Don't Hurt Your Visual Identity with These Motion Design Mistakes

Visual Identity

Maintaining a strong brand visual identity isn’t as easy as you’d think. Especially when a few too many still think that a logo is the only thing that’s required but the logo alone doesn’t represent the entirety of a brand.

With countless businesses, striving to establish their visual identity, possessing a robust brand has turned into a necessity for setting companies apart from their competitors.

What is Visual Identity?

Headspace Visual Identity Example

Your visual identity refers to components of your brand that can be ‘seen’. This includes your logo, imagery, typography, colours, and creative designs. These work together to convey a brand’s essence, setting it apart from its competitors.

*Visual Identity Example of Headspace on Instagram.

Listing them out might seem simple, but the challenge lies in understanding how these elements interact with one another and effectively convey to your customers who you are, what you represent, and why their loyalty should be with you.

*Visual Identity of Headspace on their Website (About Page)

What is the difference between visual identity and brand identity?

WIX define it as follows;

 “Since brands are like living and breathing entities, you can imagine your brand like a human body. Your brand and visual identities work together to sustain a healthy being. With this in mind, Brand Identity refers to the more “internal aspects” such as mission, brand voice and brand personality. Visual Identity is what's used to express those “physically or on the outside” such as logo designs, brand colours and typography.

Together they create a complete (and unique) identity. These two frameworks work in tandem to support the same goal of shaping a brand”. 

So why is visual identity important?

Establishing a strong visual identity comes with several benefits.

Instant recognition in a crowded market

Distinct visual identities act as powerful differentiators, especially in noisy markets.

A thoughtfully designed visual identity, comprising logos, colours, and design elements, establishes a unique and easily recognisable image. This swift recognition enables consumers to link visual cues with the brand, enhancing recall and differentiation in a competitive marketplace. 

It builds brand consistency and cohesion

A well-thought-through Visual Identity ensures consistency in branding across various touchpoints, such as websites, social media, packaging, and advertising. These rules make sure all the different elements are aligned and saying the same thing, reinforcing the brand's message and making it easier for customers to understand and connect with the brand.

Nurtures Brand Trust & Credibility

A consistent and polished visual identity reflects professionalism and attention to detail. This, in turn, enhances your brand's credibility and trustworthiness, encouraging consumers to choose your brand over others. Leading to a higher likelihood of customers purchasing your product or service. 

Why is it difficult to maintain a Visual Identity?

Here are some key reasons why both brands and organisations often struggle to maintain consistency in their visual identity.

Lack of a Comprehensive Brand Guide

One major hurdle we see is the lack of a meticulously designed brand guide that is built on the information collected from proper competitor and target audience research. Yes, the Brand Guide primarily focuses on the visual elements, the part that you can "see." However, it is important to note that without proper data and information, it would be like starting a business without conducting any research to determine the need for that business. 

Too many options to account for

Marketing is complex and so are the tools we have at our disposal. We no longer promote using leaflets and magazine ads, there are TV commercials, paid ads, out-of-home promotion, retargeting, social media and so on. Our Brand is present on many platforms and showcased in many ways… It’s hard to account for everything.

Misaligned with Target Audience

Another challenge that arises when you don’t have a clearly defined visual identity is being out of sync with the intended target audience. When your visual identity doesn't resonate with the preferences and expectations of your audience, maintaining a cohesive identity becomes a challenge. 

Why Motion is vital to include!

When brands and organisations invest in their visual identity, they often neglect to consider the role of motion. In today's marketing landscape, where video content (both live action & animation) has become the primary medium, failing to integrate motion design can result in inconsistent video quality and content.

This oversight not only consumes more time due to the lack of repeatability but also has the potential to confuse both users and the audience.

*How Headspace integrated Motion into their Visual Identity.

Steps to aligning motion into your visual identity

Here are some steps that can help you align motion with your visual identity.

Include Motion Styles in the initial brand development

At some point, you will go through a rebrand, or create a brand guide. Make sure to include Motion as an element within your Visual Identity.

This is a great time to include it as research into your competitors, audience and marketplace can help steer a style that is unique to you but best represents the Brand Identity you are trying to create.

Make sure your Motion Style mirrors your personality

Many brands will create a ‘personality’. What would their brand look like, sound like and act like if it was a person. Think the same way about your motion.

If your ‘vibe’ is upbeat, energetic, youthful, and witty… does your motion say the same thing? Or is it corporate, slow-paced… flat?

Create templates and rules for future Motion graphic/animated content

Once you’ve done the research and figured out what you want your animated content to say about you, you can create rules for future designers. How fast do things move? What Motion Style do you use mostly and what don’t you use? How smooth is the motion? Does movement accelerate quickly… or build up over time?

Creating these rules in advance and setting them in stone, ensures future content will be uniform and strengthen your visual identity, not pull away from it.

Without clear guidelines for motion, designers might add random elements that don't fit the established design rules. This not only affects your brand and product but also takes away the benefits of improved design. Motion isn't just about looks – it makes the user experience better.


In conclusion, crafting and maintaining a great visual identity is an ongoing journey, sculpted by challenges, solutions and business evolvement that define a brand's core. A brand's visual identity extends beyond a logo; it harmonises elements to weave a distinct narrative, fostering recognition and forging emotional bonds with audiences.

It's important to understand how vital visual identity is in a competitive world. Quick recognition, dependability, and building trust shape how customers see a brand. Even though challenges like connecting with the right audience and adjusting to business changes can pop up, they can be tackled with smart strategies and a dedication to staying consistent.

Moreover, adding motion takes things up a notch for a brand, deeply engaging users. To achieve this, brands can invest in a Motion Audit, Motion Design Guide, and partner with animation & motion design studios. This way, motion becomes a seamless part of the brand, introducing new dimensions to user experience and storytelling.

Looking for an animation studio to help you create consistent video/animation/motion design content for your marketing? Motion Manor can help! Click the link here to get in touch.

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