It's important to know your competition. You can learn what they're doing right, and what the market wants. You can also learn how you could do better than your competition, and how to make yourself stand out from them.
When designing your visual brand, it's equally important to know the industry trends for visual brands. Educating yourself on the visual language being used in your space allows you to speak in ways your target audience is familiar with, while also avoiding looking like a clone of a someone else's business.
With that said, this month I researched visual brand "trends" for Virtual Assistants.
I use the term trends loosely, because what I'm looking for is patterns and similarities among top-Google-ranked businesses, not necessarily new and popular visual brand styles.
Virtual Assistant is a broad term that encompasses people with varied skills, but their ultimate goal is to assist entrepreneurs and business owners with business tasks and free up more of their time. They can specialize in bookkeeping, organization, proofreading, social media management, graphic design.. almost anything.
But, again, their main focus is giving entrepreneurs more time.
Let's get into the trends.
Only two logo trends appeared while researching Virtual Assistant brands, and all but one logo surveyed used simple typography paired with an icon.
The use of an abstract icon with a basic circular shape and rounded edges was extremely popular with VAs.
The less polished VA visual brands consistently used logos with an illustrated icon - often a person.
The color palettes among Virtual Assistants were very consistent. Even the two trends I noticed aren't too different from each other.
Monochrome + Blue or Green
Far away the most popular color palette for VAs involved a palette with several shades of gray, plus an accent color of blue or green.
Grays + Complementary Pair
Occasionally, a visual brand would stray from the above palette, but only so far as to add a pop of a complementary color.
Not a serif font in sight.
For headers, rounded, friendly fonts (that often mimicked the logo icon) were popular, paired with a simple san serif body font.
Sometimes used as subheaders with the rounded fonts, and sometimes used on their own, condensed san serif fonts were also a popular choice.
So what do you do with this information, as a virtual assisstant?
For starters, if your entire visual brand was just described by these trends - figure out how you can stand out.
I don't recommend not using any of these trends in your visual brand - they're working on some level for many different VAs. But you can take what's working and add your own twist to it.
Let me know in the comments below: what industries do you want me to research visual brand trends in next?
Are you an online business coach who needs to update their visual brand? Check out my Noteworthy Visual Brand Starter Kit.
I'm a brand designer who helps business owners who are tired of their marketing efforts just pulling "okay" results. I help them stand out and be remembered online by designing them a Noteworthy Visual Brand that attract their ideal clients - effortlessly.