Graphics make everything more effective in establishing a company’s brand identity – from company logos and print marketing tools to websites and social media pages. Today, it has become an irreplaceable part not only of brand promotion and marketing but also of internal processes within a firm.
But there’s so much more about graphic design than what meets the eye.
For one, graphics are vital for a company’s visual identity. Aside from making everything look “pretty,” graphic design also improves recall and recognition and even bolsters unity within the company.
This article aims to clarify the true purpose of graphic design and how it serves your brand identity.
Branding vs. Visual Identity vs. Graphic Design: What Are They?
Like other technical fields, the first thing you need to know to have a deeper understanding of graphic design and its role in your brand strategy is to learn the jargon revolving around the topic.
In this article, you’ll read about three: branding, visual identity, and graphic design.
Branding and visual identity can be found in product packaging, websites, and social media content. It can also be reflected in personal items and internal documents like business cards and company employee IDs, among others. All of these are forms of graphic design.
Despite this, branding and visual identity are not one and the same.
You see, branding is other people’s perception of your brand – what they think about you, the company, and your offerings. Meanwhile, visual identity entails what the brand looks like (i.e., logos, company banners, color choices, and the like).
But how does all this relate to graphic design?
The word “graphic” in “graphic design” is literally defined as the visual pieces accurately and precisely designed based on a given purpose. Essentially, graphic design is the medium used to send out specific messages for a target audience, aimed at establishing a brand identity.
5 Reasons Why You Need to Use Graphics for Your Brand
The function of graphics goes beyond reaching out to consumers – it also helps make internal communications a lot more interesting.
Take annual report designs, for example. When designed by a pro, it can help you tell a story and build meaningful communication with employees. This is where all the brand’s best elements are gathered together to help employees, partners, and investors have a better understanding of the company that they are a part of.
Still not sure why you need graphics for your brand? Here are five things graphic design can do for your company:
1 – Improve sales
When thoughtfully and expertly crafted, graphic design pieces can help improve sales. Most consumers are attracted to things that are uniquely designed.
They are also crafted to convey a message to the target audience. Once they receive a message from the design, they act on it by trusting the brand and making a purchase.
One specific message most professionally-made graphics deliver is this: the company that owns the design delivers high-quality products and services. These messages are sent indirectly to them through logos, business cards, and other forms of graphics.
2 – Boost company name recall
Graphic designs also help people recall a company’s name. By establishing a reputation for the brand in the industry, graphics remind people of this, especially when strategically introduced while attached to a unique and attractive logo.
Often, small businesses can’t afford expensive marketing strategies because of their limited resources. This is where clever logos and other forms of graphic design can come in handy. These visual pieces offer a cost-efficient way to build company name recognition and capture consumer attention.
3 – Better brand recognition
Aside from the company’s name, graphic design can also boost your chances of making a positive and lasting first impression with a potential customer. Again, the company’s logo serves as the beginning of the establishment of your brand identity. But it doesn’t stop there.
As more and more people recognize a specific and consistent typeface, color scheme, and other design elements that comprise your brand’s visual identity through graphic design, a lasting impression follows suit. From there, it will expand in all aspects of the business.
This is the very reason why branding experts highly recommend having graphics that target the audience in a professional and functional way, be it through printed flyers, an online ad, a social media post, or product packaging.
Remember that a customer who hears about your brand for the first time will most likely do preliminary research about your company on your website prior to their first purchase. When this happens, your brand should be able to establish an instant connection at the first point of contact forged using graphic design.
This is why it is important that you look around your brand touchpoints – from the tri-media to the Internet – to see whether your company’s visual identity is consistent. The message it conveys on your website should also be the same as what was presented in the flyers. Even the color scheme and theme of the design across all marketing tools should be consistent.
4 – Bolster company unity
Consumer-centric effects aside, carefully tailored graphics can also bolster unity within an organization. Employees should have a common cause that they can work to achieve together and have an identity that is unique only to those within the company.
From company IDs, corporate shirts, and business cards to websites and social media pages, having something in common can bring together workers towards the same goal. It also fosters a sense of community, especially if branding is created not only for marketing purposes but also to establish a positive company culture.
5 – Promote professionalism
Professionalism is another thing that graphic design can help promote within your brand. Without expertly-made graphics, a company could struggle in creating an environment of professionalism amongst the employees, not to mention find it challenging to impress potential clients and investors.
A cleverly-designed logo, for instance, speaks highly of what a business is all about. When designed professionally, this type of graphic design – small as it may seem – counts as one of the biggest things that reflect a company’s professionalism. And that counts plenty when it comes to business growth.
Graphic design is one of the most important aspects of branding. When expertly crafted and specifically tailored to reflect a company’s brand identity, it serves as a powerful tool in establishing your authority and credibility both inside and outside the organization.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.