How To Apply Your Branding Suite
In the world we live in, looks are everything. As much as we often wish otherwise, it’s a form before function world out there, and you’ve got to stand out from the crowd.
If your brand (or lack thereof) makes you run for the hills when you look at it, it’s time you take a long hard look in the (figurative) mirror, and consider a facelift.*
Your brand will change, grow, and adapt along with your business no doubt, but in time you may need to adjust your visuals to stay relevant. After all, we’re not going to be able to fit into our high school skinny jeans forever (as hard as we may try), but the important part is knowing when it’s time to adjust our wardrobe.
As a species, we’re attracted to pretty things, and a little bit of style goes a long way. Pair your killer style with an exceptional personality and your brand has just become the most popular girl in school. Yes, please don’t forget your brand’s personality. It is important. I know I said it’s a form before function world out there, but you can only get so far on looks alone.
Now, let’s not forget when it comes to visuals, consistency is key. It’s important to maintain a consistent visual brand all the way across the board. Just like your comfiest pair of undies, your branding should be seamless across all print materials; digital material, advertising, your website, your Instagram feed, and your store or office. Essentially, anytime a current or potential customer could come in contact with your business, your branding should be consistent. When executed well your visual branding will help to improve your brand recognition and increase your value. A.k a. When your business looks good, you appear more professional, therefore more credible and more valuable. A.k.a…..dolla dolla bills y’all.
Alright, so you know that it’s important that you are presenting your business with the utmost poise and style, but how do you do that? You’ve been given a brand board by your designer but you have NO IDEA what the heck some of these elements are or how to use them to make your brand consistent. Here’s the breakdown.
01. Logo Variations
This one is pretty straightforward and will depend on the kinds of variations your designer has given you (hopefully they’ve given you a few). Your logo variations are used when your primary logo is not the right fit for the space it is being applied. For example, if your primary logo is horizontal and you need to place it on something square, or vice versa. Different color variations of your logo are to be used when the original or primary logo will not show up or be as clear on the background color or image it is being applied to. (Keep in mind that any colors or imagery should be in line with your branding as well, but more on that later).
02. Sub marks
A sub mark is a simplified alternative element that is pulled from your primary logo. These are to be used in place of your logo when it needs to be applied on small surfaces, such as the favicon (the small little symbol that is on the tab ^ see our + above) on your website. Even a simple logo can be hard to read or make out when shrunken down below a certain size. That is when these little sub marks come in handy. There are few other places your sub mark can be used as well. Just be sure it is used separately, or in place of your logo. Never with it, or in the same place as it.
03. Patterns and Accents
These are the visual elements that can really help to differentiate and build upon your brand. This can be a pattern or other additional visual elements such as a texture or line elements. These extra details help to pull all the pieces of the puzzle together and are usually where the do-it-yourself logo solutions fail to complete the job.
04. Font and Typography Variations
Your typographic identity should coordinate with your logo and match your brand’s style and personality. This should be a small selection of about 1 – 3 fonts and should include a header font and paragraph font. (Your designer should provide you with a recommended hierarchy for these.) Among the selection will typically be both a serif and san-serif font and possibly a script font depending on your brand styling. These are the fonts that you will use in any material that you’re creating for your business, such as print or marketing material and on your website.
05. Color Palette
Ah, everyone’s favorite part… It’s all about the colors baby. Lastly, we have your amazing, wonderful, and perfect color palette (or so you should feel that way about it and if you don’t, let’s talk). Get comfortable with these because they will be used everywhere. From your website to your print material, to your Instagram feed, these should be used seamlessly and your customers should be able to easily identify them with your brand. You should be provided with the hex codes, RGB and CMYK color codes, and the corresponding Pantone colors.
The truth is, once you put a price tag on your product or service, your credibility and its value are going to be tested.
Put all these ingredients together correctly and you’ve got yourself the recipe for a bulletproof visual brand. A comprehensive and extensively built visual identity creates a foundation for a prospering business. The truth is, once you put a price tag on your product or service, your credibility and its value are going to be tested. Having a strong visual identity is just one step in proving that value, but it’s a vital one. Visuals have an incredible impact on our world today and your branding can make or break how you are being perceived by your customers. If you’re coming across as an amateur and unprofessional Joe Schmoe in your branding, your value to your customers will reflect that.
* Please note that we are talking strictly about your branding here. You are all beautiful people inside and out 🙂