So you’ve started your own business, and you’ve gotten busy running it. Which is hard work, as we know!?♂?♀ But what is your style? The tangible: what are your colors? What fonts will your brand use? Most businesses need a logo, but does its style suit your work? ?
Then there is the intangible: your style. The images and senses your brand will evoke. Will you be classic and professional? Millennial and cheerful? Funky and avant-garde??? .
Deciding all these things, step by step, and then putting them in a #styleguide for your company/business is what we will be doing together.?
#brandwithbronze – whether you’re an established business or a newbie, you can polish up your image and make sure you’re memorable!
PS: this is a great time to do this, as you #stayathome !? .
Define your work
(Define what you do)
The first in the Style Guide series: Define what you do.
Ask yourself a couple of Qs:
What are this brand’s core values?
What problems does this business solve? What promise does it make to potential customers?
How does this brand stand out from others of its kind?
Remember, you want to brand your business based on where you want to be 𝟓 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐰. If you don’t, you’ll make the fatal mistake of having to change your brand identity overnight.
Based on this, come up with a mission statement:
(𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴) does (𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯) to help (𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳) do (𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵)
Example: 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘻𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘴 does 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 to help 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴 do 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩.
If you do this yourself, don’t forget to tag #brandwithbronze !
Also, 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 for all the steps needed to make comprehensive brand #styleguides
Define your work
(Your tone & visual aesthetic)
In this step, define your brand’s 𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 and find your 𝐚𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐜.
For tone, choose 10 adjectives to best describe your brand. (Young, friendly, warm, funky, innovative, avant garde…)
Your tone and aesthetic will reflect and how you want customers to feel when they buy your products or services.
✅𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐍𝐢𝐤𝐞: ‘Just Do It’. Their tone is straight, to-the-point, and get-work-done. This reflects in their marketing material, the names of their products, and their social media.
🔥Your tone can be minimalist and humorous. It can be casual and friendly. Or it can be cleverly sarcastic and full of puns. This is what will make you 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴.
📋The visual aesthetic starts here. Start an 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐨𝐚𝐫𝐝: photos, patterns and objects that provide visual direction for your brand’s design. Then clean up that board a bit.
❄️Maybe you chose fall colored tones. Maybe you chose things to remind you of rain: drops and umbrellas and wet boughs.
This will start giving you a direction for your visual style!
Stay tuned for our next step, the all-important 𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘰…
Make your logo
(Sketch your logo)
:couple:First, think of 𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬’ backgrounds and their expectations from the brand. Find out the 𝐤𝐞𝐲 𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 that can make your brand stand out.
Next, start drawing 𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬, or take help from free websites to find icons or simple design elements. Then select one sketch and 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐢𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲, or scan it on a software like Photoshop and refine it.
🎽When creating a logo, think about how each element (like fonts, colors, and illustrations) can be 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 to create consistency. You’ll be using this logo on trickily-shaped merchandise and on huge signs, so think of a logo that is easily transferred while still being 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞.
🎨Next up we’ll choose a color palette, not just for your logo but for your whole brand! Stay with us!
🔶In the early 1970′ New York was near bankruptcy, and a great way to make money was tourism advertising – and 𝐈(𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭)𝐍𝐘 was born!
🔷Not everyone at 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐤 loved the new logo at first, but within months skeptical bank higher-ups were wearing it on ties and cufflinks.
🔶The umbrella in the 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐢 𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐤 logo represents security from financial upheavals. It cost $1.5m !
🔷The designer scrawled the now iconic 𝐕𝐢𝐫𝐠𝐢𝐧 sign on a paper napkin. The owner loved it for its simplicity, attitude and energy.
🔶The 𝐍𝐢𝐤𝐞 Swoosh is fluid and shows movement and speed. It was designed by a design student in 1971 for only $35 !
Pick your color palette
(Psychology of colors)
Before choosing a color palette, you should know the basic 𝘱𝘴𝘺𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘴. 💭
Research has confirmed that 𝟔𝟎% of people will decide whether or not they’re attracted to a message based on color alone.
💛𝐘𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰: Positivity, happiness, warmth and spontaneity. Attention-grabbing (think taxis) but also caution (think yield-signs).
💙𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐞: Trustworthy, loyal and dependable. Popular with financial institutions (IBM, Citibank) and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) Also preferred by products related to cleanliness (filters, detergents), air and sky (airlines, ACs). Avoided in restaurants because it is said to suppress appetite.
💚𝐆𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧: Natural, growth, freshness and healing. Also corresponds to safety and balance. Darker greens are better suited to money, banking, and wealth.
💜𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐥𝐞: Royalty, nobility, luxury, fantasy and extravagance. Very rare in nature, and so related to creativity and mystery. It is also said to be nostalgic.
❤️𝐑𝐞𝐝: Fire and blood, associated with energy, war, danger and power but also passion, desire, and love. Red is said to stimulate appetite, so used by food industry (think Kellogg’s, Lays, Heinz, McDonald’s)
𝐎𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞: Energetic, warm, young, modern, lighthearted, affordable, creative.
💗𝐏𝐢𝐧𝐤: Previously, lighter shades were used to denote the feminine, innocent and delicate. More recently, brighter and darker shades of pink represent a bold and modern streak, friendliness and light-heartedness.
🤎𝐁𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐧: Nature, functionality, utility and subtlety. Often used in construction and law because of its simplicity, warmth and neutrality.
𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤: Classic, powerful, elegant and authoritative. Linked with intelligence, but also with evil and grieving.
⚠️When picking colors, remember: you’re not picking your preferred colors, you’re picking what you think best reflects with your 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥 and your 𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘴.
🔖 Color meanings are 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦. Use this as a springboard, not an almanac. When in doubt, go with your instincts.
Pick your color palette
(Choosing brand colors)
𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝟏: 𝐆𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
Keeping color psychology in mind, create a secret board on Pinterest with images that have the colors you prefer for your brand. Pin images that embody the look/feel you want for your brand.
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝟼 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦.
𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝟐: 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞
🎨𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘤𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤: includes tints and shades of a single color. Their effect is soft, subtle and classic.
🎨𝘈𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘰𝘶𝘴: includes colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They’re related, and so the effect is pleasing and relaxed. Usually you pick all cool colors or all warm colors.
🎨𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺: includes colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Usually holds both warm and cool colors.
Swipe for the color wheel, swipe again for combination types, and once more for ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ colors.
𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝟑: 𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬
Avoid this rookie mistake and make sure your palette has a 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘹 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵, 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘶𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴, regardless of whether you picked monochromatic, analogous, or complementary
𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝟒: 𝐂𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐬
Now that you have a color combination type and a balance of light and dark tones, decide on 𝟷-𝟹 𝘥𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘴 (used most often) and 𝟹-𝟻 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘴 (used as accents).
At the end, decide your color ‘system’.
🍂What will you use for backgrounds?
🍂What about patterns on the background?
🍂Which color will you use in small doses for a bold pop of color? (thin borders, single words etc)
🍂What will your light-on-dark and dark-on-light colors be? (for your logo for example)
Choose your fonts
🔡After colors, the second most important element of your brand’s image is 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲.
Your fonts don’t just have to be legible and attractive; 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐲. True story: I once saw a university use the ‘Chiller’ font for its name on the front of the building. I never enrolled there.
In the coming posts we’ll look at font types, what they mean, and font. For this week, we’ll let you in a couple of designer secrets when it comes to choosing brand fonts.
𝐀𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐭 as your brand’s font (on your artworks, website etc.), unless it’s a secondary font that you’ve used for your tagline. This makes the logo stand out and prevents it getting lost among all the other text.
𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 ‘𝐣𝐨𝐛’. Headings can be one font, body text can be another. You may also pick an ‘accent’ font that you can use in very small doses to highlight. This is also why style guides are essential: Decide on the rules for font usage, write them down, and then follow them every time. Consistency is key.
𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞. No rule says you can’t use five, six, or even 20 different fonts. But the more fonts you use, the more skill your design will require and you risk looking unprofessional.
𝘉𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘪𝘱: stick to one font, at most two. Contrast can always be created using the same font: size, letter spacing and bold can make the same font look completely different.
Choose your fonts
📜There are 4 basic font types::scroll:
Serif fonts have little lines (‘feet’) attached to the ends of each letter. They give off a 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘤, 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬.
Serif fonts are easier to read in long print passages, which is why you see them in novels and longer publications.
Sans serif fonts don’t have little lines on the ends of each letter. (Sans serif = “without serif.” They look more 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘯, 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭.
Sans serif fonts are easier to read on screens which is why you often see them used for web.
Script fonts usually have connected letters and look like cursive/calligraphy.
Script fonts come in many different styles from hand-lettered to elegant. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘵, 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬.
Display/decorative/novelty fonts 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. They’re usually more eye-catching than practical and for that reason, they’re best used in small doses.
Choose your fonts
(Where to find fonts)
..But where do you find fonts?
Here are some of our favorite font resources where we love to browse/search for fonts.
A subscription font service that’s often included in Adobe Creative Cloud. The best part is that you can search them by font type.
A font website that has both classic and trendy fonts.
A website with thousands of high-quality, free (and legal) fonts from around the Internet (helpful if you’re on a budget).
Includes a great resource page on their website with all kinds of helpful tools for finding fonts and learning more about typography!
Choose your fonts
The key to pairing fonts is 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧
𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐭, whether it’s through mixing up font categories, font weights or font sizes. The differences in font categories, weights and sizes don’t have to be over the top, but 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦.
🎯Many (very successful) businesses 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐭 and vary it in terms of size, thickness and spacing.
With fonts, remember: 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨. Which is why the most commonly used combination of fonts is 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐟 and 𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐟.
✒️Since 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐭, pairing them together is a very rare, very bold choice that you want to generally stay away from.
⚠️𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 fonts can make great ‘accent’ fonts, but they should be 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐬 to call attention to certain words in your designs.
Be sure to pay close attention that all 2-3 fonts you choose work together. And whatever fonts you choose, 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵.
𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐬𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐮𝐩 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 or choose one font for social media graphics and another for blog post images.
(Graphic style and photography)
:balloon:𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐬!🎈You’re almost done.
Just a couple simple steps before you have 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤: something that’ll be constantly useful to you at every step.
Here’s what’s left:
Determine the 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐬
Are they going to be minimal? Geometric? Handdrawn? They should be 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵 and one-of-a-kind visuals.
𝐁𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 + 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐬
Will you use solid color backgrounds? Semi-transparent blocks of color over images for text? Wood? Metallics? Lots of clean white space?
Design 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬
Stand out from competitors and communicate the message of your brand.(Think of @burberry signature patterns)
Determine your 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞
You can do a killer job on all other steps but if your photos are amateur/ inconsistent with your brand, your business will fall short. Photography styles to choose include minimal and bright, Dark and moody, High contrast, Colorful and abstract etc.
You can either learn how to implement this style, find and purchase photos that fit this style, or hire someone who can implement this style for you.
𝐏𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 in a brand style guide
A brand book/ style guide is a multi-page PDF that outlines all of your brand standards, including:
📒Color palettes and color system
📒Graphics (patterns, icons, etc.)
Basically, it’s a cleaned up version of everything you’ve been doing in #brandwithbronze with #bronzedigitals