Having a website has become a requirement for any modern business: it is a place newcomers to a company can go to quickly and conveniently find basic information about services offered. Yet when used to their full potential, websites can do much more. By using good visual branding and abiding by a few simple design principles, a website can vastly increase traffic to your page, drive conversions and improve your brand recognition.
What is visual branding and why is it important?
Visual branding is a way of describing what your company is about, who it caters for, and how it does business, without ever using words. Colors, symbols, logos, images and typefaces can all be used to great effect, evoking emotional responses in people that influence how they feel about your company. When used well, visual branding is able to hugely influence people and can turn a disinterested individual into a loyal customer.
It may be an obvious place to start, but a company logo is the visual cornerstone of your brand. Whether comprised of abstract shapes, real-life imagery or text, the impression it leaves should be prescient regarding your business plans. These mobile phone companies have all successfully used their logos to raise brand awareness and promote business. Indeed, when you hear classic company names like McDonald’s, Nike, or Starbucks, there is a very good chance you will immediately visualize their iconic logos. Each offers a unique association with the product: the athletic swoosh of the Nike tick, or the warm familiarity of the golden arches of McDonald’s. Over time, these simple shapes come to take on the full representative value of your company’s customer relationship.
Once you have settled on your logo design, you need to consider how and where to use it. The top left corner is the most popular placement area, given most Latin languages are read left to right. However, right-hand placement can also be used successfully. Maintaining the correct size ratio of the different elements on your page is essential to its overall balance; pay attention to text borders and try to align your logo to these. Finally, think about how people will interact with the logo: often they are used to link back to the homepage, creating a cognitive association between the imagery and your company overview, but this does not always have to be the case.
Building on the visual importance of logos, favicons also help to attribute greater brand awareness and memorable status to your site through the use of a visual symbol. Short for ‘favorites icons’, favicons are the small symbols that sit on the top left-hand corner of your open browser tab and are what will show up next to website names when they are bookmarked. The brain is able to process images much more quickly than words, and because of their various colors and shapes, they are much more distinguishable than slim black lines of text. As a result, when you have a number of tabs open or a click on the bookmarks bar, favicons help you jump instantly to the page you want.
When looking to build a favicon for your website, remember that wherever possible its best to go with one that has custom-made options. By using a favicon generator tool with this option, you now have the advantage of enabling you to simplify a key logo or branding aspect to make best use of the limited space.
Colors and Fonts
There are a number of theories out there about the symbolism of different colors. For instance, purple has always been associated with luxury, blue with honesty, red with passion and white with purity. By thinking carefully about how you use these colors and their associated meanings, you can use this psychology to help drive conversions on your site. Furthermore, once you have chosen your specific palette of colors, try to make sure you use similar temperatures and tonalities to create overall page harmony.
Typefaces can equally have a strong associative meaning. Some fonts instill a sense of strength in the words they depict, while others are humorous or whimsical. It is okay to vary your fonts across your marketing materials, but try to keep them within the same family so as not to disrupt the overall effect. A key thing to remember when picking your font is whether you want it to be non-obvious and to take a backseat to the content, or if it is there to make a design statement and enhance a point. For inspiration, take a look at how these famous websites used popular typefaces to their advantage.
Social Media Integration and Video
Having a clear, branded social media presence is essential for any young company. By using it to effectively communicate with your customer base, you are able to use direct feedback to reinforce your company ethos. Furthermore, your social media can help you to develop content that delivers a better developed narrative about your brand. The end result? A more diverse market reach with greater levels of customer interaction and, ultimately, conversions. Indeed, it’s generally assumed that around 74% of consumers’ purchases are influenced by social media, so this is an important topic not to be overlooked.
In order to successfully integrate a social strategy, you need to first of all make sure that all of your social media pages are clearly linked to on your website. Your content should be aligned with the same visual branding and focus across all of your channels, so that as people move between them, there is no sudden surprise. Finally, consider using video as a way to create a curated visual experience for people in short, digestible parts.