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2 minute read - by Jan Van Lysebettens

How to translate your brand values into a strong visual identity

We’ve delved into the process of co-creatively choosing your brand values and putting them to the test with your real-life audience. Our branding workshop covers a third key part of defining who your company is and what it stands for: your visual identity. But expressing who your brand is in imagery is no walk in the park.

A great visual identity begins with co-creation

Some companies lock a design team in a room for a few days and periodically throw them snacks until they come up with a perfect visual identity, but that’s not how we roll. Based on our extensive experience with branding workshops, the best approach is – you guessed it – co-creative.

To capture the essence of a new brand, we organise a co-creation workshop that involves the branding or marketing team as well as the main stakeholders of the business. It’s important to note that designing a great brand identity requires a great briefing – so that’s what we aim to facilitate. Our main goal is to translate the company’s brand values into a tangible, mutually understood moodboard.


Making a moodboard: translating words into pictures

A moodboard is a collection of graphical elements that capture the vibe of a brand. As concrete as they seem at first glance, words can be vague and their implications are different for different people. Particularly when you’re still getting to know your new brand values, in-depth discussions about their specific meanings and how these meanings are visually expressed are key here.

“Audacious” or “esteemed” might mean something totally different for a typography expert vs. a marketing expert. This is why we spend a few hours sifting through a huge collection of various branding elements to craft a moodboard for each brand value. We split this exercise up into teams and then compare and discuss the moodboards afterwards.

The process isn’t just about shuffling papers around and talking about them. We expect our clients to roll up their sleeves and pick up the scissors and tape to create a moodboard. We offer a huge range of inspiring images. Taking them apart and reconstituting them allows us to discuss colours, typography, photography and brand elements at the same time.

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The proof is in the discussion

The resulting moodboard, however, is really only a side effect of the visual brand creation exercise. The in-depth discussion is where the real magic happens, as it allows every participant to get their vision aligned before we get started on the real work.

To make the emerging visual brand even more tangible, the second part of the workshop involves a critique. During this session, we focus on the main deliverable of the branding track and explore a collection of inspirational examples – often competitors’ websites and the company’s existing website. The goal: to capture as many insights as possible – positive and negative – in order to make design decisions in the right context and pin down a general look and feel, tone of voice and storytelling approach.

A fun and fruitful leap into design thinking

These hands-on exercises aren’t simply informative for us; they also introduce our customers to our way of thinking, our approach and our design lingo. We still refer back to the results of these exercises weeks later when discussing design direction. But above all, they’re just plain fun, and they’re inevitably a huge success.


Creative Lead

Jan Van Lysebettens

Jan is an experienced senior designer and developer who’s really passionate about creating beautiful designs and turning them into fully functional digital experiences. He combines a strong sense for aesthetics with an analytical approach to turn a client’s vision into meaningful digital products.

Set the mood with the perfect brand identity