How Companies Use Visual Elements to Increase Brand Recall

Without thinking, a company name will automatically come to mind when you see a particular color or pattern, even without a logo. Quick, name these iconic brands:








(Answers below)

Creating an Extension of the Brand

When companies create their logos, they also choose fonts and colors to establish an extension of their brand across all collateral materials – so even when the logo isn’t seen, the company is still recognizable. The very largest corporations usually have a special font or color designed for them, which they trademark so no one else can use it. Sometimes they go a step further and create a brand element that becomes so iconic it’s better than the brand itself – whether on purpose or by accident.

Take the Burberry fashion brand, for instance (quiz spoiler alert). As the story goes, an ordinary coat’s plaid lining became so intriguing to buyers back in the 1960s that the company put the same tartan pattern on umbrellas, cashmere scarves, and every other article of fashion they’ve created. If you ask anyone today if they recognize the Burberry logo of a man on a horse, they’ll say no. But they probably can recognize the red, black, and camel-colored plaid – the famous extension of the brand.

What Is Brand Recall?

Colors and patterns closely associated with a brand increase cognitive recall of that brand among buyers. The more impressions you see (the more times you see the color or pattern) the easier the brand is to remember (recall). And the more you recognize, remember, and think about a brand, the more likely you are to buy their products.

How Can My Business Create Better Brand Recall with Visuals?

Any size business and almost every type of business can benefit from an extended brand language. It’s a matter of creating a combination of visual elements that are flexible across media platforms and different types of collateral. Working with a good marketing company will help you weave a story into the cloth of your brand.

It is super important to have extended visual brand recognition so potential customers will recognize all of your services or products. Most people won’t be able to associate a logo with all that you have to offer unless you sell one dominant product or service that’s obvious in your logo (for example, Dunkin’ Donuts).

It’s also important to keep visual brand elements around for a good long while. If you change elements too often, you’ll have to reset that first brand recall impression each time.

You Don’t Have to Introduce All Visual Elements at Once

Creating a visual brand is a journey. Some elements are decided on quickly, and some creep up on you over time. A creative marketing studio that understands your brand is a great partner to have as you start your business and throughout your many years of success.


Answers to brand quiz: Burberry, Coca-Cola, BMW, Starbucks, Tiffany & Co, T-Mobile

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