Defining your brand’s style can be tricky and overwhelming. It’s the first impression your customer’s have of your work! So although it is important, it can feel daunting when if you don’t have a clear direction.
I have my clients do the following 3 steps to truly get an idea of what their visual style should be before I start designing for them!
So don’t worry, you do NOT need to be a designer or have a creative bone in your body to do this. This is an easy process to discover your unique style!
An easy tool to figure this out is to choose 3 adjectives that represent your business.
When coming up with these adjectives, ask yourself the following questions:
What impression do I want my business to make?
Your visual brand identity is your businesses FIRST IMPRESSION of your work. What do you want that impression to be? Obviously, you want it to be attractive, but what adjective do you want to evoke immediately from someone who comes across your website, social media or any other content you produce?
What do I want My business to be known for?
When you think of Apple you think sleek, user friendly and intuitive. When you think of Disney, “magical” is bound to be one of the first adjectives that comes to mind.
When building your visual brand, you want to have a clear idea of what adjective you want people to automatically think of when they think of your business!
How do I want to make my customers FEEL?
If you can make your customer FEEL something, they are far more likely to do business with you because they now have an emotional connection with your brand.
When your business can connect with customers on an emotional level, that’s where the magic happens! This is what will put you on another level and help you stand out in a saturated market.
These clear adjectives will guide your design decisions
Here’s an example of the adjectives I chose for Kayla Sue Design :
FRESH – I want my brand’s first impression to be uniquely fresh and current. Like a happy breath of fresh air 🙂
FUN – I want my clients to automatically associate my brand with fun and happiness which will make them excited to work with me!
EMPOWERING – I want my clients to feel empowered and inspired to take their brand to next level with a captivating visual style that uniquely represents them.
Here’s where the fun begins! Go to pinterest and create an inspiration board for your brand.
You are going to use your 3 adjectives as a filter to choose what to select for this style board!
You are going to pin the following categories :
Search “(your adjective) logos” in pinterest. For example, I would type in “Fun logos” “Fresh logos” etc.
Browse and pin anything that you like. They do not have to all be a cohesive style – just pin anything and everything that you like!
Look at different fonts and type that you like. Are you drawn to scripts? Handlettered feel? Or more crisp and clean san serif fonts?
If you are not a designer, I would highly suggest looking up “font pairings” and pin the combos that you like.
Pinterest has soooo many color palettes to choose from! This makes it easy if you are not a designer! You don’t have to know color theory, there are already so many beautiful color combos out there! Again, use your adjectives to find color palettes that represent the feel you want to evoke.
This is often a category that people don’t think about. It’s important to decide on the style of photography for your brand. All the images that your business produces should be consistent to create a visual brand that is recognizable.
Refine each category to 5 pins
Be specific and write out why you chose each pin. ypWhat aspect of that logo did you like? The 5 don’t have to be cohesive — that’s actually where the uniqueness of your brand is found.
Take the elements of what you like from each pin and morph them together to make your own unique style.
Wala! You have a style guide!
Once you have each category refined to 5, you now have a visual style guide that you can use as a tool to filter anything your business produces!
Every time you post, make sure it matches your style guide.
Okay but now what?
For a visual brand identity, you need a logo, specific typography and color palette. So how do you go about doing this? You got two options :
Hire a graphic designer
Obviously, the best choice is to have a professional bring your brand dreams to life with a custom design. These logos help you stand out by uniquely representing your brand in a way that a “template logo” could not.
Graphic designers will also create a custom style guide for you listing out all the specific guidelines when it comes to type, color and sub logos. This is an amazing tool that will help you laser focus your brand style and create a system of production that is consistent.
I would highly suggest a graphic designer if you already have a business and are wanting to up level and grow.
DIY using Canva
Canva is a great user friendly program where you can easily create your own style guide. This is perfect if you have an eye for design or you are just starting and don’t have funds for a graphic designer.
Use the pinterest board to inform your decision making. Make sure you have a logo, sub logo, typography combo (No more than 3 fonts) and a specific color palette.
That’s it friends! The beauty of this process is that it does not have to take longer than 10 min!
So go find your style and create a visual brand that is uniquely YOU!