You know how important it is to have a strong, consistent brand. You may have even invested in a brand designer or agency to help you bring your vision to life. But now what? All the basics are there: logos, color palette, type suite. But how do you make sure all these pieces work together for maximum impact?
The good news: any business owner can make the most of their brand design. It all comes down to knowing your strategy, understanding simple design principles, and leveraging others when you need to. Let’s dig into it!
Get Familiar with your Brand
If you worked with a professional designer or agency to help with your brand, they likely gave you a brand guidelines document; a PDF that outlines all the elements of your brand and how to use them effectively. This document isn’t just a “nice to have” — it was given to you for a reason!
Feel free to print out your brand guidelines document or keep it close by. Regularly look back at all the examples, guidelines, and assets your designer has provided you. This will help to ensure you are always staying true to the brand you’ve created and not veering too far off track.
If you designed your own brand, it helps to study other brands you love or are inspired by. Pay attention to the colors, white space, font proportions, etc. Why did these things catch your eye? Why do they look good to you? Get familiar with these reasons and use them time and again in your own brand design.
Reference Your Strategy
Similar to your brand guidelines, you should have a strategy document with all the important foundational elements of your brand. This can include your mission statement, values, problems you solve for your audience, etc.
While this may not seem super relevant to design, it’s all interconnected. The design choices you make should all tie together with this strategy. For example: if your brand personality is fun and maximalist – feel free to play with color and shapes. But if your brand personality is calming and romantic – you’ll want to stick to softer colors and more minimal design.
Remember that evolution in your brand design is a good thing, so long as it is staying true to the vision you’ve set out for your brand and you aren’t changing things too often.
Practice Makes Perfect
Some words of comfort: brands are not built in a day. They’re an evolution, and it’s going to take time for you to get it right. While it can be frustrating to invest in professional design only to feel like you aren’t using it to its full potential, you can get there! It just takes practice. No one expects you to become an amazing designer overnight.
The more you study good design, the better you will be at recognizing and recreating it for yourself. Carve out some time in your schedule to take a couple of Skillshare classes to learn the basics of good design. Give yourself the cushion to play around with your designs rather than expecting to throw it together and post it in an hour. Just like with anything, the more you try, the better your designs will become.
Leverage a Designer
If you’re really struggling with maintaining your brand design to your standards, strongly consider hiring a designer to help you with social graphics, website updates, package design, etc. There are so many design options out there for business owners. For example, you can hire a “designer for a day” to batch create all your social graphics for the month or to create templates for you based on your brand guidelines.
If you’re not ready to invest in that, ask a designer you’ve worked with if they’d be willing to look at some assets you’ve created for yourself and get their thoughts. They may have some really quick tips and suggestions to get you back on the right track!
When In Doubt, Keep It Simple
If you learn one thing from me in this post, let it be this: the biggest enemy to design is overdoing it. Unless, of course, that’s a hallmark of your brand…but that’s a rare caveat.
It’s easy to get excited about your new brand design and run free, changing all the colors and fonts on various Canva templates and having fun with it. And that’s great! But the best rule of thumb is not to go overboard. Simple design is good design. Use your fonts and colors and patterns (if you have them) and keep the rest pretty minimal. While it may not seem “exciting” or “fun” — the simplest design will have the biggest impact, and won’t work against you in creating a consistent brand identity.
Ready for More?
If you’d like to learn more about creating a consistent brand and get feedback on your work, join the discussion on the Grey & Gold Community Facebook group.