Why visual identity is crucial to a Creator’s success

6 min readOct 28, 2021


Making Jellysmack Creators and partners stand out in the digital landscape

Creating a visual identity is essential to any digital media company worth its salt. In the sea of content that is the internet, the most eye-catching, aesthetically fine-tuned content has the best chance of going on to survive and thrive. Jellysmack, the global Creator company, has prioritized graphic design for its partner Creators from day one.

We sat down with Hugo Raulo, a graphic designer who joined the company in 2018. Back then, he was one of three people on the fledgling design team. “Social media is a visual medium,” he says simply. “That much is clear.” Hugo gives the example of Instagram: “Think about the pages you subscribe to. You subscribe because you appreciate the look, the point of view.” And, in the digital world, looks are anything but superficial. They’re a conduit — drawing the target audience in and ultimately creating fans and streams of revenue for partner Creators.

Back in the day, Hugo spent his days poring over typefaces, analyzing color swatches, and creating vibes for partner Creators’ channels. As he moved up the ranks, he became somewhat more hands-off. About six months into his tenure at Jellysmack, he proudly but somewhat bashfully reports, he hired “his first recruit,” Anaïs Ouattara.

When asked who else might chime in on the subject, Hugo invited her immediately. You see, they still collaborate daily. “We work together across channels,” says Anaïs. “And, I step in for him when he’s out of office. It’s a team effort.

The strategy

And, that’s putting it mildly. It’s become a small army. As the list of Creators has grown exponentially, so has the design team. Hugo is now Head of Design, and as of mid-November, there will be 21 designers under his purview. So, what exactly do they do? What goes into building the graphic identity of a Jellysmack Creator?

The process starts with the Creator themselves, of course. Sometimes, they come in with a visual identity already in tow…sometimes several. “One of the first things we do is make sure they’ve got a unified image across platforms,” says Anaïs. Professional design is all about coherence, instant recognition. “There are so many Creators out there. Fans need to recognize their favorites instantly” without having to ask themselves if it’s a copycat with a similar name.

The second major component is the raison d’être, the why. “We have to think about what the Creator wants to communicate,” says Hugo. Storytelling, a marketing technique for making the message relatable and authentic, has become key to standing out. The team leverages design to storytell, connecting audiences to “who the Creator is and what they’re about” on a personal level. The story needs to connect with the viewer before they even click.

Next comes vibe. Does the Creator want their channel to feel chill, spooky, friendly, minimalist? The design team then translates that into visual imagery: color scheme, typography, motion graphics, the whole nine yards.

Lastly, it’s all about delivering a premium product. Some Jellysmack Creators may have started out in their parents’ basements, but their channels are now bonafide businesses and sources of revenue. So, they’ve got to look streamlined and professional. “Each Creator has a brand, is a brand, in fact,” says Anaïs. Brand design is all about consistency, high-quality craftsmanship, and of course, advertising. And, ads need designers.

The daily

The team sifts through briefs on new and existing Creators from Partnerships Managers every day. The sheer volume of requests inevitably means that the team “produces a huge amount.” But, Hugo insists, “We still make sure it’s quality over quantity.

Within the first few months, Hugo’s responsibilities quickly shifted from creation to consulting. He, consequently, took on a more managerial role. “I would go through and approve everything, brief by brief.” These days, with a team of twenty direct reports, even that is just not feasible anymore. Part of his work has been delegated to Anaïs, with whom he works “around 80% of the time,” which he says he’d be “remiss,” not to mention. The idea was to help her, but also other designers, to get the lead, independence and self-confidence they need.

Hugo is not alone, he works very closely with Paula Alvarez, Jellysmack’s Head of Motion. Together they took the lead on the graphic and motion teams, help each other grow, manage and delegate in order to get things done.

Delegating has given them the opportunity to be all-around supervisors, overseeing the entire process from start to finish: Creator brief, developing graphic identity, and following up with the video editors who work with the graphics. Along with their teams, they have built up a library of MOGRTs (motion graphic templates) at the editors’ disposal.

The Artistic Direction established for each Creator is definitive in a sense, but it’s never set in stone. “Even when it’s done, it’s not done,” Hugo jokes. “There’s always reevaluating, troubleshooting, and problem-solving” to be done. “If we see that a process isn’t working as it should, I’m responsible for coming up with new ideas and testing them out.” He cites his motto: “Where there’s a problem, there’s always a solution.

Anaïs, meanwhile, is still in the trenches of creation, cranking out new designs for Jellysmack’s newest original channels, known as NJCs. Working on in-house channels affords her the privilege of directly contacting post-prod and the free reign of creating the designs from scratch. “I get a brief with visual references, detailing everything from the atmosphere of the show to how the set pieces look,” she says. Thus far, it’s been 10 for 10. That’s to say that she’s always hit the nail on the head from the first proposal.

The future

If current trends continue, Jellysmack will keep adding new Creators to its roster and new graphic designers to its ranks. The social media business is booming, and there is no reason to think it’ll slow down in the coming years. “That’s one of the things I love about it,” says Hugo. It’s constantly growing and evolving. “It’s impossible to become complacent in the ever-changing world of social media. That’s one of the reasons it’s so exciting.”

Social networks have even found their way into Hugo’s personal story. “I remember being on Myspace, Messenger, and Blogs” in the early 2000s, he says with a laugh. “I just loved the look and feel of it all. That was honestly what made me look into graphic design programs in the first place.” A testament to the prevalence of social media with Millenials and beyond.

While we fancy ourselves more enlightened today with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and company; the social networks that we take for granted could also go the way of Myspace.

There are rumors that IGTV will soon be a thing of the past, Hugo acknowledges. “We’re already working on adapting our templates.” If today’s networks eventually fall by the wayside, there will inevitably be something newer, shinier, and more streamlined to replace them. But, it doesn’t scare the design team.

One of our values at Jellysmack is agility,” quips Hugo, “and boy are we agile!” Between creating concepts, updating existing designs, and finding a balance between Creator demands and their design sensibilities, they’re almost like “contortionists.” Anaïs agrees. “The key is being able to bring the design to life, adapt, and of course have fun!




Jellysmack is the global creator company that detects and develops the world’s most talented video creators through technology.