In a visually-led landscape, it can sometimes be challenging for brands (both emerging and established) to know where to begin when crafting their visual identity. From color palettes to brand guidelines, this article applies to next-generation brands looking to make their visual mark and legacy brands who may be looking to refresh their POV. We'll also touch on the ways to utilize PLANOLY's features to jump-start or refine your process.
Perhaps the most important starting point is knowing what role color plays in your visual storytelling. Does your business sell physical goods? If so, consider the palette that's usually the most prominent in your products or design process. In doing so, this can provide a solid foundation to build from (one prime example that we always come back to is @glossier and their single-use of the #glossierpink tag which is the cohesive visual thread in their Instagram content). Taking that one step further, if your brand has a physical storefront, consider your approach to your Instagram grid the way you would when laying out the interiors of your brand's space. Is it minimal with pops of color? Are you a print-loving, maximalist at heart? Knowing the answers to these will inform the way you use color, print, and other elements in shaping your content.
Balancing Visual Consistency with Variation
On the other end of the spectrum, brands including media companies or influential personalities can approach the above with a hint of variation, while still maintaining an overarching element of consistency. For instance, look at powerhouse fashion website Coveteur @coveteur. From day one, they established a unique flash-photography style with a slightly filtered effect that is distinctive to who they are as a brand. Coupling this with their editorial focus on featuring celebrities, Coveteur is the perfect example of the value that comes with building an identity with more intangible traits. We've also seen influencers or personalities develop creative approaches to their visual identities - just look at poet Rupi Kaur @rupikaur_. At first glance, her feed predominantly includes text which features snippets from her poems. However, every other post there is a photo featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her next book, or of her speaking on tour. Rupi's unique use of both copy (down to the arrangement of words and use of font) and photos to craft a consistent visual identity works wonders - which is also evidenced by her one million-strong follower count. This approach is also a testament to the fact that staying true to yourself as a brand yields powerful and positive results.
Plan Your Visuals
Now that we've outlined key components to consider (along with brand examples), we'll close this article with some tips on how to use PLANOLY to get started. First off, use the grid-planning abilities to drag and drop images to see how your feed will look in real-time. At the very least, this will get your creative juices flowing and help identify what visual elements are consistent in the content you're creating so you can start to make a plan moving forward. If you're still in need of inspiration, don't forget to utilize the Discover feature by searching for specific accounts or hashtags. In doing so, you'll find a plethora of examples to learn from those who have mastered their visual voice!