With Guest Blogger: Rizza Marvel of Z-Squared Studio
There is no better way to distinguish yourself from the competitors than by investing in professional branding. Branding allows you to make a memorable impression and allows your customers to know what to expect from you. Branding lets your customers know that you are the better choice. But sometimes we aren’t ready to take the full leap into investing in professional branding, so until you are I hope this article is helpful for you.
Here are three tips to better branding.
1. Find your style and stick to it
Maybe your style is minimal and you enjoy lots of white (blank) space with fun type play. Or you love the quirky look with lots of color and bold fonts. Focusing on one style will help you make quick design choices and stay away from fading trends and mimicking other brands.
Don’t have a signature style? Try this…Think of 3-5 brand words that you want your brand to represent. Ex: Minimal, Edgy, Moody. Then get on Pinterest and create a mood board by pining everything that matches your brand words. Look for fonts that you like, website examples, graphics, posters, instagram feeds, anything that catches your eye but make sure it matches your brand words so you have some sort of creative direction.
2. Use a consistent color palette
Choose a color palette and use it for EVERYTHING, your website, business cards, social media, anything you create for your business should always use colors from your palette.
Color palettes don’t have to be crazy, in fact the biggest brands only use two 2 colors. Mc.Donalds: Red and Yellow, Spotify: Lime green and Black, Fed-Ex: Purple and orange. A pro tip is to use tints (add black) and shades (add white) to your 2 color palette to create the illusion of more colors while sticking to a minimal color palette.
If you love color and want to use a 3+ color palette use 1 color as your hero color (80%) 2 neutral colors for background color (20%) and have a bright color for contrast (5%).
From your Pinterest mood board look for similar colors within the photography or graphics. Use the Chrome Extension Color picker Eyedropper https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/colorpick-eyedropper/ohcpnigalekghcmgcdcenkpelffpdolg to find the hex and CMYK codes. If you are feeling overwhelmed start off simple and choose 1-2 colors.
3. Use a type suite
A type suite defines the fonts you use and how you use them. Using the same fonts will not only save you time but it it will make your brand look cohesive and professional. The more fonts on a page the more it looks DIY. If you are just starting out keep it simple and choose 2 fonts; one font for headers and a neutral font for paragraphs.
Make sure your header font is easy to read, and do not choose a script or cursive font. If you really love script and you can’t bear to not use it in your branding script looks great as an accent font for your headers. To use an accent font you would choose an important word or the last couple words of a header and change then to script. This way your headers are still easy to read but the touch of script gives your header a little umph without sacrificing legibility.
Your paragraph fonts should be something extremely simple and easy to read like as Arial or Myriad pro. Make sure your paragraph font makes sense with your header font. You don’t want to use a header font with really thin serifs then a super thick paragraph font, it just won’t look good.
Now look at your Pinterest board and look what styles of font you chose. Maybe there are a lot of editorial fonts or thick sans serif fonts. Once you determined the style find a font that matches and use it for your header. Then find a super simple font like, Arial or Myriad Pro that looks aesthetically pleasing with your header font. Once you find your unique brand look use it EVERYWHERE. Your website, social media, marketing materials, client contracts, pricing guide, EVERYWHERE. This way no matter where your customer is on their customer journey they can know and trust you as a professional since all your touch points are on brand. Also a well branded business gives your customer that luxury experience and if one thing brings customer back for more its a great customer experience. Happy Branding!