What is visual communication anyway?  It’s all about connecting – to the right audience, at the right time and in the right way. Through your communications, you should be aiming to build, sustain and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with both your potential and existing customers.

Successful visual communication will strengthen the trust your customers have in you. So what's involved in ensuring your visual communication gives magical results? Actually, there's nothing magical about it. Follow established design, communication and marketing rules, add authenticity and a dash of innovation and you'll see the results - no hocus pocus required.

Use visual systems The design of your corporate identity or visual messages should represent the personality of your company. How do you want to be seen by your key audiences? You need to show your audience that you understand what makes them tick.  A visual system needs to be put in place to shape and develop the relationship between your company and your customers. This involves how things like colours, shapes, images, space and fonts are used. If successful, this visual system will continually reinforce positive perceptions of your business and retain awareness through strong memorable messages. Your visual system forms the foundation of a consistent visual message and this in turn forms the basis of your brand, your identity.

Visual components The first impression of your company comes from your logo. It is the most important visual statement because it directs the path that your corporate identity will take. Your business stationary should follow with a seamless design link. Then comes everything else your business needs. Your brochures, catalogues or adverts must again reflect the system set up in earlier stages. Your website must embrace previous design components and translate into a recognisable welcoming and stimulating web presence.

Consistency of style will speak volumes about you and will generate trust. This may seem boring but the key is to take a given visual system and present it innovatively so that the design and content of new material is recognisable - thus reinforcing your brand, yet is still exciting for your customers. This is where your graphic and web designers should come in - to ensure your messages are communicated to your target audience in a visually stimulating style that demands action.

Maintaining a buzz Also important is what you do with your communication tools. Stay in touch with your customers. Update your website so that customers know there is something to come back for. Make sure potential customers notice you. Be where they are looking and offer incentives to your current customers to give referrals. Use networks on-line and off-line. Be interesting. Be yourself. Authentic business people - magical! Do you agree?

AuthorSara Drawwater