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Branding for Beginners

May 30, 2018

Branding for Beginners

What comes to mind when you think of your Brand?

Are you picturing your logo and your business card?

Creating a cohesive brand is vital to the success of your online business. It is how you'll effectively communicate to your viewers and customers what it is you can do for them and how your product will enhance their lives. And it is so much more than just a logo or a business card.

**BEFORE you begin designing your brand, it's important to have a total understanding of your Ideal Customer**

Lets start with a run down of the potential design components of your online biz. Keep in mind that depending upon your specific business you may not need all of these, or you may need something I haven't listed. This is a comprehensive list for beginners, but as your business grows you may find you need to add on.

Logo-

Typically companies have a large logo they use the majority of the time. In addition to that, you should have a few variations.

*main logo

*horizontal logo

*vertical logo

*variation 1 (square)

*variation 2 (circle)

Social Media-

Facebook Banner-

Facebook Logo-

Facebook Post-

Instagram Logo-

Instagram Post-

Pinterest Logo-

Pinterest Pin-

Etsy Banner-

Etsy Logo-

Twitter Header-

Twitter Logo-

Twitter Post-

Now, I don't want you to feel like you have to be on every single social media site there is. Some platforms will work better for your brand and your business than others. Pick a couple you feel will reach your customers the best and focus your attention there to start. You can always start creating great content for other platforms when you have a good grasp of those (which I highly recommend doing)

Brand Colors-

The colors you choose for your brand communicate the overall tone of your business. Is your brand light and playful or more serious? Its important to get the tone right, as this will either turn on or turn off customers. Think about it, would you trust an Investment firm whose logo was a big balloon and the colors were pastel pink blue and purple? You'd probably think a bunch of children were about to throw all your money into the air.

 

Lets take a look at color theory so you can get a better understanding of the feelings evoked by certain colors and how they can help your business branding.

style guide and branding for small businesses

style guide and branding for small businesses

 style guide and branding for small businesses

 style guide and branding for small businesses

 style guide and branding for small businesses

style guide and branding for small businesses

style guide and branding for small businesses

 

When choosing colors for your brand, it's good practice to choose 2-3 main vivid colors with an additional 2 subdued colors. For example I have chosen pink and navy for my main vivid colors and 2 shades of gray for my subdued colors.

This doesn't mean that those 4-5 colors are the only colors you can ever use in marketing again, but its a foundation for your marketing design. With good consistent branding a person could be scrolling through the explore feed of Instagram and recognize your image. How cool is that? Or they could see a pin on Pinterest and know it came from your website without seeing your logo on it because its branded appropriately.

Once you've chosen your brand colors, its time to choose the right fonts for your brand.

Fonts-

A few tips-

  1. Make sure the font is readable. This is especially important if you include font in your logo. Remember most of your digital images are going to read small on screens, especially mobile screens, so the font needs to be big enough to be seen on a cell phone thumbnail.
  2. Pairing you fonts can be a fun experiment! There are endless arrangements, so play around. I would recommend pairing no more than 3 different fonts across all of your images and sites. You can pair flowy fonts with sturdy ones, lowercase and uppercase, bold and italics. They can be different colors, sizes and orientations too!
  3. Bold and decorative fonts should be used sparingly.
  4. Sans serif fonts (fonts without feet) are generally considered easier to read in long paragraphs or in small text.
  5. Serif fonts are considered to be more serious and traditional.
  6. If you’re having trouble getting your writing to stand out from your images, consider adding a box behind the text. It should be in a contrasting color so the text pops. You can lower the opaqueness a little to make the image and text cohesive. I cant remember where I found this tip but I use it all the time now and LOVE it!

If youre having trouble imagining what fonts will look like together, check out my Pinterest board here.

You'll find several examples of Brand Style Guides and some awesome font pairings! Creating a Style Guide for your brand is a MUST DO. You can create one in Photoshop if you are so inclined, but I was able to create mine using Canva and it worked perfectly. I've included the first style guide I made for my brand below to show you where to start, but the Pinterest board has a ton of great examples of more extensive Style Guides.

Style Guide

 

When you're ready to create your own Style Guide, be sure to check out my freebie worksheet to help you sort through your thoughts, ideas and options to make sure your brand truly represents your company and speaks to your Ideal Customer. You can find it here.

Good luck and go get 'em!




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