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Developing a Visual Identity for Promoting Your Work

For anyone who works in a visually driven profession, every time you introduce yourself visually is a chance to put your best foot forward and impress a potential client. What do I mean by introducing yourself visually? There are lots of ways that you likely do just that every day: via social media, print or digital portfolios, and business cards. Your visual brand identity is the culmination of all of these things, and is an important opportunity to communicate something about your talents, style, and particular strengths as a designer.

Creating a visual identity is important for all working artists, whether or not you happen to be a graphic or web designer yourself. If you are, make sure that your own visual identity epitomizes the kind of work that you’d like to do for clients. If you work in a different arena, developing an identity is a great chance to collaborate with a classmate who does graphic design.

macro eye colored rainbow with white copy space. Letterbox.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing your visual identity:



  • Begin with a brainstorm. Think about key words and ideas that you want to say about yourself through your design, and keep these in mind as you’re working. Is your work fun and playful, or bold and fearless? The most important element of a visual identity is consistency, and having too many ideas can make it fall apart. Spend time planning out your work, and refine these ideas until you’re completely happy with the core idea of your visual identity.
  • It’s more than just a logo.  Design communicates a lot, and every detail says something about who you are – from the color palette in the photography you incorporate on your social media profiles, to the typeface you choose for your business card. Make sure all of these details are cohesive and tell a singular story about your work.
  • It’s okay to stand out. If you’re designing your own visual identity, you have a unique opportunity to be your own client. This can be a great chance to push boundaries, take risks, and do things a little differently. You can always scrap it and start again, and the best case scenario is that you create a memorable design that will help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Communicate with color: Utilizing color is one of the easiest ways to create consistency across platforms, and between digital and print promotional materials. Choose a restrained color scheme that’s flexible and adaptable, and creates a mood and feeling that says something about who you are as an artist or designer. Make sure the colors you choose are easy to replicate from platform to platform.




  • Put it to work! Implement your new identity everywhere you can. Get business cards printed, revamp your website, and update your social media accounts. Once you’ve rolled out your new visual identity, it’s a great time to attend a networking event and introduce your newly polished professional self to the world.