Visual Identity: what are we talking about?

We are constantly confronted with a barrage of images: graphic design surrounds us and is constantly buzzing around us. In the multi-screen era and faced with a market where it becomes difficult to catch the attention of an easily distracted donor, NPOs and philanthropic foundations are well advised to develop and work on their visual identity if they wish to be seen and heard. But what is visual identity? And why is it important for an organization? Let's demystify it in this article.

 

Visual identity: the first impression

Visual identity refers to the set of graphic elements used to visually represent an organization to its current and future customers. The more the graphic elements are used in a thoughtful and coherent manner, the more your organization will increase its chances of standing out, of being recognized and remembered by the community and, by the same token, will be able to distinguish itself from its competitors. Having an original and sophisticated visual identity is therefore necessary because it will be used on all the different communication media (website, social networks, posters, newsletters, business cards, brochures, etc.) and will create a visual and instinctive association with your organization.

 

Which graphic elements make up the visual identity? 

The logo

It represents your visual identity's founding element; the one that will be used to visually identify your organization instantly to consumers, like the sun of the Opération Enfant Soleil Foundation to donors. Your logo must be suggestive, timeless, and adaptable. It must also be visible, comprehensible and easy to remember, as it will be used on various communication media. Don't forget that your logo must also be usable in color, black, grey and white, and above all, in all sizes!


 

The slogan or positioning statement

The slogan is very useful because, among other things, it expresses the promise you make to your donors as well as the values and vision of your organization. In fact, it represents its DNA and provides additional information to set it apart from the competition. The Escale's "So it changes" or the Saint-Justine UHC Foundation's " Donate, for the love of children " are good examples of a powerful and communicative slogan

 

The typography

Like the logo, the typography is one of the aspects that cannot be neglected. This is because fonts need to meet the diverse needs of your organization - to be eye-catching and to stand out from the crowd. Typography is an integral part of your visual identity; its legibility and visibility must be studied according to the medium in question. Respecting and ensuring consistency in all of the organization's official documents is essential for a strong identity. A unique, distinctive typography that reflects your personality will position you among the most innovative!

Source : www.behance.net

 

Source : www.behance.net

The color palette

A carefully chosen and judiciously used color palette is one of the main pillars of a clear and successful visual identity. As you probably know, colors can influence our attraction and choices in relation to a brand. They have the ability to convey a company's intentions, values and personality, in addition to promoting an idea and stirring emotion. Keep in mind that 93% of consumers prioritize the visual aspect before buying a product and 80% of them say that a brand's color influences their choices. Color coding is therefore an aspect that should not be neglected.

 

A brand and its variations!

Your visual identity must be effectively declined on your promotional objects, stationery and web elements: they are the reference point for consumers when they want to get in touch with you. They must be thought out, as they ensure the consistency of your organization's communications on all platforms, from traditional media (advertising displays), to digital media (website, social media, etc.) to other communication tools (business cards, roll-ups, promotional tools, etc.).

Source : www.behance.net

Source : www.behance.net

Source : www.behance.net

 

Why a visual identity in philanthropy?

Many people believe that NPOs and foundations shouldn't be concerned about their visual identity. On the contrary, branding also applies to the philanthropic sector insofar as it can be defined as the immediate image that comes to a person's mind when they hear the name of an organization in a fundraising campaign or advertisement.

Visual identity must be part of the concerns, as image becomes crucial to accumulating donations, recruiting volunteers, increasing and retaining donors. In this regard, a visual identity will allow you to differentiate yourself, gain notoriety, elicit an emotional response and position yourself in relation to social issues, which will facilitate the donor's decision making and even build loyalty.

De plus, elle joue un rôle vis-à-vis d’autres segments du public de l’organisation; nous faisons référence aux personnes qu’elle permet de mobiliser, aux bénévoles sur lesquels elle peut compter, aux partenaires stratégiques qu’elle peut solliciter pour créer des alliances ainsi qu’à la presse dont elle l’informe de ses activités.

Furthermore, it plays a role with respect to other segments of the organization's public; we are referring to the people it mobilizes, the volunteers it can count on, the strategic partners it can call upon to create alliances, and the press that it informs about its activities.

 

When should you change your visual identity: questions to consider?

Over time, your visual identity may become obsolete and, if it no longer appeals as much as it used to, it may be time to think about a new image or simply redesign your brand image. Other factors can also lead to this necessity if, for example, your organization is undergoing important changes such as a repositioning, a change in values or mentality; in this case, rebranding is advisable.

You must also consider the evolution of technologies as well as that of the market in order to remain in tune with the latest trends. Moreover, it is suggested to change one's visual identity approximately every 10 years. In short, each case is different!

 

A few tips from the pros!

To achieve excellence, nothing is better than professional advice!

 

First of all, objectivity is essential when it comes to strategic decisions or orientations related to your identity. Forget your personal tastes and focus on your organization's and cause's objectives, while keeping in mind the identity needs of your target audience.

Secondly, beware of passing trends and don't try to please everyone. Be audacious, but don't get too close to what your competitors are doing. Dare to venture off the beaten track, but above all, be unique!

Thirdly, visual identity is a long-term investment and can have an influence on your brand awareness. For these reasons, if you don't have in-house resources specialized in graphic design, dealing with communication and marketing professionals may be a necessary option to consider, as they will be able to advise you properly and accompany you in the creation of your brand image. The important thing is to surround yourself well!

 

Planning for deployment

Finally, changing a company's brand image is not as simple as it may seem. It takes a lot of time and money, and that' s why it has to be planned for. Once your new image is deployed and to maximize its impact, plan an official launch to showcase your branding. It's the perfect momentum to celebrate your new identity with your partners, clients, press and employees.

Our graphic designers will be able to convey your identity and values effectively and creatively, in an efficient and sustainable way. Do you have a project in mind? We are here to bring your ideas to life!

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SOURCES

MARKENTIVE.COM, https://www.markentive.com/fr/blog/booster-taux-conversion-marketing-couleurs
AFFICHE-TOI.CA, http://www.affiche-toi.ca/index.php/notre-blogue/item/6-l-importance-d-une-bonne-identite-visuelle
SOLUTIONS.LESECHOS.FR, https://solutions.lesechos.fr/com-marketing/c/pourquoi-se-doter-dune-bonne-identite-visuelle-7609/
BEHANCE.NET, LG2 https://www.behance.net/gallery/66684197/Fondation-CHU-Ste-Justine-lg2 

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