Designing for your brand’s voice simply means using a style that is compatible with the non-visual elements of your brand. A company’s brand includes much more than the logo and color scheme. A perfect brand will convey a complete sense of personality to your customers.
For example, a children’s fashion retailer like kideclipse.com wishes to convey a whimsical and soft feeling so they use happy imagery with lots of color, curvy fonts and low contrast photography. On the other hand a high end technology retailer like thingees.com wishes to appear grittier and edgier so they use sharper fonts, deeper colors and sharper photographic contrast.
By adhering to the basic style guidelines above those companies have managed to build a complete presence that speaks in a voice that works well with regards to communicating with their target demographic. When trying to find your brand’s voice you can use the following ideas to better craft a complete image for your company and it’s advertising collateral.
Elements to Consider
Choosing colors that help to speak in your brand’s voice is as easy as understanding some basics about color psychology. Generally speaking certain colors convey different emotions, traits and ideas. Utilizing these colors in smart ways can help to increase the effectiveness for your marketing and advertising campaigns. A basic guideline is as follows:
RED: energy, fortitude, danger, power, passion, desire, urgency
ORANGE: fun, joy, creativity, success, encouragement, stimulation, food
YELLOW: joy, happiness, energy, intelligence
GREEN: harmony, stability, growth, freshness, fertility, safety, wealth
BLUE: profundity, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, truth, faith
PURPLE: nobility, prestige, luxury, ambition, abundance, wisdom, poise, autonomy, creativity, mystery
BLACK: authority, strength, formality, elegance, prestige
WHITE: simplicity, light, purity, perfection, safety, cleanliness, coolness
Choosing the right fonts is another essential aspect of your branding efforts. Using fonts that do not match your brand’s tone can ultimately lead to confusion and even a lack of potential consumer confidence in your brand. There are so many fonts to choose from now that the overwhelming amount of font design choices might tempt one to go down an avenue that is hardly practical for their endeavor.
The number one rule is to limit the number of fonts. Secondly, if you do use more than one font, make sure that there is a differentiation and contrast between the two. For example, you might want to use a sans-serif font for a headline while using a serif font for body copy, or vice-versa.
If your logo features a unique type of font, use it sparingly in the rest of the design that you are creating. Overuse of your brand’s main font, in most cases, is an amateur mistake and can lead to a very unprofessional looking final piece. The ultimate goal of your design is to convey a message, therefore readability and competence should be a top priority.
Whether using your own photography or stock photos, you want to have a cohesiveness to the photographic and image style that is apparent throughout your advertising piece, and ideally, all throughout your branding. Be mindful of the types of filters you use, the degree of contrast in photos, and the style of photography that is used. Most likely a baby clothes retailer will use soft photos with not much color saturation. On the other hand, a nightclub might use very bold and highly saturated, colorful imagery. Not only is the content in the image important, but the composition, style and color needs to be analogous to your brand’s message. A helpful, forward thinking approach might be to search through a stock photographer’s online portfolio to make sure that they have not just one pic in the style that you want to use, but a whole series of images. In most cases you will find that the photographer’s portfolio will include several versions and variations of the same photographic shoot which can be used throughout one or even several design projects.
With all that said, there are definitely scenarios where one or all of these guidelines can be ignored. A good graphic designer can even use a contrarian approach to purposely avoid convention, but in most cases you can do no wrong by adhering to these suggestions in order to present your brand in an intuitive and comprehensive manner.
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