As a Graphic Designer I am of course biased towards every business having well thought out Branding and an intelligent marketing strategy. It’s human nature for people to make judgements about your business [and you] in the first 9 seconds of meeting or making contact, and first impressions last a long time. Brilliant branding is crucial to your business growth.
Branding is about perception, being seen and noticed in exactly the way you want to be.
It’s the foundation to all your marketing and publicity activity. Branding is essential to how your potential customer will interpret your company, without even having a conversation with you or your representatives.
Be objective when reviewing your existing branding:
- Does your logo look great?
- Is it relevant to your business and your ideal client?
[A poor logo can say you’re a shoddy company or service]
- Is your brand visible at every point of contact? i.e.: website, signage, biz cards, uniforms.
- What does your company offer?
- What is your brands message?
- How you stand out from your competitors?
Here are the areas to consider when briefing a designer or creating your brand
Choose two fonts that look great together, one for headings and one for the bulk of the copy.
The headings font should stand out, often bold and sometimes fancy, it should always be sympathetic to your logo and sets a standard for your branding. Legibility goes without saying, but we’ve all seen examples of when that particular rule hasn’t been followed.
If you use more than two fonts there should be a very good reason for it. Working with a graphic designer to establish an effective font is a good path to take. They can guide you as well as being honest! If it doesn’t work it looks and feels uncomfortable.
Most decision makers will have in mind from early how they want their company to appear. You may feel certain colours match the services you offer. Here are a few tips for colour selection….
- Blue and green – these are great for nurturing, holistic and people centred businesses.
- Red and Oranges – representing passion and fierceness! After all, we don’t put red lipstick on to blend into the crowd!
- Purple – a personal favourite! This colour is creative and spiritual and has an appeal to both men and women.
- Yellow– this indicates happiness, Mr Happy was yellow, it is a feel good colour. Team this with black, you get one of the most eye catching colour combinations…think of the AA.
- Softer colours/mixed – the likes of mushroom, teal, lime green give a more contemporary look and feel.
- Front door colour Traditional dark colours like; pillar box red, navy blue, racing green
Red Intense, fire, blood, energy, danger, love, passionate, strong, Christmas
Purple Royalty, power, nobility, wealth, ambition, dignified, mysterious
Blue Sky, Sea, depth, stability, trust, masculine, tranquil, communication
Green Nature, growth, fertility, freshness, healing, safety, money, Spring
Yellow Sunshine, joy, cheerfulness, intellect, energy, attention, Summer
Orange War, stimulating, enthusiasm happiness, success, creative, autmn
Or use a favourite colour which can be used to represent your business without conflict.
Having a contrasting/highlight colour will help your message stand out. Pick a complementary pallet that works well with your first and second colours. If you are unsure, start a colour board focusing on the colours you feel will work. This is great to do in your first stages of brand design, rather than the end!
Either commission a photographer to create the images for you, or carefully select images off websites.
- Photographer –creates unique images
- Image sites – cheaper but not exclusive
If you are unsure, firstly think of your budget. Even though a photographer may be a step further than you were thinking, have a chat and get an idea of costs. A photo does speak volumnes and sets the tone for all your braning.
If your budget doesn’t factor in a photographer, then focus on images that relate to you, that stand out and that don’t appear with your competitors.
Use the language of your clients, in a way they completely understand. If your business is focused on trade where using industry jargon is understood, then by all means get geeky with your language. If you are trying to appeal to consumers who are not experts, then using simple language is important. No one wants to be deciphering the Da Vinci Code when trying to purchase from you!
Having your logo designed by a professional is imperative. Why? They are trained in design consistency. A slight font or colour change can appear amateur. Think of some of the world’s biggest brands…..not only do they appear on their website and social media pages, they appear on products, advertising, etc…..if you want your company to expand, your logo must be consistent and eye catching!
In an absolute nutshell, your branding speaks for you. Focusing on your look will be the best investment you make…trust me…I’m a graphic designer!