How to Build a Visual Identity: 5 Step Guide



Michelle Hy

If you’re just getting started with your entrepreneurial journey, you might not need to work with a designer or agency right away. Unless you have the budget (which most people don’t). It’s okay to create things on your own initially.

Understand that you’re still figuring things out and shaping your brand’s vision. You don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on branding only to find it doesn’t align with your vision later. This would mean reinvesting to redo everything.

Explore your ideas and DIY (Do It Yourself) for now. We’ll show you how to create a visual identity using a mock organization on Canva. We also provided templates you can use and customize.

Canva is a user-friendly platform for creating graphics, perfect for beginners. You can create a free account to get started.

→ Download Creation Templates
→ Download Brand Guideline Template
→ Download Creation Example
→ Download Brand Guideline Example

Why would I need a visual identity?

Your visual identity helps people recognize and remember your brand. It keeps your visual elements consistent across all platforms, maintaining a cohesive brand experience.

Here are the 5 steps to create your visual identity:

Step 1: Get inspired

Start by finding inspiration from various sources to guide your brand’s look and feel. Create a mood board using Pinterest or collect images from Google and other resources. Use the provided template above to compile everything.

Look for visual elements that resonate with your brand, such as colors, patterns, typography, imagery styles, and overall aesthetic. Gather images from any creative field—photography, movies, stationery, packaging, illustration—that draw you in. Let this be your canvas.

Step 2: Pick your colors

Choose 2-3 colors, including light and dark ones, that match your brand’s personality and are easy to read. Consider about how these colors make people feel and whether they fit with your brand’s message and audience. Think about the psychological impact of colors and the emotions they convey.

Need some help? You can use something like Color Hunt to explore and play around with color combos.

Step 3: Choose fonts

Select fonts that complement your brand’s personality and are easy to read. Use a primary font for headings and a secondary font for body text to maintain visual hierarchy. Make sure both fonts are legible and consistent with your brand’s tone and style. Factors to consider include readability, scalability, and compatibility with digital and print media.

For example, avoid a cartoonish font if you want to be perceived as professional and sophisticated.

Step 4: Design your logo.

Create a logo that’s simple but memorable. Use your chosen fonts to write out your brand name. Avoid making it too complicated, and make sure it looks good in different formats and sizes.

Be creative but don’t overdo it—your logo should be easy to recognize and read at a glance. Make it versatile for both horizontal and vertical formats.

Also, include a brand icon or mark for use in smaller areas like social profile pictures.

Step 5: Create guidelines.

Put everything together in a brand guidelines document. This helps everyone understand how to use your brand’s visuals correctly, including logo usage, color schemes, and font choices. Having clear guidelines keeps your brand looking consistent and easy to recognize.

Now you have a brand look!

By following these 5 steps, you can boost your visibility and improve how people look at your content.

Remember, first impressions matter. It’s about creating something tangible to help people recognize your brand quickly, building familiarity and trust.

Don’t worry about perfecting your colors or logo right now. Use what you have, get feedback, and invest more later.

Happy creating!

Want to share your creations? Email your brand guidelines to

P.S. If this guide helped you in any way, please send me a note on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear about it.

– Michelle

How to Build a Visual Identity: 5 Step Guide

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