Your Face: The Basics of Branding

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I have partnered with many businesses and organizations in their birth, growth and re-birth. There are a million little details in starting your own business, and at the core of every successful business is their brand and reputation. Your brand is the face of your business.

From logos to business card designs to web designs and email marketing campaigns, consistency is key. Using consistent fonts, color schemes, and tone of voice in all of your marketing efforts makes for a recognizable and memorable impression that brings you to the front of the minds of potential customers.

What’s in a name?

Choosing the name of your business can be a bit daunting. When going through this process, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Avoid names that are difficult to spell. It doesn’t mean the spelling can’t be unique or a play on words, just something that people will actually remember.
  2. Don’t pick a name that will limit you down the road. You may have opportunity to expand, and including the city name or a certain product in your business name will make that harder.
  3. Do a search. A lot of people may have your business name (and may not even come close to your type of business). You don’t have to not use it if this is the case, but I would recommend doing a Trademark search to be on the safe side.
  4. Consider the tone of your business. If you want to be humorous, then use that strategy for your overall brand. If you are looking to evoke trust from people for something in the medical field, however, I wouldn’t go with a pun in your business name.

Logos

When people think branding, often their first thought is the logo. It’s a fair association, since logos are a simple and efficient way to make your potential and current customers remember you. As a graphic designer, I have to say, these are one of the most time consuming and yet enjoyable projects that I undertake. Of every service I offer, I honestly make the least amount of money for time with logos, but I just love to be a part of that important process.

There are a few key attributes in an effective logo:

  1. Simple.
    A simple logo is one that people will remember best. Complex and busy logos are rarely effective. A complex logo is like having a full paragraph for a tagline. No one is going to remember all that.
  2. Scalable.
    A quality logo should be recognized on a large sign or print, and also on a small business card or mobile website.
  3. Vector formatted.
    Pixel images are fine for certain uses, but when it comes to a logo, vector is always best. A vector image is not like a bitmap image (for example a jpg or png file) which is based on tiny pixels that become fuzzy or distorted when enlarged beyond a certain point. Vectors are based on mathematical formulas that make up lines and shapes to form an image. You can literally enlarge your image to any size and the quality will not change. This is especially useful for signage.
  4. Versatile.
    Any good logo is going to look good in various media platforms both online and in print, whether in color or black and white.
  5. Impactful.
    While a logo doesn’t have to be right on the nose (if you’re a lawyer, you don’t need a gavel or justice scales in your logo), but it does need to leave an impression of what your business is about. This can be accomplished by choice of color, font, and graphic style.

Style Guides

I wish this was a more well-known tool for branding businesses. A style guide will include font choices, color schemes (primary and accent colors), when and where to use and not use a logo, picture examples of what to do and not to do with a logo, photography styles and the list goes on. It can seem limiting to some, but keeping your “face” consistent means people will remember it better. And that is the point, isn’t it?

I can’t cover it all in this post, but I hope I have given you some tools to better approach your marketing strategy. Feeling overwhelmed? I offer free consultations. Just shoot me a message and we can chat.

Robyn Hodgdon

Robyn Hodgdon

Creative Professional

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About Me

I love what I do. Working with businesses and organizations and watching them grow into their vision isn’t just a job. It’s a passion. Every project, big or small, deserves the utmost quality and dedication. I do what I say I will do. I answer emails and phone calls. And when all is said and done, I take pride in a job well done.

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