When you are building a business from scratch and creating your own marketing materials for the first time there are some simple rules you can follow that will help your brand look professional and coherent from the outset.
1. Project your personality
Be aware of your desired brand personality, and try to reflect that in the visual choices you make. Do you want your brand to look fun and energetic, or maybe knowledgeable and trustworthy? Fixing these ideas in your mind and using them as you go along will help you deliver a consistent message to your audience.
2. Choose a small colour palette
Choose one or two main brand colours - possibly the ones used in your logo - and two or three supporting colours that go well with them. Stick to these across all your designs. This will help your audience quickly recognise your communications and begin to build up trust in your brand.
3. Select just two typefaces
Use just one or two typefaces across all your marketing communications. Choose something distinctive that feels in line with your brand personality for your headlines, and something straightforward and easy to read for your body copy. Typefaces give our words added tone of voice and being consistent helps the audience to recognise the author and also adds meaning to the content. Google fonts is a great source of good quality free fonts that you can easily use online or in print, and typ.io has lots of examples of typefaces that work well together.
4. Source good quality photography
If you're not ready to employ a professional photographer yet then try Unsplash for great quality free stock images. Choose photos that reflect your brand personality, not just your product or service.
5. Consider using design templates
If you're not already using Canva it is worth checking out. It is a simple to use free online platform that allows users to make everything from social media headers and content to letterheads and flyers. Steer clear of the more distinctive templates (which your rivals might use too) and opt for something simple which you can customise to fit your brand styles. Don't forget to stick to your brand colours and fonts, and try to create something unique to you.
6. Don't get stuck in a rut
Don't be afraid to overhaul your look once you've got a clearer idea of what your brand stands for. In the early days when you are still refining your mission and values you might develop an initial look and feel, but once you're clear on who your target audience are and what you want to communicate to them you are in a much better position to judge what visual identity will work well for you. Making the change to a look that fits better with your brand will be more beneficial in the long run than sticking with something that has become familiar but doesn't communicate the right message.
7. A plain logo is better than a bad logo
If you're not financially or strategically ready to employ a professional logo designer yet use a straightforward typeface in one colour to create your own logo rather than using a cheap online designer. A distinctive but poor quality logo can damage your brand reputation and make a bad first impression, whereas a simple, inoffensive type only logo will do fine as an identifier and won't put anyone off whilst you find your feet. It is much easier to seamlessly replace a generic logo than a highly recognisable one with the perfect logo when the time comes.
If you are local to Brighton, UK and would like have a free chat about developing a visual identity for your brand and creating the perfect logo contact me here