‘Branding’ is such a broad term these days. When people tell you they are going through a branding re-design, or are trying to come up with a ‘brand’ for their business, often they simply mean - I want a logo. Others might think they just need a couple of product photos, a behind-the-scenes video, or a single headshot for the ‘about’ page of their website. But what these all have in common is that they actually want a visual representation of their company/idea/thingy-ma-jig, that they can show to others and allow them to be recognised, while telling the story of who they are. And that’s what we love to do!
When we use this phrase, we’re basically referring to using visual media such as illustration, animation, videography, photography to create a narrative. These can be enhanced with music, graphics and more, and are all excellent ways to push the concept of what a brand can be. Well-crafted, branded visuals can help you take your company from seeming flat and impersonal to one that people will connect with and trust.
Some of our favourite projects have been those that make a real difference to the brand’s engagement on social media! For example, Mana Bar is a protein dry mix brand who we worked with to create a clear visual narrative. We started with their packaging, which used fun, funky illustrations to show off the flavour.
These worked with the established brand colours. From this simple illustration, we were able to build a visual story around who they were, and portray this on social media through the further content we created - videos, stop-motion animations, photos and more.
This created a really cohesive, fun, and playful brand identity that they loved! Consistent colours across imagery, paired with illustrated elements that link back to the packaging, and animations used within the posts, all push the key messaging of who Mana Bar told us that they were.
Photography doesn’t need to just be of the product, either. We’ve helped many brands to capture photos of themselves that they love, and these can be used in more situations than just your website. For example, Sportsflare is a tech startup that we’ve worked with to create a visual presence for. We really wanted to capture the essence of who they are as a company - they defined themselves as hardworking, honest people who wanted to excel. They also started this business together on the side, so showing their humble beginnings whilst keeping the look clean and professional was key.
When pitching to investors, these types of images can be really helpful in showing who your business is, especially if you don’t have a tangible product to showcase. We’ve used the brand images we took for sales documents, pitch slideshows, LinkedIn, and in many, many applications other than on their website.
Tying all members of a company together with clean, tidy, headshots can also really help the image of a business that’s just starting out. A friendly face goes a long way!
Don’t worry though if you don’t think you have a particularly interesting story to tell, either. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be complicated! We love to help clients find the beauty in what is already there within their business.
For example, Wairarapa Skin Clinic came to us with a simple brief - they wanted to showcase that they help clients with sun damaged skin, aaaand they liked fantails. Plain and simple. They had heaps of them around where their clinic is based - a beautiful semi-rural setting - and so we showcased this through some fun, quirky illustrations!
In the end, the client loved the fantail so much that not only was it used in the final logo, but we created extra fantails that are peeking around different corners of the clinic.
At the end of the day, as well as helping pull together all the parts of who your company really is, visual storytelling really is a ton of fun. It’s the stuff that gets our hearts racing, and it’s what your audience connects with when they look for you online!
We really urge you to consider things like brand photography, video and illustration for your next project - and we hope you have fun with it!
– Pip & Ricky