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When branding your micro-business, you need to understand who your ideal client is before you do anything else. Then choose a color palette. After that, it’s a toss-up whether you focus on fonts or decide on brand style. These last two can be interchangeable. Fonts should follow along with your brand style, but at the same time, you may need to play with text to figure out your style. Don’t be scared to start with one, move on to the other, then jump back and rethink or retool one of them. Remember, branding is an evolutionary process. You can always be tweaking and changing.
(Pssst….if you want to skip the mumbo jumbo here and just head right to the FREE printable….click here. LOL!)
So let’s chat about different styles. If you are planning on using a graphic designer to create your logo and overall brand image, it will be important for you to know BEFORE you speak with the designer what type of brand style you are looking for. If you are designing your own brand, you still need to decide on a style. LOL!
What’s the secret sauce?
You might be thinking, “But if I don’t have a background in art, just HOW do I describe what kind of style I want? What are the different brand styles?” Below is a guide for you to help you choose! It’s a simple formula of choosing two things. An “idea” to focus on and then a “look” to bring that idea to life!
Choosing an idea for your brand style…
Really the “thing” your brand is about is arbitrary. It’s an object and a feeling you want associated with your business. Think about it. Apple’s iconic brand is an apple. Does the company have anything to do with fruit? Nope. So you can either be really literal with your brand image or not so much. It’s just the consistency of your use that will make it yours!
First step…choose a “thing”. Will it be:
- Floral (flowers, leaves, wreaths, succulents, etc)
- Nature-related (mountains, sunset, sunrise, lakes, oceans, beach, etc)
- Object-centered (a candle, star, sun, drink, food, arrow, feather, etc)
- Product-based (book, jewelry, household item, makeup, clothing, etc)
- Animal (unicorn, llama, penguin, cat, dog, owl, butterfly, bird, etc)
- Text/Typography (word-only with abstract or geometric elements)
Or will you choose to evoke some sort of emotion with your brand style and not have it centered around a specific tangible theme:
Each of the above whether it’s an actual item or an emotion, can have a visual component to it. Illustrating ‘power’ would be using something bold. A font or bright color combination. An animal or simple text could also work to give off an air of power.
Something for ‘mindfulness’ would be more cool colors in blues and greens and a flowing, script-y font to bring about a feeling of calmness to it. A floral element might go well here.
Once an idea is chosen, choose an artistic style to go with it.
I randomly picked the idea of a ‘lemon’ to use as a demonstration. The following are all artistic ways to represent a lemon within a brand style.
You can keep things SIMPLE.
Maybe you want to use only line drawings for your business… you can either go with a 2-dimensional look such as this:
Or a more 3-dimensional drawing with shading and texture that looks like this:
You can use a single color with either of those. One style depicts a more fun and light-hearted feeling while the other is more serious.
You can add COLOR into the mix.
Here’s a more 2-dimensional (2-D simply means the object looks flat.) colored-in lemon:
While the one below is shaded, and uses different tones of the same yellow color to make it feel more ‘real’ or 3-dimensional.
Different styles of “coloring” in the object will also give off different feelings to your ideal client.
The last two images above are both colored-in in similar ways, but they give off completely different vibes to them.
All of the next three images show watercolor as the artistic style. The top, again, is fun, playful, and whimsical. The brand that would use this lemon image with a cute face is friendly, and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
The middle watercolor image is slightly more serious and pretty, but more on the simple side.
While the bottom image is what I would call “Floral Shabby chic”. LOL! A bit ‘extra’ on the floral, and a vintage-y or distressed look to it.
Or maybe you want to head over in a more abstract direction.
Texture can also add in a stylish element!
The Grand Conclusion:
- Choose ‘something’–whether it’s a tangible item or a feeling–to focus on in your branding.
- Then, choose an artistic style that appeals to and will attract your ideal client.
Are you feeling more enlightened on artistic styles now? Or more confused than ever? Maybe this Brand Style Worksheet will help you narrow in on what you are looking for in the image your brand represents. And BONUS FEATURE: You can use the brand worksheet as a starting point for working with a designer! Trust me, your designer will LOVE LOVE LOVE you for having all this figured out BEFORE you start working with them!
And, if you want to learn more about HOW to search for clip art and graphics for your brand, check out this post:
Where to Find Clipart for Your Brand