Graphic Identity – Marketing your Brand Visually

Marketing Ingredient # 014 - Your Graphic Identity & Palette

Photo: Dave Di Biase

Food that’s colorful and visually appealing is more tempting.  Is your brand identity and color palette visually stimulating?  Or unappetizing marketing?

Your graphic identity is the visual representation of your brand.  It includes the logo, fonts, your color palette and any other tangible imagery such as photos, packaging and signage.  It’s visually marketing your brand through imagery. Brand identity reflects in every graphic display of your organization: Web site, printed materials, social media headers, golf shirts, and even your physical facility and vehicle fleet, (if you have them).  Your graphic identity is not your brand, (how you are perceived by the marketplace), but it is an important element of your branding.  Your graphic identity will probably be the first impression, the first message received by the outside world and your target market.

A strong brand has a graphic identity that is simple and distinct.  But is must also be consistent, relevant to your target audience and spark an emotional connection.  Think of robust brands such as Apple®, Starbucks®, Target®, Coca-Cola®, NBC® and Amazon®.  Can you see these brands?  What do you feel?  Each of these brands possess a level of simplicity combined with an instinctive emotion.

So what makes for a superior graphic identity? 

  1. Distinctive.  Your graphic identity shouldn’t be mistaken with your competition.
  2. Congruent.  There is a psychology to color and meanings behind symbols and icons.  Ensure the message you send with your graphic identity is congruent to your brand personality and core story.
  3. Consistent.  Consistency equates with reliability.  The inconsistent deployment of graphic identity standards, logos and color palette is a critical branding mistake of many small businesses.  Everything you do sends a message.” It’s a good idea to print and distribute your graphic identity standards.
  4. Flexible.  Size matters and not every media is in color.  Your graphic identity needs to be effective in black & white and in small print as well as large.
  5. Timeless. Your graphic identity needs to work today, next month, and three years from now.  You don’t want to be redesigning your graphic identity because you were trendy today and became outdated tomorrow.

Finally, are you proud of its professionalism?  Do you like it?  If you don’t like the colors and visual imagery of the home you live in, you won’t like living there.  Your organization has to live in the colors and visual imagery of your graphic identity and standards … you want to feel good about it.  Your graphic identity messaging is as visceral as it is literal.  Does the message of your graphic identity impart the substance and emotional appeal you desire to communicate to the world?  If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board with your graphic identity design team.

In summary, here are five questions to ask yourself about your graphic identity:

  • Is your graphic identity consistent?
  • Does your graphic identity design reflect your brand personality?
  • Does your graphic identity have emotional appeal?
  • Is your graphic identity design visually appealing?  Do you like it?
  • Is it time to update your graphic identity?

If you need help in assessing your brand, The Marketing Chef is offering a special brand consultation that includes an in-depth review of both your brand personality and your graphic identity standards.  As a follower of this blog, The “Simply Irresistible™” Brand Audit  (normally $700) is being offered for a limited time as a complimentary “taste” of The Marketing Chef.  Contact me today.




  1. Thank you Andrew for those tips. Very interesting post.
    I’m re-designing my brand’s graphic identity and I must admit I like it – it’s interesting and at the end of the process I hope to see good results 😉

  2. Awesome!

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