications)
  • Slogan/Tag Line
  • Color palette
  • Typeface treatments
  • Size restrictions, ranges or limitations
  • Directions or Instructions for use (Do’s and Don’ts)

The result is a “visual personality”. It has internal visual consistency, is appropriate, unique, and has been developed because of careful consideration of the main target audience, customer or user group and how it matches up with the mission and goals of the client.

Basic marketing public relations identifies six principles which must be considered to get any message across in an efficient manner.  The six principles are the “five W’s and an H;

  • Who,
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • How

When creating visual identity, it is very helpful to ask oneself these questions in order to craft a successful message.  When creating a logo for a purse designer, for example, one would ask,

  • Who am trying to reach/who is my audience (Adults, children; men, women; etc.)?
  • What is the message I am trying to send (Sophisticated, playful, organic, professio­­­nal, etc.)?
  • Where will this logo be distributed (A store, boutique, East Coast, West Coast, America, etc.)?
  • When in time will this ad take place (in order to keep up with the trends of the consumers)?
  • Why am I creating this visual identity?
  • How will I obtain the objective of this visual identity?

Once these questions are asked and answered, the creation of visual identity can take place.  Depending on what the answers to the questions are; adding color, using certain typefaces, using specific images, establishing hierarchy for the human eye to follow, can help influence an image that fit best with the answers. In the end one is able to achieve an overall gestalt to relay a message about a certain individual or company. This message is reiterated within a visual Identity system that is comprised of specific factors such as: text, color, size, etc. as well as the rules that apply to a certain brand.


Typography in an identity system fall into two main categories:

  1. The typographic choices, you the designer, makes in creating the logo and its related elements.
  2. Outlining how someone else should make use of the identity system you create by indicating to them what typeface family should be used and how related fonts should be used for emphasis, hierarchy and clarity.

Below is an example from Pacific’s identity standards manual indicating how type should be treated.


Indicating Color

Below is an example of how you should indicate visual identity color in terms of dominant secondary and accent colors. These should be indicated as spot PMS colors, so be sure to include their Pantone numbers.


7 tips for good Corporate Design


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