Visual Marketing and Branding: It Isn’t as Complicated As it Seems

2014 has been declared “the year of visual marketing.”  This might have something to do with the fact that, as Steve Olenski points out in Forbes, screens have taken over our lives. We even carry our screens (aka smart phones) with us now.

It’s no wonder, then, that a many companies have been working like crazy trying to up their “visual marketing” game. Most of the time these companies are turning toward already visual mediums like Facebook (where large photos are now included with almost every status update), Tumblr and YouTube. But what about the seemingly non-visual parts of your branding and marketing? How do you make them more visually and graphically appealing?


Mind Your Colors

Color choice is an incredibly important aspect in all of your marketing and branding efforts. With more and more marketing being done solely through visuals like graphics and videos (as opposed to simple text on a page), minding your colors has never been more important.

This isn’t just true from an aesthetic point of view. This is important from a customer retention point of view. Color blindness is more widespread than you might realize. The last thing you want is to lose almost ten percent of your audience because you’ve put together a visual that some people literally cannot see!

Keep It Simple

It’s tempting to go overboard and turn everything you put out into the world into a stunning visual ad for your company or product. Really, though, you’ll want to keep things as simple as possible. For example, Amazon boxes are quickly and easily identified because of the simple Amazon smile that gets printed on them. The Nike swoosh is another great example.

When you’re ordering your marketing materials and shipping boxes remember: stark (to help the colorblind) and simple logo representations are best.

This is true for your online visuals as well. As the UK’s Small Business site points out: your website is a kind of “online packaging.” Your traffic expects something visual to greet them when they arrive. They do not need to have a complicated (and hard to navigate) display. Just like in painting: negative space is important. Clear lines, defined areas for specific types of content—the simpler the better.

Resolution Matters

The days of blurry rubber stamps are over—unless your brand is all about “homemade” and/or “hand made.” Creating high resolution images no longer eats up all of a site’s bandwidth (especially if you’re keeping things simple). You want crisp and clear images and graphics on your site. Heck, your phone’s camera is more powerful than the highest end cameras available even five years ago. It’s true in pop music and it’s true in visual marketing: there is no excuse for blurred lines.

A Quick Word About Animation

With our increasingly web connected world, it’s easy for a company’s primary logo or branding effort to be animated and/or moving. This can be difficult to recreate in a still medium like a packing box, direct mail piece or billboard. The best thing to do is to use a still of whichever part of your animation is the simplest and represents all of your company’s information (this is usually the last part of the animation).

These are just three aspects that are important across the board in visual marketing. Whether you’re trying to build your Facebook following or create a brand that people will recognize on site when your product arrives is delivered to a doorstep, minding your visuals will increase your profits.


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