Make the most of your visual identity !

Non classé 5 July 2019

The fine line that separates art from graphics leads you to think that the latter is nothing other than a question of taste. As the saying goes “we don’t discuss tastes and colours”. This may be true when it’s about appreciating a work of art; however, it doesn’t apply to the creation of graphic design that must convey a precise message. In fact, despite the many different possible styles, a design must be precise before being “beautiful”.

Shapes and colours each have their own meanings, so you must use them wisely.

Why is your visual identity important ?

For you, it is the link between your school / company and your alumni association as it contributes towards maintaining the feeling of belonging of your members. It also gives immediate recognition of your forms of communication – from your website to your personalised pens to your image via your posts on social networks.

The TBS Alumni shop offers T-shirts with the association’s logo

Does your visual identity convey your values ?

The starting point : the logo

While it is likely that you will use a professional to create or redesign your identity, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on the project to ensure it stays true to your message. Here are some examples (amongst many others) of good logos among our customers:

Supbiotech Alumni (IONIS group)

This logo creates an instant link with the school. Its uncluttered graphic elements are outlined with colours that contrast with those of the school, making it stand out and giving it immediate recognition as an alumni association.

Kedge Alumni

Here, the colours immediately give you the perception of excellence. The school’s logo is used, with the word “Alumni” written in larger letters than those used in the name of the school to differentiate from it.

CESI

Same idea here. The school’s entire logo is incorporated, with the addition of the word Alumni, written in a larger font.

These logos, through their simplicity, are guaranteed to last because they don’t contain any superfluous elements that can go out of fashion. They can be used on all forms of media, and are recognisable at a glance.

The typography

Like a brand, your identity shouldn’t be just a logo. The typography, colours, and illustrations used must be defined in a graphic charter that provides a framework for design. As much as possible, stick to the typography defined in your charter or, by default, the one used in your logo.

Today, the tendency is to use the sans serif bold font. It offers better visibility on all mobile media and it’s no coincidence that all major groups have also followed this trend and changed their logos. This simplification allows greater consistency with the interfaces.

Remember : Serif | Sans Serif | Regular | Bold

The Brand Image

This trend has emerged because major groups have understood that a logo alone is not enough to make a brand – most importantly, it is the products and services offered around a global vision that will build their image. When we think of Nike, we don’t think only of the famous swoosh, but we also think of the brand represents – the philosophy of life that it wants to evoke: the surpassing of oneself, perseverance in efforts, etc.

Your image should call attention to your values.  Whether you want to evoke elitism, mutual aid, sharing, human warmth … your visuals must make it happen.

What tools should I use to facilitate my communications ?

In the same way that a punctual, neat, and smiling person will start a job interview in the best way, a well-designed graphic identity will have the same positive effect on its audience.

But if you run out of time or in-house skills, there are powerful and free tools available. In a previous article we wrote about the importance of illustrating publications with quality images; here are some tools you can use to modify them, and include them in your designs.

ONLINE CREATION

Canva

A market benchmark, Canva lets you create all kinds of print or web publications. A premium version gives you access to more tools (resizing, saving graphic elements …) as well as the unrestricted use of photos and illustrations.

Stencil

More geared towards social networks, Stencil offers a visual alternative to Canva, and allows for more original creations. Its free version is limited in terms of the number of possible creations, so a subscription is required to access more features.

Snappa

In the same vein as Stencil, Snappa offers a free, limited, version, as well as a paid version.

Easil

Another alternative, Easil offers a number of quality designs, particularly for print media, and has a variety of styles suitable for any kind of publication.

Crello

With Crello, you can create stunning animated visuals for $16.67 / month. Unfortunately, its free version is very limited, and isn’t much more than a demo.

Pablo

Created by Buffer, an online tool for managing social networks, Pablo is naturally geared towards digital publishing. It allows simple “quote” type posts with text and logo superimposed on an image of your choice.

ONLINE EDITING

Photopea

Photopea lets you edit files from Photoshop. It’s a powerful free alternative that lets you edit your images directly in the online software

PIXLR

An alternative to Photopea, Pixlr is very simple to use and you can easily edit your visuals.

DOWNLOADABLE TOOLS

If you have the internal resources, but don’t want to invest in Adobe suite, there’s free software that will give you the same professional results.

GIMP

A free software that operates on all platforms, GIMP, like a Photoshop, has tools many of the online programmes can’t offer. It’s especially recommended for manipulating photos or visuals.

Inkscape

Like GIMP, Inkscape is also free, but lets you also manipulate vector images. It’s essentially is the free equivalent of Adobe Illustrator, with which you can modify your logos, pictograms, icons in .eps, .svg or .ai formats.

Scribus

If you’re looking more for free software for print publishing, look no further than Scribus, the most complete alternative to Adobe Indesign. Although it is difficult to handle, there are many online tutorials to help you get professional results.

Take advantage of our Netassoc’ solution

Our NetAssoc’ solution lets you to customise your publications. Inserting images with a frame tool / resizing, formatting text, adding CSS styles … it has so many tools that you can use to enrich your publications at your leisure, all while respecting your visual identity. As you can see below, KEDGE Alumni news template includes text, videos, and Facebook posts. We can also tailor templates to further customise your publications, such as the action button in the colours of the association located at the end of the article.

Any question ?

Become an environment… 5 July 2019