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Have you ever thought about your research project as a brand? As a researcher, you might have come across the work of other research groups and institutions that publish their outputs with visual materials that have the same look and feel, effectively as a brand. What did you think about them? Did those materials stay with you?

Having a visual identity can help your research group or project stand out. If you are curious about how to create one, you are in the right place.

In this blog post, we explore why having a visual identity is useful for your research project, what elements it includes, and the steps to create it.

Make your research stand out

Having a visual identity enables you to seize the attention of your audience and leave a lasting impression. Memorable visuals increase the likelihood of your research being shared and discussed, thus expanding its impact. Here are three ways in which having a visual identity can help you promote your research project:

What is a visual identity?

By visual identity, we mean the visible representation of a brand or project. It encompasses the logo, colour palette, typography, and imagery that can be used on a website or even to design a physical space. The main objective of defining these elements is to convey a consistent and cohesive image. This makes the project easy to recognise and stand out.

Developing a visual identity for your research project

When the visual identity elements have been designed, they are usually collected in a branding guidelines document, which also outlines how these elements should – or should not – be used. This is very helpful in creating consistent materials in your outreach efforts. Several universities have their own institutional guidelines accessible to staff and students. If you want to produce visually engaging outreach materials and do not know how to begin, they are a good starting point.

Collaborating with a specialised research communication company can be very useful for creating a visual identity that truly resonates with the research project. At Research Retold we like to actively engage with researchers to understand their driving ideas and ensure their vision comes to life. That is why in our collaborations for creating a visual identity we make sure to involve the whole team. The steps we usually follow are:


Here are four research projects for which we developed visual identities:

In summary

The impact of research extends beyond academic circles. Creating a compelling visual identity through a brand guidelines document allows you to effectively communicate your research to diverse audiences, increase engagement, and foster credibility. By collaborating with a specialised research communication company, you can navigate the process with ease, ensuring your research project leaves a lasting impression and contributes meaningfully to your field and beyond.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of creating a visual identity for your research project or research group, we are an email away. Write to [email protected] to schedule a call. You can also read more about our additional services on our website. We look forward to collaborating with you!