Branding – More Than a Logo
I’m so excited to feature a fabulous guest blogger today – Joanna of Waterfall Creative. I love her work and appreciate the branding insights she’s so generously sharing with us today. Make sure to post your questions below and find Joanna here, here and here for more amazingness.
Hey guys! I am so happy to have the opportunity to guest post here on Donna’s amazing blog. (Isn’t she the coolest?) As a graphic designer, I wear many different hats. But one of my favorite things to do and help my clients with is branding. When Donna asked me to talk on this subject, I got all excited because it is something I really believe in. It’s SO important to any business — big or small.
I can’t tell you how many people ask me, “What does a graphic design branding package include?” This is so hard for me to answer because branding is all about the individual and what is right for their business. Of course, branding has to do with a logo. Most people know that much. But what comes next? To lay it out simply, this is what I believe it takes to build a great brand:
Establish who you are, what you do, and why!
First and foremost, before there are any visuals created, think about who YOU are. Get out a pen and paper and be a little narcissistic for a min! Write down some personality traits:
- Your likes
- What do your friends like about you?
- What don’t they like about you?
- Remind yourself of who you are
Now think about your business. What is it that you do? Are you a photographer? What do you like to photograph? If its people, what kind of people? If its food, what kind of food? What sort of feelings do you want people to get when they view your photos? (Get where I’m going with this?)
Now think about why you do what you do.
- Pure love for your art? (I hope this is you!)
- To pay the bills?
- Because people told you this is what you should be doing?
Now with all this info, establish how you want your clients to see you and what feelings you want them to get from your business. This is the foundation of your brand, and is SO important to know before any visual branding has taken place.
Hire a Pro.
There is a true physiology behind visuals. When you look at a certain color combination or shape, people get a specific feeling. Graphic designers are trained to know these things, and will help your business look and feel the way you want to be portrayed. This doesn’t mean you are out of the picture; a good graphic designer works WITH their clients to create something that incorporates BOTH of your ideas. It’s worth the money in the end — trust me! When you hire a pro, you are investing in your future business. You can’t do it all — even if you think you can. Get (good) help!
A logo should be a mark that people easily recognize as your brand. The typefaces used, the colors, as well as the language with which you write should all be fairly consistent. Let people get to know you! If you’re using muted pastels on your business cards, but your blog uses vibrant primary colors, people will get confused. And confusion for the client is a big no-no.
Once a person is confused, they are on to the next thing. There goes business you could have had!
Keep consistent not just with your visuals, but with your voice as well. Whenever you are writing anything for your business (whether it be Tweeting, blogging or even writing product descriptions) go back to your foundation of how you want to be portrayed, and stick to it!
Have fun and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Branding is all about showing people who you are. Are you a business who wants to keep a personal relationship with your clients? Send out Christmas cards! Do you want to be seen as professional and educated in your field? Have a monthly newsletter with articles relating to the field you’re working in. Are you an eco-friendly coffee shop? Create handmade coffee sleeves your customers can re-use. Get creative! You are limited only by the restrictions you place on yourself. These things are what make your brand stand out — the wow factor of your business.
Branding is a ton of fun if you allow it to be! Just remember: know who you are and where you’re headed, hire a pro, stay consistent, and get CREATIVE! Now get out there and show the world how awesome you are!