Designing your Brand’s Visual Identity

– where to start and what to look for

Things to look at when designing your brand, first and foremost: YOU

Today I want to talk about what I call The non-literal Brand Identity.

When I think about brand identity, I think of uncountable factors: message, alignment, commitment, values, perception, etc, and the list is huge (actually it gets longer by the minute).

And I think it is in this broad spectrum, in this network of crossed roads and fragmented information, pieces of memory, delusional dreams, confusion, hopes, changes of direction and finally, relief, that relies our true essence. And it is different for each one of us on this planet. I believe its on the collection of unique pieces: the things we saw, the places we went to, the food we tried, the laughs we laugh for no reason… that we exist in our plenitude. It’s in our intimacy, so deep that sometimes we don’t even see it, that relies our true connection with our essence.

As entrepreneurs and designers, we face the challenge of designing our brand identity, product’s identity, but what I see very often is that in this process sometimes we forget that a big part of this is already designed, and that part is our personal identity. People buy people first, but that is not the only reason, mixing your personality with your Brand Identity: the other reason is that by expressing yourself your chances of connecting with like-minded clients are much much bigger! And that means, more pleasure, more fun, more revenue and (of course!) more margaritas-time for you.

So this is what I propose:

When designing a brand, focus on the ‘Why you are doing this’ instead of on the ‘What you are doing’. It is a matter of recognising and expressing the essence of the person behind the service, behind the action.

Because it is the why, the vision, the reasons, the story that each one of us have that serves us as motivation and makes us unique.


That is the key to a successful branding project. That will communicate who you are, your truth, the things you like and who you want to work with, all of that can be read between the lines of your brand identity, and save you a lot of time by doing this pre-selection for you.

I personally choose not to use direct reference of the what on my logos, like no camera for a photographer, no stethoscope for a health professional and so on, because I truly believe that we are much much more than what we do.

We are the whys, not the whats, and that’s very very beautiful : )



About the Author

Ana Caiado is the Head Designer and Co-Founder of Le Bear Design. She aims her research on design psychology, collective memory and user perception towards Brand Strategy and that is how she has been helping entrepreneurs in North America, Europe and Brazil express their uniqueness through their authentic brands. For the past 8 years, Ana has been focused on the multiple theoretical and practical aspects of one’s Identity, with academic work at University of São Paulo and Concordia University and client work developed through her two companies BrownSugarBear Design (in Brazil, her homeland) and Le Bear Design (in Canada – her actual home). She is married to the other half of Le Bear Design (Rafael Franciosi – the code man!), she loves all beautiful things and is a mother of 2 furry dogs : )


What about you?

Why did you choose to start your business?
What is your personal motivation?

Leave your comments down bellow, I’ll love to join the discussion and share my whys with you!


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