When you’re in the early stages of building your brand, an off-the-shelf look isn’t enough if you really want to stand out in your industry. Great custom design establishes you as a serious and professional business, and a strong, cohesive brand can help potential customers remember you long after they’ve left your site.
There are many different moving parts that contribute to your overall brand. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s definitely a great place to start.
The most crucial thing your brand needs is a graphic symbol that represents your company’s personality, industry, and professionalism. This will be your brand identity, how customers will recognize your product. If a logo isn’t strong (or professionally designed), it's bound to weaken the brand and result in a lack of long-term recognition.
Even though your brand’s logo will generally remain the same across the board, you will still need to make some variations based on its placement and usage.
Some points to consider when designing or choosing a logo:
- Does the image maintain quality across all sizes? Does shrinking it affect the visibility of certain components or change the overall aesthetic?
- What colors will be used? Start off in black and white to get the design down, and then choose colors that can extend across all brand elements.
- Can it breathe? Negative space allows for more versatility when placing your logo on images and backdrops, and it enhances the simplicity and brevity on your branding materials.
- Is it available in a variety of file types? Save your logo(s) in file formats that can be used easily by any designers or printers collaborating with you (e.g. PNG, AI, or EPS).
A brand’s color palette is normally defined by the colors displayed in its logo. It’s advised to select one or two colors and then stick to them. However, in addition to the colors you use in your logo, the choice of complementary colors is what really brings together—or disconnects—the whole look.
Make sure the colors go well together, but also convey the right sensory reactions. You may want to do some research into the psychology of color before you officially decide on the look you want to convey.
The style of your font will be known as your brand’s typeface. You can select fonts as per your liking; they can vary in terms of weight, height, spacing, and whether they are sans serif or serif. The fonts can then be used for marketing materials such as brochures or online advertisements. Your typographic identity should also have ways of handling all text on your website. This includes headers, body text, quote callouts, and bullet lists, to name a few.
In general, less is more, and that is definitely true for fonts. When it comes to text on a website, more variety is not necessarily better. Try to keep it down to at least two or three different kinds—this helps not only with visual consistency, but from a development standpoint as well. The fewer fonts, the faster the site loads.
Imagery & Graphics
Once you have a strong visual baseline established for your brand, you’ll have a concrete foundation of your overall brand identity. It’s not necessary to repeat the same images and pictures throughout your entire site, but all visuals should be consistent. All images should contribute to a cohesive look and feel.
For example, all of your images can be bright and have high contrast with the subject looking right into the camera. Or the images could have soft colors with the subject involved in an activity and not making eye contact with the viewer. Whatever overall standard you choose, it should remain consistent across the site and help tell the story of your brand and your company.
Successfully branding your products and services requires professional knowledge and experience. Our custom graphic and web design services include corporate branding and messaging, so we can help you build the right brand to suit your business.