The Art vs. The Craft
Authenticity is generally what we all love about smaller businesses. There’s just something special about that unique period before a brand gets big when they’re still so uniquely themselves and haven’t quite refined the process. When you’re in this phase, building your brand and designing your branding feels like art. That’s a really good thing, and can keep the passion flowing through the rough period of starting up. But, there’s also a science behind it, and when you combine your artistic passion with the focuses of the actual craft, something magical happens for a brand.
First, you need to know what your brand is. This is the point where you need to focus on truly breaking down what it is you do, who you’re doing it for, and what separates you from the competition. You will want to make sure you know these answers, as it will help you shape your branding.
Once you’ve solidified your brand, you need to consider what promises that you’re making to your clients and have a solid strategy to ensure that those are always met. This is called brand assurance, and it is up to you to figure out what agreement you want to make with your clients and how you want to be known for it.
What is your company origin story? When you’re designing your brand, you need to consider where you came from and what drove you to push to chase this passion. Think about it in terms of an “about us” section. What humble roots did your business grow from? People like to know, and it will help them to align themselves with your brand in a more empathetic way.
After you’ve identified who you are and what you’re promising, it’s time to get into the actual branding design. This is the point where you’ll want to sit down and think of aesthetics. What colors do you want to use? It’s crucial to pick a specific set of colors that your brand can be affiliated with. This is why restaurant chains are all designed in the same manner. The consistency is key.
Image and font consistency are other important focuses for building your brand. In the same way that your brand needs to have specific colors, you need to have your visuals all in line with one another. You want to keep relative consistency in terms of the style of font, pictures, icons, logos, and headers on your page. You’ll want similar color schemes and angles to keep your brand from looking like an incoherent mural. Once you’ve taken the time to really identify your brand, it is much easier to sit down and convert that brand into a visual identity with branding. The important part is to make sure that the decisions you make in design are always true to the brand you defined. Make it special enough to show your business in all of its glory, but always make sure that you make it nice to look at too.