The Basics of Look and Feel

The best brands are the best storytellers. A good storyteller knows how to express events using visual language to make you feel like you were there. Unless you’re very young or reclusive, stories work because they allow us to project what we know on to a new experience. Someone retelling a funny story only makes you laugh if you’re familiar with the terms and context of the story. This is how memes work well in passing complex ideas along so strongly. The visual language of branding uses elements like color, imagery, typography, and composition to express a point of view. The consistency of this point of view leads to brand recognition.

Some of the basic elements you need to know and master in building your brand include:


Involves the logic guiding the overall creation of brand content. Design sets the limits of how all aspects of brand communications are to be styled and guides this process to build consistency.


Consists of graphic depictions that do not contain words. The elements of imagery are photography, illustration, or iconography. These are created by a graphic designer who considers style, focus and color.


The elements of brand messaging that affect our senses besides sight. This utilises the material qualities of a communication, such as texture or sound. Jingles are effective at creating long-lasting connections with brands, like the classic Oros ad, or Avon perfume catalogs that offer test patches in magazines.

Color palettes:

Colors are interesting because they create psychological links. Red normally means danger, which spurs people to urgency. Green means new and fresh, which builds anticipation. Brands should limit themselves to two palettes: primary and secondary. Custom colors also work well in building distinctness – Louboutin’s red bottom shoes are a trademarked shade of red.


Readability is paramount, and this boils down to the typeface chosen. Fonts and their dynamics are important in establishing the tone of messages. Squarer fonts are better for corporate entities, and rounder fonts are thought of as less formal. Some brands design custom typefaces to express their unique positions.

In establishing these design elements for your brand, the best route is always to go with the professionals in each industry. Developing a visual and sensory identity is a process that takes time but should be taken seriously from the beginning. After all, you should avoid taking chances with your brand’s reputation.