Social media is entangled in our lives in unrecognizable ways. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook act as universal spaces where people can assume identities that make them feel good even if those images are not the most accurate representation of their person. Accuracy, or the degree to which a person’s understanding of self matches what is presented to the world, could be less important to the individual if the internet serves as a casual social space. Social media increasingly functions as primary e-commerce that encourages loyalty to an identity which may allude to a brand, person, or company’s outward persona. A quick glance at Instagram can highlight a thoughtfully curated page that relies on one filter, a structured layout, and the trendiest hashtags. It’s demonstrative of how every day people are taking control of their images through specific and intentionally crafted illustrations.
The images captivating you as a part of the sometimes mindless scroll through social media are likely apart of a person or a company’s brand identity (also known as visual or graphic identity). That is the collection of elements a person or company establishes and uses to present themselves to the world. It’s like a uniform specific to a company, or a Jersey from your favorite sports team or alma mater. But how did we get to this point?
A good graphic designer works with the person, organization, or company to help develop a visual representation of the philosophy and person. This process entails more than just slapping together loud colors, abstract angles, and catchphrases. Dialogues with the graphic designer should highlight your unique cool by articulating the intentions motivating the persona or services offered by a company. For example, asking what you are contributing to the world encourages a discourse where the creator is urged to think deeply about the why and how of their image or service. The brand’s philosophy is made central. This question unearths a great graphic designer as it tasks them with the hard job of listening and translating this connection to the public while getting the heart of the brand or service.
It’s so funny how social media was just this fun thing, and now it’s this monster that consumes so many millennial lives.
– Cazzie David: Comedian, Actress
These conversations explore the core principals and characteristics that differentiate you from your peers while granting you a sense of control over the marketing because it’s your ideas informing the visuals. It is difficult to feel special when the landscape seems oversaturated in so many areas. In addition to observing repetitive posts targeted towards a specific audience, the surplus of information in one area, including our own personal or corporate niche, can feel overwhelming. High-quality branding alleviates this feeling by demarcating your brand through visually striking images that fascinate viewers enough to click on a link or page to learn more about the person or brand.
Graphic design emboldens your presence through consideration for the building blocks of great images such as color palette, typography, and shapes. Each area requires special attention because of what it denotes in its respective capacity. The color purple is popularly associated with royalty and this correlation becomes more specific when associated with cultural representations of a country or a school. Typically, straight lines allude to masculinity while oval shapes reference femininity and community. Most twentieth-century animation presents legibly male characters as boxy using straight lines and harsh angles. Female characters are constructed rounder and fuller portraying a more inviting character. This shape connotes a sense of space, flow, and connection that moves seamlessly and comfortably from one person, or area, to the next. Regardless of the truth behind this logic, these images are culturally ingrained into our subconscious. There are a host of associations symbolized by the various components involved with developing a visual representation of your brand.
It is paramount to work with a graphic designer who has working knowledge of these facts as well as a visual ear by which they can bring to life the imagery behind the words you offer as descriptions of how you want your persona or brand to be interpreted. The visual combination of these dynamics as a logo that can be used in multiple mediums to mark your presence should inspire you and your audience to learn more about the person or service offered as well as echo the mission behind the image.