Visualizing Your Brand Voice
I hope all is well and that your week is going great! This email is part two of a series that I’m calling The Building Blocks of Branding & Marketing Communications!
These emails will be converted into full fledged blog posts once my new website is up and running, but for now, they live here as bits of content I share exclusively with The Destiny Designers tribe. I’m starting with this series, because I feel that these topics are the very foundation of establishing a business’s online presence and explain my philosophy toward the services I provide.
You may recall that part one of the series was all about discovering your brand’s voice. I highly recommend that you check that out first because your brand voice really is where everything starts and originates from. Ideally, your brand voice comes before ANY content, including your logo and visual identity.
Note: I also recognize that as small business owners, sometimes we just need to get going, so we will create a logo of our business name spelled out in a random color and font and go with it. If that’s how you start off or started off that’s absolutely fine. No matter what advice I ever give anyone, I would always say that doing something imperfectly is better than doing nothing because of analysis paralysis. You can always put something temporary together, get going, and switch it up later once you’ve got some momentum, but GET GOING.
If your brand voice is what your brand sounds like, your brand’s visual identity is what your brand looks like! It is a physical manifestation of your brand’s unique characteristics. Most people would say it’s a logo, and they wouldn’t be incorrect. However, it can and should be much more than a logo. A more accurate way of putting it would be that it’s every visual element associated with your brand. It’s a system.
The reason that visual identity systems are useful to small businesses is that when marketing our business, we are always creating promotional materials. These materials include things like our business cards, brochures, websites, billboards, etc. Having a strong visual identity system makes it so that each time you produce a promotional piece, you aren’t reinventing the wheel, but are in fact adhering to a blueprint that you already established. Consistency is key! A visual identity system can be as formal as a sheet with every font and color code spelled out exactly, or as simple as an informal understanding you apply to all of your flyers and promotions.
Color, Iconography, and Typography are all a part of visual identity. Even the style of photographs you use. Your logo is at the center of all of this, but the other components are like your Logo’s teammates. They provide backup to the message your logo is trying to send.
The first step to determining the color aspect of your visual identity is to figure out what one to three colors you want people to associate with you. Usually you have a primary color and one or two accent colors. This is decided based on a number of factors but the most important are what feelings you would like your brand to invoke and what cultural color connotations are important in your market.
Further Reading: https://99designs.com/blog/tips/branding-colors/
Icons & Symbols
The next step is to determine if there are any important icons that you will repeat throughout your marketing. This could be a 2D image of an elephant or even imagery of the sky. This isn’t mandatory but definitely gives you more to work with when you need to express your brand in a way that words don’t quite fit.
Different typefaces play a big role in determining an audience’s perception of tone and meaning in your message. Generally speaking, serif fonts (like the beloved Times New Roman) communicate tradition and professionalism. Sans serif fonts communicate modernism. Script represents luxury and finesse!