Award-winning content creator @thinklumi shares his insights about visual continuity and the importance of having a clear Instagram aesthetic.
Visual continuity. What is it, and why is it so important? Allow me to shed some light on this subject, and I guarantee if this is something you didn’t already know about it will be something you consider from now on in all of your endeavours online.
If your social feed has visual continuity, it means each image shared by your brand feels like a continuation of the last, resulting in a strong sense of consistency so that when people see it is visually and emotionally pleasing when people visit your profile.
The difference between whether or not someone follows you is often determined by their first impression of your content, and that is made by the nature of the first few photos on your profile.
What is an aesthetic?
If you follow much of internet culture, you might be familiar with the term “aesthetic”. In art and design the idea of an aesthetic is essentially the idea of a content creator and their own particular unique style. The feelings content evokes, the tools used to make it, its style, motifs, and everything that goes into a piece of art or content. And content is art.
Without further ado here are a few questions to ask yourself when defining your aesthetic:
Medium / Style
What medium is in your content in?
Here are 3 examples of the most popular types of content:
PHOTOGRAPHY / PHOTOMANIPULATIONS
Probably the most prevalent type of content on social media, photos are captured with a camera. These photos are also frequently edited with tools like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
GRAPHIC DESIGN / VECTOR
These include icons, graphic illustrations and are typically created with vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
TRADITIONAL / DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION
Illustrations are created with physical mediums such as pencil and paint or with the aid of digital tools like Adobe Photoshop.
Now obviously a piece of content can fall into any number of these categories, and that overlap can be great, but just keep in mind that the more consistent you can make your content the more whole and filled out your content will feel.
Tones / Lighting
Do you use predominantly light or dark tones?
If you have a bunch of photos with bright tones and then a really low light photo your profile is gonna look all over the place when people visit it. Most Instagram users don’t really take this concept into to mind and that’s one of the things that separates a popular account with mainstream appeal from your average user.
Text / Typography
How many typefaces do you use?
The fewer fonts or typefaces you can use the better. 1-2 is optimal. Nothing looks more unprofessional than having your type all over the gamut in terms in terms of consistency.
What font sizes are you using? Are you able to keep it consistent?
It’s understandable needing multiple font sizes in order to grant very important hierarchy to any text content if you choose to include it in your content. Like the previous question shoot for 2-3 font sizes, the fewer the better.
Color / Saturation
Do you use bright colors, or do you have a more subdued approach to color?
What appeals most to your audience? Bright, bold, and colorful content, or something a bit more refined and subdued? Another thing to consider if you share photos is your editing style. Are you an influencer with picture perfect warm colors and muted whites or are you do you utilize a more dynamic color scheme for your photos? Want to learn more? Google “photo editing styles”.
Do you use mostly warm or cool colors? Which is most appropriate for the tone of your content?
Another thing to consider when defining your aesthetic is the color temperature of your content. What would be most appealing to your target audience? What’s typical in your space?
Familiarize yourself with your competitors and others in your space if you’re having trouble answering these questions, this really helps crystallize in your mind what’s appropriate for you. The better you can define your aesthetic now the better and more impactful your content will be as a whole. By establishing a voice both verbally and visually your customers or audience can better understand what you’re about. People don’t engage with content they cannot parse or that appears to be different in every post.
Don’t be afraid to be boldly yourself, but also a little variability in content doesn’t hurt as long as it’s not incredibly obvious and standout.
Tell your story, and do it consistently. Ultimately it’s usually the people who are in the game for a sustained amount of time and do so consistently that achieve success.