Images, fonts, color palette and so much more
What is a brand, exactly? Some will tell you it's your logo. Others say it's your colors, fonts, and style. I'm here to tell you that it is everything that makes an impression on potential clients.
Your brand includes colors, fonts, imagery, and language. It also includes messaging. Components of a brand are everything that creates an impression on the market.
Read on to discover all the essential visual and nonvisual elements that should be considered when creating a brand.
Who do you serve?
When considering the audience you serve, try to focus as narrowly as possible. Try to think of a very specific person. Where does this person shop? How does he/she spend their free time? What do they do for a living? Where are they located? Do they fall into a specific age group? What are their favorite things?
My client Gibson Home Services knows that their best clients dream of living in beautiful homes. The images used in Gibson's marketing materials meet specific criteria.
A select color palette distinguishes you from others. Color can also guide the conscious and subconscious mind by evoking emotions. Take a look at the image from Medium.com and see some of the feelings that color can bring to mind. Most large corporations choose their colors wisely and small businesses should do the same. Let the subliminal help attract the right clients and customers. This (beware: addictive) tool makes choosing color palettes fun!
The palette for Pam Owens Design was inspired by nature and a few other interesting images. I chose these images and colors because they seem peaceful and the services that I provide for my clients should ease their stress.
Who is listening?
A voice can be an essential element in making your brand uniquely yours. For instance, Harley Davidson's voice is anything but cheerful, playful, or fun. Ebaq Design says, "the brand clearly fits the Outlaw archetype, therefore their personality is rough and rugged, so it’s their voice." On the other hand, Tiffany & Co. caters to an elegant and classy clientele. It wouldn't be possible to sell their products without a proper tone of voice and messaging.
Visual Capitalist demonstrates the most loved brands, by generation. They concluded that "...brand and consumer relationship has shifted with the ages, but each generation’s unique value system has remained the most important piece of the puzzle."
A visual representation of your brand
A logo consists of a symbol or typeface(s) that reinforces the feel of your brand and unifies its elements. The style of a logo should set the tone for your brand. Color and imagery should match what you want your clients to feel when they interact with your business. Different styles create different moods. Some are symbols and others are font-based.
Fortis Farms came to me looking for a logo. They were a brand new business based on aeroponic growing. They wanted customers to immediately sense they were a natural company, creating produce.
A symbol that represents the brand without words
An emblem represents an organization without the use of words. For many, it stands alone in usage on social media, stickers, and collateral. The emblem typically includes more detail than a mere symbol and it is easily recognizable as a representation of the brand.
Fortis Farms uses only the imagery portion of their logo as their emblem.
Optional short version of brand positioning statement
A tagline is not something that is required, but it can help establish a brand. It should be short, communicate what you do, and easily capture the interest of the target market. Examples are:
- There are some things money can't buy
- So good, cat's ask for it by name
- I'm lovin it
- Creating brands that get results
Setting the tone of your brand
Did you know that the fonts you use in your brand can actually help you connect with the customer you are looking for? For instance, Tiffany and Claire's both sell jewelry, but one of them sells high-end jewelry. Can you tell which one with a quick glance? Effective logos don't usually use many fonts. In fact, a good rule of thumb is one sans-serif, one serif, and one display (script or specialty) font.
Thinner ("lighter") fonts give the impression of high-end. Thicker fonts usually feel more youthful and playful. Lowercase letters have less finesse than uppercase letters, which seem more elegant.
Your digital location