Brand imagery plays a vital role in creating a positive and long-lasting association with your business. From colours to fonts and images, learn all about brand imagery and how to choose the right one for your site.
As you piece together the elements of a website, it has to go beyond your own aesthetic preferences. Of course, you want a website that’s “attractive”. But will your predilection for cursive typography or a rainbow-like colour palette be well-received by visitors and prospective customers?
It’s our job to figure out how to create a website that looks good to you and your audience – but also tells an effective story about the brand.
This is why web designers do a lot of work when choosing brand imagery for their clients’ websites.
Brand imagery isn’t about liking or hating the way an element looks on a page. It’s about going deeper into the history, mission, and personality of a company and then choosing visuals that convey those to visitors without the need for words.
What is brand imagery?
Brand imagery is the result of all the visuals that represent your brand’s identity. The images that make up your brand imagery can appear in a variety of forms, from billboards to Instagram, websites to print ads.
These images are more than simple visuals—they convey an emotion in the viewer (known as “brand feelings.”). This often occurs on an intangible level, building trust and confidence over time and repeated exposure.
Brand imagery vs. brand image
We often see these two terms used interchangeably, and while it seems there is a relatively small distinction between them, it can speak volumes in how you choose to spend your marketing dollars.
Brand image has to do with how the company is perceived by the public. In McDonald’s case, it’s known as a fast-food company that delivers an affordable and reliable product.
While your brand imagery can affect how it’s perceived, brand image is a bigger matter than can be affected by a variety of factors — like how the company treats its staff, philanthropic initiatives it pursues, as well as bad press it’s received.
Types of brand imagery
Look at any brand style guide and you’ll find examples of the brand imagery you might need to define for your website:
- Color palettes
- Composition rules
- UI components
Some of these brand imagery elements are essential for all websites, like a color palette, logo usage rules, and photos. However, others are dependent on the visual style you want to develop for your brand, like filters and illustrations.
Why is brand imagery so important?
Brand image is more than a logo that identifies your business, product or service. Today, it is a mix of the associations consumers make based on every interaction they have with your business. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t really think about their brand image until there’s a problem with the image they’re developing.
How to choose the right brand imagery
There’s no exact science to choosing brand imagery, though there are certain questions you can ask yourself in order to help you piece everything together. Look for common trends in the answers to come up with a style and vibe you can start from:
1. How would you describe your business?
In just a few sentences, sum up your 30-second pitch. What does the company do, who does it serve and why is this unique in the space?
2. Which three words would you use to describe the personality of your company?
Spend some time getting to know more about your brand as well as anyone who serves as the spokesperson for the company. Use insights from others — employees as well as customer reviews — to get a good sense of the brand’s personality and identity.
3. What are your company’s top values?
It’s a good idea to learn more about your company values and philanthropy. It’ll reveal quite a bit about their priorities.
4. Which websites do you love the look of and why?
You’re not looking for websites or brand imagery to copy here – all we want to do is to get a sense of the kind of visual style that resonates with you. You might be surprised to learn that you have a penchant for illustrated websites over ones with photos, for instance.
5. What reaction do you want to elicit from your audience?
You need to be very careful with the brand imagery you create. Certain visual choices can lead visitors to feel negatively towards a brand.
Take, for instance, health and wellness companies. You might decide that you really like the colour red and want to infuse their website with swatches of the colour wherever possible.
But this all depends on the type of health and wellness company, doesn’t it? Because the colour red might work really well for a company that accepts blood donations (something that’s urgently in need), but perhaps not for a company that offers meditation services (that help people slow down).
This is where understanding the connection between emotions and colour (and design choices, in general) comes in handy.
6. Does your brand have a connection to a time or place?
Time and place can play a role in branding in a couple of ways.
One way is to leverage a style from a certain time period through the use of elements like typography and filters. So, a company that wants to give off a laid back California vibe, might use a font like Pacifico to do so.
If time and place aren’t relevant factors you can experiment with, then make sure you’re up on the latest web design trends. This’ll ensure you use imagery that speaks to modern consumers.
Before you go…
If you need any help working out your brand imagery, whether you just want a chat or you’re interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Drop a message here and we’ll be more than happy to help!