What Makes a Great Visual Brand?

If you've browsed through my portfolio over the last several months, you'll notice that I've been doing a lot of visual branding design. I love working one-on-one with passionate business owners, helping them develop their ideas and creating a beautiful visual identity together.

What makes a brand stand out? What does a well-designed visual identity have that others do not? How do you know if your business has a great visual brand? Sometimes, it's hard to pinpoint why a brand just has "it." But there are some key factors that I find to be true across the board. 

What Makes a Great Visual Brand?  |  AllieMarie Design Blog



A great brand should be unique to you and represent your business in a truthful, authentic way. How do you ensure this while you're building a new brand? I believe engaging in the pre-design steps, which I call "Gathering Inspiration," is key. This is an opportunity to brainstorm, hone ideas and work with the designer to settle on a direction to head. You know your business best, so your involvement in this process is vital to creating a logo and branding elements that embody you. From there, your designer's job is to make this vision come to life!


Although a logo is the foundation of a visual brand, it doesn't stop there. In a great brand, you'll find logo variations, submarks, patterns, textures and design elements working together to create a cohesive, consistent and memorable look. In addition, a great brand's design elements transfer well to all mediums - from print to web, from large scale signage to business cards. My rule of thumb is always to "keep it simple" with logo design, which will help with versatility going forward.


It's easy to focus on your own style, what you like and what you're attracted to. And that's not all bad - your brand should represent you and your business. However, what sets a great brand apart is the emotional connection it creates with its audience. The font choices, color palette and overall brand styling (among other things) set a mood, and it's important that it resonates with who you're trying to reach.

A GREAT visual brand... IS USED WITH CARE.

You have a beautiful brand that you love and are proud of... but how will you use all of the elements going forward? A great brand maintains consistency across all platforms, honoring the design and ensuring its effectiveness. My advice: Use your Style Guide! It will give you standards and tips for preserving your brand's integrity, including fonts and your color palette.

A GREAT visual brand... IS TIMELESS.

A great brand will withstand all the coming-and-going of trends and will still represent you beautifully years from now. Sometimes a stylish aesthetic (by this year's standards) actually fits perfectly with a business' goals and audience, but that's not always the case. What is timeless for one business may not be timeless for another. But I can assure you - regardless of your business or industry - that a beautiful, professionally designed visual identity created with intention behind it will serve you well and help you be successful long-term.

Ready for a GREAT new visual brand for your business?

Learn more about my design processview my branding packages and get in touch if you'd like to chat more. I'm currently booking branding projects for small businesses with big hearts and I'd love the opportunity to work with you!