May 13, 2018
Welcome to Part 2 of the branding series on the Studio 78
Podcast. If you’ve listened to Part 1 of the series with Robyn
Young and took the requested actions, you should now know your
“why.” In Part 2 of this series, you’ll learn how to apply your why
to your visual brand. You’ll learn what a visual brand is, why it’s
important, and how to execute it.
What is a Visual
A visual brand is what people see relating to your business
including, but not limited to, graphical elements such as
typography, colors, imagery, and design elements. These are
reflected in items such as your logo, website, social media
graphics, stationary, packaging, etc.
A popular example is Starbucks. Everyone
knows Starbucks’ signature green color, but you also know when
you’re in a Starbucks store because it has a certain ambience and
tone. The artwork, brochures, bags, lighting, and all of the other
elements you see reflects the brand. Even their commercials and
phone app all fall within the brand because the visual elements
like the logo, colors, and typography send the same message.
An example of a personal brand that does this well is musician
Leon Bridges. He has 60s vibe that
is carried out consistently no matter where you see him. His
clothes, hair, website, social media, color choices all reflect his
brand, and they are expected with perfection within everything
that’s associated with him.
Why a Visual Brand is Important
A visual brand is important because:
- It reflects the why of your company.
- Helps people better understand and relate to your story.
- Distinguishes you from your competition.
- Allows people to easily identify your company.
- Helps people form a relationship and connection with your
Question to ask yourself: What do you want people to feel and
think when they see/touch your product or engage with your
How To Create Visual Branding
Before working on your visual brand, do some research:
- Target audience: Find out who your target
audience is. What are some of their favorite brands? And what do
they respond to?
- Competitors: Who are your competitors? Check
out their websites and social media accounts to find out how
they’ve branded themselves. What works? What doesn’t work? How can
you set yourself apart?
- Design style: Figure out what style is right
for your brand. Look at other websites and even take pictures of
things that capture your attention while you’re out and about.
Start a Pinterest board or create an physical
visual board to start gathering your ideas.
I include this in relation to
visual branding because it’s what people see first and how they
identify your business or product. Choosing a name can be
difficult, but here are some tips:
to see if the name you selected is trademarked.
to make sure the URL is available (if it is, buy it!).
social media handles (try to have the same name on all channels.
Secure the names immediately).
- Google the name to see what comes
If you can find an amazing designer that can help you with this,
that’s the best route. If you decide to go with a designer make
sure you like their portfolio, ask for references, and be ready to
talk about your why and provide them samples of what you’re looking
to accomplish. You can find designers on Upwork
or if you like the branding of another company, you can ask them
who they used. Sometimes this information is located in the footer
of their website.
If you decide to go with a professional designer or go at it
alone here are some items you should consider:
Decide on Design Elements
- Color: This is where your research and visual
board will come in handy. What colors best reflect what you want
people to feel when they see your brand? Check out this article by
Canva on Color
- Typography style: Font is everything. Are you
going with a Serif or San Serif? Are you going for big and bold or
thin and light? The fonts you choose will help set the tone of your
brand. Rule of thumb, never, ever, ever use Comic Sans, ever!
Is your brand happy with super bright colors? Or more earthy with
muted tones? IG accounts are a great way to compare different
styles and figure out what mood or tone you want your brand to
- Design style: Is your brand minimalist,
abstract, feminine, maculine, artsy, playful, flat, deep,
luxurious, illustrative, grungy, corporate, typographic? Check out
this visual guide to design styles by
For my favorite design element resources, check out the Design Resource Guide.
Create a Logo
You can find a local graphic designer or artist or go to places
like Upwork or 99 Designs to create one. I don’t
recommend Fiverr unless you’re really in a pinch. Create a visual
board of all of the logos that appeal to you and see if you can
find some common themes, such as the use of scripts, line work,
geometric shapes, etc. It will help you identify your style.
If you decide to work with a designer, these are a must:
- Your logo needs to be created as a vector, which allows it to
be scaled to any size. Professional designers create their logos in
Adobe Illustrator. If someone says they’re going to use Adobe
Photoshop, run away fast because it’s not the proper software for
- You need your logo in all black, all white, and full color so
you can use it in a variety of ways.
- Ask for your logo in a variety of sizes from small (low
resolution) to large (high resolution) so you can use it on
social median platforms or print material.
- You also need the logo in a variety of formats, JPEG, PNG, and
EPS. A JPEG file type is what you’re most familiar with. A PNG has
a transparent background so you want see a white box around your
logo. An EPS is used for printers and to provide to other designers
working on branding material for you.
In a upcoming interview, we’ll dive into deciding on the
platform and content a bit deeper.
- Choose a URL.
- Decide on platform (Squarespace, WordPress,
- Create a website.
for templates that will allow you to showcase your message and
- Set-up email with Google; take advantage of the
- Consider creating a tagline.
TIPS: (1) Make sure the social
icons are linked; (2) compress photos; (3) if you use WordPress,
try not to use to many plugins.
Check out the Web Resource Guide to see
some of my recommendations.
Decide on a newsletter platform
(Mailchimp or Convert Kit); Create a template
that aligns with your brand by using images and colors and being
mindful of your font choices.
same bio pic or avatar image on all social media accounts so people
can quickly identify that this is the brand’s account.
- Create a banner to use on Facebook, Twitter,
and YouTube that is consistent.
- Add a
description paragraph or sentence that captures your
- Determine how you’re going to use each platform
and determine what images, videos, quote cards, or graphics will
help tell your story and reflect your brand.
- Create graphic templates you
can use in apps like Canva, Pic Monkey, or Over.
- For YouTube videos, determine what style the thumbnail image
- Choose hashtags you want your brand to be associated with.
TIP: Use applications to help you plan out your IG account:
an a Planoly
Printed Products and Packaging
Business cards, fliers, and other printed marketing
material need to be consistent with your visual brand.
Remember you get what you pay for, but here are a list of places
that sell a variety of marketing material.
If you have a physical product, packaging
is key. How do you want people to feel when your package arrives in
their mailbox? The design of the packaging should reflect your
brand, and the product should be properly wrapped. Make sure your
shipping container can properly protect your product because the
last thing you want is something to spill or arrive broken. Mail a
sample package to a friend or yourself to test it out. Here are
some places to go for packaging material:
Check out the Business Resource Guide for more links.
Some other elements to think about are:
- Voice, dictation, tone
- Props or styling used in different photoshoots
- Music you use in videos or podcast episodes
ACTION: Create a mood
The post 57: Branding Series Part 2 of 4: How to Create Your
Visual Branding appeared first on Nache’ Snow - Resources for
Creative Entrepreneurs | Studio 78 Podcast | Entrepreneur, Maker +
Queen of Side Hustles.