Developing and Protecting Your Company’s Visual Identity

visual identity, visual branding, identity, Naperville Business AttorneyWhen you build a business from the ground up, you probably have no illusions about becoming an international icon in your industry. That would be nice, but, more than likely, you went into it with idea of serving your community or region, while providing a comfortable lifestyle for yourself and for your family. However, just because you are not planning on global expansion in the near future does not mean that your company’s visual identity should be an afterthought. Have you ever driven past a strip mall and observed some of the backlit signage proclaiming simply “Restaurant” or “Chiropractor”? A business planning attorney can help you avoid becoming part of the background noise by researching and developing ways to make a strong visual impression in print, online, and in the real world.

Why Does a Visual Identity Matter?

Visual branding is much more than finding a single logo or emblem that represents your company on a sign outside your building. Creating a strong visual impression should be among your primary concerns right from the initial planning stages. You may offer the best products with top-quality customer service, but without a visual presence, potential customers may have difficulty even finding your company. Word-of-mouth recommendations are great, but the people that your satisfied clients are telling still cannot locate you, earning their business may be tough.

Convey a Message

Depending on the industry or field in which your company operates, you are probably not interested in a gimmicky visual design. Styles and trends tend to come and go, and you want a visual identity that conveys an image of stability and trust. For many businesses, this means creating a customized wordmark or lettermark, based on the company’s name or an associated acronym. Some may choose to utilize both.

A wordmark is a stylized version of the company name, with fonts, colors, and other design elements that project your vision for your brand. Your wordmark can be effectively used on company letterhead, print media marketing materials, and throughout your website. An alternative, truncated form of a wordmark may also be implemented to incorporate initials or a shortened name—consider Coca-Cola and Coke.

A lettermark is an even further reduced wordmark, taking the company name and using only the first letter in a manner that is distinct and recognizable. Smartphone apps tend to utilize lettermarks as icons, as do many sports teams. A good example of a lettermark is the emphasized “H” employed in advertising by Holiday Inn hotels.

Be Creative but Be You

There are many other options for building a strong visual identity, including more abstract images and designs based on art or photographs. For some companies, these may work well, but, in many cases, name recognition must come first, and the pictorial logotypes can be developed down the road. Whatever type of visual identity you choose, it is important to protect your brand by applying for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

If you are in the process of starting a business, it is critically important to seek the guidance of an experienced Naperville business planning attorney. At the Gierach Law Firm, we understand the challenges that business-owners face on a daily basis, and are ready to help you overcome them. From choosing a business structure to developing a strong visual identity to tax planning and more, our team is here to assist you. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule your initial consultation today.

 

Sources:

PrintMag.com

Coca Cola

Holiday Inn

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office