Nike. McDonald’s. FedEx. You’d recognize those logos, fonts, and color palettes anywhere.
That’s because their brand identities have been carefully crafted, finely tuned, and expertly designed. Can you say your Fintech product has the same pull?
Your brand’s visual identity is critical in gaining your customer’s trust — and dollars. If something in your brand’s design is off or doesn’t resonate, you’re as good as forgotten.
To be unforgettable, you need to be intentional. Each brand element — and how they function together — needs strategic consideration if it’s going to increase awareness, credibility, and loyalty to your brand. And it can all happen in three steps.
Define Your Brand’s Target Audience Before You Design
You likely have already thought about your target audience. But perhaps you haven’t considered them when it comes to your design. To achieve a brand design that speaks to your customers, you must consider them first.
Are your customers the type to respond to an elegant design as they check their stock portfolio? Or are they going to share the app with their friends because it gives off a fun-yet-trustworthy vibe?
To nail what your customers will respond to visually, there are a few things you need to define.
Demographics: Who they are (age, location, income, education, family status, work, and ethnic background)
Psychographics: What they’re into (attitudes, values, interests, hobbies, behavior)
From there, create user personas based on common demographic and psychographic data. Your team can return to these as a source of truth for who you’re building the brand and product for.
3 Visual Identity Design Concepts to Inspire Your Fintech Brand
Need to refresh your Fintech brand’s look but don’t know where to start? One change in typography, layout or color palettes can make all the difference. See what’s possible with this inspiration guide.
A sample persona looks like this: Millennial male, 34 years old, a $120K salary, college educated, married with a baby on the way, works in sales, and lives in a mid-size midwest city. His values and hobbies include financial safety and supporting his family, going to the gym, and meeting up with his friends for weekly basketball games. He’s a work-to-live guy, not the other way around, and hopes to add an addition to his house (so he feels the financial pressure).
Do you think he would respond to a brand identity that uses bold, neon colors with a nostalgic 90s vibe? Maybe so. But what about your other personas?
Let your data and business goals guide you as you hone in on your target audience and personas. This way, your choices will be backed up by research and poised to support whatever your team is working toward.
What’s Your Type? Identify and Define Your Brand’s Personality
There’s no personality test for brands…yet. Instead of using the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs, you’ll need to define your brand personality yourself. After all, your brand’s personality will have a great impact on how you choose your design elements.
To start, brainstorm different adjectives that describe your brand. Get your team involved, use a whiteboard or FigJam, and dream big. There are no wrong answers unless you think they are.
Quirky? Free-spirited? Refined? Serious? Surreal? Earthy?
What feels true to your brand?
From there, narrow it down to the most resonant three or four.
If you need help picking the right adjectives, look to your target audience to inspire your brainstorming. Your brand personality keywords should fit with your user personas.
For a real-world example, let’s look at investing giant, Robinhood. You might define their brand personality as future-focused, accessible, and cool.
Build Out Your Brand’s Visual Identity With These Four Elements
After your target audience and brand personality are defined, it’s time to design.
It’s important to know that in the beginning, nothing should be off-limits. Go broad, see what you like, notice what isn’t working, and iterate from there. Your goal is to narrow down a few combinations of elements that align best with your brand’s personality.
Focus on color, typography, layout, and imagery. As you define each element, keep your brand personality’s keywords close by. Even better, group your keywords with visual descriptions.
For example, a sophisticated brand personality may look luxurious, minimal, and classic. A free-spirited brand personality may be visually described as playful, spacious, and natural.
Again, looking at Robinhood: Their future-focused, accessible, and cool brand personality could be visually described as bold and edgy.
In the Fintech world, blue, green, and purple are all having a moment. Just look at behemoths like Venmo, PayPal, Plaid, and Stripe.
Choosing Your Colors
Coca-Cola red. Caterpillar yellow. BP green. Can you see those brands’ colors?
Color has an undeniable psychological influence on emotions, and therefore your customers’ decision-making. So when you’re considering your brand’s colors, choose wisely.
In the Fintech world, blue, green, and purple are all having a moment. Just look at behemoths like Venmo, PayPal, Plaid, and Stripe. Blue can signal trustworthiness, purple royalty, and green wealth. But there’s no one solution. If it fits, bust through the market with orange!
Of course, you can’t just pick one color. You need a color palette, Bob Ross style: a primary and secondary color, plus accent colors, and at least one neutral shade.
If you failed art class in high school, don’t worry. These tools can help.
As for Robinhood, their neon green and black give an edgy and bold vibe. But the colors also speak to money and wealth.
Create Your Layout
Your color palette isn’t the only way to express your brand’s personality. How you size text, space graphics, and put all the pieces together greatly influences how your brand comes off.
Again, looking at your keywords, how should you size your text? If one of your keywords is minimalist, you should consider a healthy amount of space. If your brand personality leans too serious, you want to aim for alignment and consistency.
When you’re working through your layout consider:
How do you size your text?
How much space is around it?
Are you going to use a grid?
Will those grids have lines?
What elements are paired together?
How are those elements weighted next to each other?
Like many Fintech apps, Robinhood’s website is heavily gridded, evoking a sense of trust due to its structure. If the layout were chaotic, would customers have the same confidence?
Think About Your Typography
The Disney font is one of the most recognizable in the world. Seeing it can bring back childhood memories of watching cartoons on Saturday mornings.
What does your typography evoke?
Consider a serif or sans serif typeface. You could even do a combination, but only if you do so strategically. (Use a tool like Fontpair to see if your combination is a good fit.)
A serif font is more traditional and classic, evoking a professional feel. Whereas sans serif is more modern, versatile, and tends to be easier to read.
In recent trends, serif fonts are often used for headlines and noteworthy branding moments, while sans serif fonts are utilized for body text.
Robinhood uses a sans serif font called Maison Neue that is no-frills and easy to read. Does their font say future-focused? You bet.
Invoke Your Imagery
The last piece of your brand’s visual puzzle is your imagery and illustrations. These elements can further tell your brand’s story in a way the others can’t.
Again, use your keywords for guidance to find imagery that fits — or be bold and create imagery of your own.
You can use a mix of photography and illustrations, but they should complement each other. Similar styles or colors can help with this. Your goal should be to enhance the layout of your product and guide your audience to the important information and aspects of your product.
Bring in user testing to know whether or not your images, iconography, or illustrations are hitting the right vibes with your audience.
Need to describe your product simply? Animation or a short video counts as your imagery, so make sure that it fits in with your brand’s personality.
That said, don’t use imagery for imagery’s sake. Maybe a minimalist approach to illustrations is a better fit for your brand. Take budget tracker Mint, for example. They rely on illustrations of their product to help tell their story.
One last look at Robinhood: Notice how their imagery is both instructive yet evocative. Especially on their Learn page, they translate complicated topics into easy-to-understand concepts through their visuals.
Choosing Brand Elements That Support Each Other
Your eyes may be drawn to a brand’s color palette first. Your friend may fixate on the font. While each element can appeal to different people, there isn’t just one component that defines your brand. The sum of its parts reveals the bigger picture.
As you explore your infinite design possibilities (and they are infinite!), keep in mind that not all of your preferred components may work together. And that’s ok.
Your chosen imagery may give off Gen Z vibes while the typography asserts “wealthy retiree.” Or maybe your target audience is getting ready to be OOO indefinitely, so choosing mature imagery may be the necessary tweak you need.
Just like your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, it may take some tweaking to get things just right. Play around with your ingredients. Change up your options and see what the final result tastes like. Prepare multiple iterations and keep an open mind. You’ll find your brand’s sweet spot when you do.