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Our Process: 5 Key Components of a Foundational Visual Identity System

Jeff St John - January 20, 2023 - 0 comments

What’s the difference between brand identity and visual identity?

Brand identity refers to the more “internal aspects” such as mission, brand voice and brand personality.
Visual identity is what’s used to express those “physically or on the outside” such as logo designs, brand colors and typography.

What does our term “foundational identity system”
mean to us and for you?

In design, as in life, one must build a strong foundation in order to build up and expand.

Our process of establishing a foundational visual identity system includes 5 key components:
create, organize, implement, educate, grow.

For you, that means a reliably consistent visual platform that is going to attract new customers
and build loyalty with both the existing and the new.

5 Key Components of a Visual Identity System

Industry of Hues™ 5 Key Components to a Foundational Visual Identity System: Create, Organize, Implement, Educate, Grow.

01  Create

Informed design development based on a thorough discovery phase. This is where the visual identity is given structural form and the core assets are established (e.g., logo, iconography, color palette, typography, image treatments, photography).

02  Organize

We put together what we affectionately refer to as, the visual toolkit. This is literally a folder of the final visual identity files. It includes all work produced from the CREATE phase. Now that all designs are approved and organized, this folder is meant to be shared amongst team members and/or external persons. Overall, this produces clarity of assets, encourages consistency in usage and (we hope!) fosters excitement about the brand.

03  Implement

The ‘Hello World’ phase; in other words, getting the visual side of the brand OUT THERE. This can take the form of a website, all social channels updated with correct graphics and language, and any relevant print materials. We suggest a unified reveal, so that creative is most impactful and consistent.

04  Educate

So you just launched. That’s great! But remember, sustaining a healthy visual identity is an ongoing task. We provide a brand guidelines document to keep things on the right path. It’s an immensely important tool that highlights proper usage of the visual identity and all of its individual components.

We also become your brand’s stewards, consulting when necessary about any and all matters relating to the implementation and ongoing maintenance of one’s visual identity.

05  Grow

Once the visual identity is established, organized, implemented, and properly maintained, trust and brand equity begin to accrue. Customers are loyal to brands that they’re familiar with and that project a sense of being well-established. A strong, foundational visual identity system means consistency at every touchpoint a potential customer will encounter, strengthening the relationship between customers (both new and existing) and brand.


It’s completely natural (and very much encouraged) for a brand identity to continue to grow and evolve. When it comes time to adapt or update aspects supporting the main visual identity, build from the signature core. This promotes freshness, but aligns itself with its origins.

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