Visual elements are an important part of designing your company’s brand identity. The keystone of this design is the logo, but in many cases the logo alone is not enough to convey all of your brand attributes. A visual vocabulary is a way to reinforce and add to the message contained in your logo.
A company’s visual vocabulary consists of secondary design elements that are
used in conjunction with your logo to form your brand identity. The visual
vocabulary is made up of font styles, colors, shapes, layout conventions,
backgrounds, photo library, word processors (like slogans) and even
type of paper you choose.
These items should be used consistently in your stationery set and
marketing materials and enjoy the following 9 advantages over using a logo and
o The elements of your visual vocabulary become a graphic language, which
your viewer deeper into your graphics and materials. They add visual interest and
continue to tell your company’s story. They are another way you can
communicate about your business with potential customers and prospects, outside of
the actual words and text about your business.
o Graphics in a visual vocabulary are a more effective method of communication
quickly understood that the text alone. A viewer can absorb the meaning of colors,
symbols, photos, shapes and even font types much faster than reading
text. So, in cases where time is of the essence – when marketing to be busy
people, creating animated graphics such as animations or advertisements or designing
items that people will quickly pass by, such as car graphics or billboards, this is a
o Many people have a deeper emotional connection to graphics than to
text. Customers will be more likely to create an emotional connection with your brand and
company if you use more graphics, instead of just using your logo and text on a
letterhead, business card, spec sheet or brochure. Color and photography are two of the
the most effective visual vocabulary elements to use to affect this emotional mark
o You can communicate some of your company’s “personality factors” by
your visual vocabulary. You can make your business more professional or
people-oriented, more contemporary or traditional or communicate one of your
company values by varying the shapes, colors and fonts used for the environment
visual vocabulary. Thus, if you choose your vocabulary elements well, the story of
your company’s personality can be told through these elements.
o Use visual vocabulary consistently across all your business documents
will automatically make your documents more consistent, credible and
professional, through the repetitive use of coherent elements.
o The right combination of visual vocabulary items can also make your material
more catchy. When your materials compete with others – in a pile
proposals, on a table with other brochures or even a postcard coming out of a
crowded mailbox – they will have a better chance of being noticed when they are
designed with stunning and unique visual vocabulary elements.
o Forty percent of viewers remember the visuals best. A visual vocabulary
also increase the memorability of your documents, because people will have more
visual elements to retain in your media.
o Elements of the visual vocabulary can reinforce your logo to help speed up the
process of building brand recognition. A common way to do this is to use a
a large version of the company logo, or part of the logo, watermarked on the
letterhead, business card, envelope or website. Not only this vocabulary
The item effect adds visual interest, but it will help speed up the time it takes to
your potential customers and existing customers to recognize and remember your
o A visual vocabulary becomes a toolbox from which you can easily extract
elements to create new marketing materials. If you have a business card and
brochure and need to create a postcard quickly, then several of your visual elements,
such as color scheme, font styles and even layout and photography choices can be
pulled from existing marketing materials and rearranged to create a new piece.
This is especially handy when you have little time or a small budget to produce
new marketing materials.
The bonus feature of a visual vocabulary is that when you make a
promotion, the launch of a new product or the extension of your services or your range of products, you
can vary elements of the visual vocabulary or even develop a new set of
vocabulary items, to make your new promotion material stand out.
While consistency throughout a campaign is important, the elements of your visual
the vocabulary is not as immutable as your logo. This is particularly effective when you
work only with the colors and drawn elements and leave the text and slogan
identical treatments. This way your materials will still be partially compatible with
your other business documents, but you can donate your new product or promotion
materials a voice of its own.
Adding visual vocabulary elements to your brand identity makes
communicate with your audience easier, faster and more emotionally charged.
This gives you a very effective way to increase your visibility and recall.
When used correctly, they can also boost your credibility. They can even help
add personality to your brand identity and can do future marketing
materials easier to develop. And, unlike your company logo, you can change the
visual vocabulary items that you use from time to time to spice up your business