feast for the eyes

Visual brand design: a feast for the eyes

June 2022

Let’s get visual

Visual brand design allows brands to speedily communicate within a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-digital world. Elements like colour, typography, imagery, and composition provide universally understood meanings and burn a brand into our memory through our eyes. 

A colour or font doesn’t make or break a brand, but the way they’re used as an expression of values and how they relate to the content and audience can. We all grow and mature over time, but the core of who we are remains the same. Feeling and intuition for how everything connects is therefore the most valuable asset. 

We, like any other, know one look at a brand can speak volumes. We looked inwards to share how we’re expressing our real selves through our own use of different visual design concepts and elements. 

Musings on Psycolourgy

Like dressing up for a first date, first impressions matter. For a brand’s UI/UX, colours can be like a generously applied eau de parfum. Too much might make the audience cough, and too little might fall flat – both outcomes missing out on engagement. Colours also trigger feelings, helping communicate information and embody the personality of a brand or its audience.

Colour affects our psyche in different ways. Feelings towards certain hues are deeply rooted in the cultural and emotional context of the onlooker, so red for romance and blue for serenity just won’t cut it anymore. Sensitively inspiring complex emotions like anticipation, relief, and nostalgia is much more fun.

Keeping up with the toneses

For us, red, green and blue are our primary choice. We chose 3 colours instead of 1 – because we’re not just one thing. We’re many things. 

Life is too complex to sit only on one side, if you ask us. We flow with ever-changing needs, as does our colour set. Life is also unpredictable. Nope, it wasn’t an illusion – our website does change colour every time you visit it. 

While the 3 screen colours exhibit our digital nativity, we choose to make them alter randomly on purpose, intentionally by accident. With this, we embrace that with colour comes life, and with life comes play and change. 

Opting for easy to read colours to provide clarity was important to us, so on top of these we have a set of background colours to support them. From our morning light pastel to southern-warm oranges and pinetree greens – they bring the place where we work to life, and marry the natural to the digital screen-world.

What the font?

The right typeface also is a chance for a brand to express personality – be it confident, shy, quirky, vintage or rigid. Each to their own. A typeface for every mood, every value and every tone. 

How typefaces are used also plays a role in how a reader processes information and tells them why what they're reading is, in fact, devourable.

With or without those elegant claws that help the letters to stand their ground and read so well on paper? Boldly present, or discreetly thin? Running wide, or holding themselves back in a narrow cut? When choosing a typeface, we look at their behaviour and character as though it were a human being. Fashion trends change and preferences are subjective – but observing what a typeface actually does is timeless.

Now that’s my type

We take up space. So our logotype is an extensive, bold choice that does exactly that. We use the detail-oriented Founders Grotesk – a contemporary amalgamation of classic grotesks designed by Klim Type Foundry. We’ve coupled this confident character with the delicate sans-serif Gotu by the Indian type foundry Ektype, with its organically carved stroke, warmth and liveliness.

Our 2 typefaces are strong, independent beings who simply feel better together. The larger protagonist tends to take the lead while the loyal supporter’s voice is just as valued. Neither of our typefaces like to play hard to get, so we keep it open and honest with generous sizing even for medium copy. When we have something worth saying, we want people to hear it easily.

A winner by design

When visual design elements are brought together into a dialogue with one another, brands can align and converse with their target audience, undress and expose their authentic personality – whether that’s energetic, understated, passionate or practical.

Emotional responses towards design or visuals aren’t fixed, however – when it comes to the psychology of design, culture and context always matter.

Stick to your instincts

"Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style." as Massimo Vignelli once said. We recommend brands don't just stick to one style of visual design but rather learn the language of design. Taking care to not get fixated on concepts or guidelines, a single choice or a single element to stay aware of how everything connects and interacts with each other. That’s where the real juice is.