Visual coherence is the maintenance throughout the different designs of a combination of colours selected to represent your company. Its goal is the company’s recognition through the combination of colours, which is present in a given design without the need to have extra information. Visual coherence familiarizes the potential client with the company.
In the previous section we have discussed about the selection of colour and how it should be carried out, but what we did not mention is that this selection is many times conditioned by different factors.
Industries or activities with established colours: many branches of industries or commerce already have a range of colours established to represent themselves in a given branch of activity. When this happens it is very difficult to put aside this range because if this is done, you take the risk of not being recognized as integral part of this industry. For example, a company that sales bottled water can be set aside of the market if it is not recognized by potential clients when it does not use in its labels some bluish colour. All the companies that sell bottled water use blue and not using it may be a disadvantage because this area is conditioned by this colour. In this case, the differentiation is subordinated to belonging to the area.
Reference to the market leader: it is very usual for a company to design its own chromatic identity (visual coherence) from that one of the market leader. A company that decides to reproduce the image of the leader company chooses to lose the differentiation that could provide the visual coherence of its designs in order to appropriate from the identification with certain colours that the leader company has imposed.
Opposition to the market leader: the other option is to go against the chromatic identity of that of the market leader. This design selection can reduce the identification with the area but it will increase differentiation. Even if your company has a very skilful designers team, this will cause that potential clients find in your design a “reply” or deliberate opposition to your competitor and in this way its chromatic identity be incorporated to the area not due to coincidence with this one but due to opposition to it.
Considering this, you will have to consider advantages and disadvantages of adopting designs which keep a visual coherence similar to that one of its competitors.
In case you decide to differentiate from the competitors, you should bear in mind that a design has not to be different physically but conceptually. What do we mean? The design of a Logo or of any element of the corporate identity as well as the visual coherence taken cannot differentiate your company by itself, but what will differentiate your company is the transmission of a different concept.
If you want to differentiate from your competitors, you do not have to go to a designer in order to create a different design for your company from classic concepts of the other companies that take part in the area. On the contrary, you should give the designer a concept, an idea or a distinctive characteristic of your company so that he can design from it. Differentiation comes from the concept not from the design. If you propose the same values for your company that those of your competitors, the designer will be forced to choose the shapes of classic designs with which consumers are familiarized with. However, if you propose different values to those of your competitors to represent your company, the designer can innovate the design by achieving a different and differential element.