• Adam Morris

The Importance of Consistency in a Brand's Visual Identity

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

As humans, we seek to make sense of the world around us. In the 21st century, we live in a highly saturated visual environment that constantly bombards us with visual stimuli, immersive experiences, and marketing messages. Within this environment, a certain level of consistency is refreshing. After all, we're comfort-seeking by nature. What's familiar to us is comfortable, and what's comfortable to us, we like. Ultimately, what we like, we trust. Trust is a fundamental part of any successful relationship (especially that of a business and its stakeholders), and can be enhanced by leveraging consistency within a brand's Identity Design.

The Guelph Public Speakers visual device features a consistent use of enthusiastic, welcoming, positive headshots in front of the club's oversized icon and white background, all within portrait format.

Consistency is Professional.

Among the variety of touchpoints a business will need designed, consistency says, "This is who we are; regardless of the medium or touchpoint and where or when you see us". To be more specific, a touchpoint is any marketing material (whether tangible or intangible) that an organization uses in an effort to promote the awareness of their brand. Touchpoints are diverse, and range from the company logo, letterhead, business card and website, to ephemera like pens, and apparel, to delivery vehicles and storefront signs. Within these touchpoints, what breeds consistency is the intentional and repetitive use of pre-determined design elements such as colours, layouts, and typography. A disciplined approach must be used to achieve consistency. By saying "yes" to a selection of pre-determined design elements, a company must say "no" to all the other possibilities. This discipline will become recognized and valued over time as an organization builds a precious asset: their brand.

Consistency is Expected

As a business owner, it's a tough pill to swallow that no one (including your customers) will care quite as much about your business as you do. Of course, the goal is to breed a loyal customer base, but with that being said, customers will not consciously look for the consistency of your brand in the saturated and competitive visual space. Instead, they must be shown. If consistent design elements are constantly apparent, it will become recognized over time. Therefore, consistency must be demonstrated to further promote a brand's familiarity. After all, many people are habitual and dislike change. By demonstrating consistency within a brand's visual Identity, consumers can be assured that their brands of choice remain in their lives, unaltered and familiar as a whole.

Allevar's Brand Identity features a consistent use of black and white imagery, businesspeople, and its distinct green logo. The checkmark from the logo is used as a graphic device in the first example, while the icon as a whole is used as a graphic device in the second. Allevar's website continues the use of its brand colours and typography.

Consistency Breeds Trust

The fastest way to break trust in a relationship is to lie. Carrying this over to design, if a brand breaks their promise of using certain colours, talking to customers in a certain way, or doing business as they've uniquely done in the past, their expected consistency and promise has been broken, and because of it, trust has been diminished. Therefore, it's pivotal to continually deliver brand promises and visual expectations, regardless of the environment or touchpoint. Ultimately, branding is a long game that is positively influenced by daily design and business decisions. Once trust has been built, however, it must be maintained with the same level of effort that was used to achieve it.

Businesses do all they can to get an edge over their competition. On this note, design should not be neglected. The power of branding as a whole is invaluable, as it promotes premium pricing and brand loyalty. As design falls under the branding umbrella, it's important to constantly deliver the same brand promises and same design elements to breed the consistency, familiarity, and trust that customers are seeking. ▲


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