In case you didn’t know, we’re major design geeks. From data visualization, to motion graphics, to infographics, we’re obsessed with design in any medium—especially when it comes to branding. A beautifully designed visual identity doesn’t just support a brand; it elevates it. From your packaging to your social presence, a strong visual identity instantly communicates who you are, what you’re about, and why people should want to interact with you.
Conversely, a weak identity can degrade your brand experience. It’s easy to assume that just because you have an identity—logo, colors, fonts—that it is effective. But if your visual identity is disconnected, inconsistent, or an inaccurate reflection of your brand, you aren’t telling a cohesive brand story. That makes it harder for your brand to connect with and establish a relationship with the people you’re trying to reach.
Luckily, there are plenty of brands out there that are doing it right. We always love to celebrate great work, so we’ve rounded up some of our team’s fave brands to show you the best real-life examples of a visual identity at work.
15 Brands With an Awesome Visual Identity
From beer to bedding, each of these brands artfully uses their visual identity to entice and engage in creative ways. We hope they inspire you to do the same.
Casper is the mattress startup that has disrupted the industry with not just an innovative business model but a slick visual identity and content marketing strategy. (See their quarterly print magazine Woolly.) Their soothing beige and blue brand colors, plus hand-drawn illustrations, bring a sense of comfort to everything from their website to their Facebook.
Meditation app Headspace also features a cheery color palette that brings joy—the very mission of their meditation app: less stress, more joy. Naturally, the identity extends to their site, app, and even their Instagram. With inspirational quotes and charming illustrated characters, they ensure a cohesive experience with every piece of content.
Just like their service, Airbnb’s branding is all about living an active life. Through their people-heavy imagery and bold pink logo, they encourage people to make the most of life—and use Airbnb to do it.
Yogurt might not be the most thrilling product, but our team has a major design crush on Chobani’s visual identity. Their packaging uses their signature green, which reflects their natural, non-GMO ingredients while providing a backdrop that allows the fruit to pop. Meanwhile, their Instagram is packed with fun illustrations and unique digital collages that play with the brand colors in creative ways.
When Dropbox began, they were rocking a minimal design, but as the brand evolved, so did its brand identity. Its 2017 rebrand features a vibrant, colorful, imagery-heavy identity that is a drastic change. From their Twitter banners to their Instagram, it conveys a sense of endless creativity to match the brand’s ever-evolving toolkit.
Following in the steps of branding titans like Virgin, Southwest Airlines recently unveiled a fresh rebrand that injects the brand with a little more personality. Its yellow, red, and blue tri-color scheme brings a sense of warmth, making the brand feel more welcoming—exactly what you want from an airline.
Sonos has the exciting challenge of communicating their audio-centric brand visually. Luckily, with a 2015 rebrand they turned their sonic brand into a treat for the eyes. Sophisticated black is punctuated by loud pops of color (pun intended) that reflect the product experience.
Like Casper, Buffy is a sleep brand offering “the world’s most comfortable comforter.” With a heavy emphasis on comfort, the brand boasts a rainbow of muted colors and illustrations that offer a playful vibe while keeping it calming and soothing.
Winc is a wine club that sends wine to your doorstep. As such, they’re all about simple convenience, and their visual identity reflects that. The color palette is muted and sophisticated—perfect for an elegant wine club. Their site features minimalist design and simple illustrations, well punctuated through colorful accents that keep the focus on the product.
10) Little Wolf
This coffee roaster has a visual identity that pops with personality. Inspired by its animal-centric name, the site features a whimsical illustrated wolf and a clean blue-and-white palette. Everything from its merch to its cups uses the hand-drawn wolf motif, creating an economic and immediately recognizable identity.
11) January Moon
This maker of modern teething jewelry has a brand identity far more sophisticated than your standard baby product brand. Naturally, with an emphasis on modernity, the brand takes a unique approach by using classic primary colors in creative ways. A subdued gray is paired with pops of color and abstract shapes, giving it a cleaner, more adult feel.
For many nonprofits, design can be an afterthought. But the Parkinson’s Foundation has created a fresh visual identity that reflects the exciting, dynamic organization it is. A unique logo resembles a brain in a head, a subtle nod to the neurological disorder. The bright blue is a vibrant hue, communicating an excitement and zest for life that the organization works to support.
Glossier is the beauty brand all about simplifying beauty product shopping. As such, their identity is simple and clean. Light colors and people-centric photography make it feel welcoming and accessible—just like their shopping experience.
14) Meow Wolf
Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment group that creates immersive, interactive experiences. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their visual identity is bold and immersive. Technicolor hues paired with simple animation brings their site and social presence to life, whether it’s images of recent work or snapshots of the team.
15) Rogue Ales
This Oregon-based beer brand is pioneering farm-to-bottle brewing. They grow many of their own ingredients and draw flavor inspiration from nature’s best. Their visual identity reflects this in every way, from the hand-drawn illustrations on their packaging to the “fresh picked” photography ever-present on their social media. It’s an effective way to reinforce their brand promise in every design detail.
How to Improve Your Own Identity
If these brands have inspired you to up your design game, there are plenty of things you can do to give your identity a makeover. If you’re note sure where to start, here are some of our favorite tips and tricks:
- See our step-by-step guide to building a powerful visual identity.
- Try the best science-based tips to build an unforgettable brand identity.
- Find out how to create a brand style guide that’s easy to use.
- Use these 75 helpful tools, resources, and tips to build a great brand identity.
If you’re strapped for time or resources, let’s chat about how we can help.