Hello darling! I'm Tara. Designer of pretty things, taco lover & champagne addict. Pull up a chair, let me pour you a glass of bubbly & get to know a little more about me & my fabulous home, Avenue Twenty-One!
house + home
September 16, 2014
We get asked all the time about our brand & style. We love it when we get questions… we really do – it means we’ve done something right! One of the most common emails I get is “How to create a brand?” This is a tough one for us because as designers, we love to constantly change up our look and add new things depending on our mood. (And it may drive some of the girls in the studio crazy sometimes… but I just can’t help it!) For your business creating a consistent brand is one of the most worthwhile investments of your time & money. It is what sets you apart from the rest of the competition. So how do you go about doing creating a brand? Well… we can’t speak for everyone but our best advice is:
1. Decide what tone your business has.
I decided a long time ago that Diva Gone Domestic would be a fun, modern brand with a bit of sass. Why? Simply put – that’s my personality. Would it work for all businesses? Not at all! But a consistent voice will help you in your overall branding strategy.
2. What’s your mission statement?
Creating an overall goal or mission statement will help keep you on the right track. What are your business values? Ours is simple. Design pretty things for fabulous people. It’s that easy. We love what we do and who we do it for. Our clients are amazing because they come to us knowing we are going to create something they love. It’s our goal. So what’s yours?
3. Your logo.
This will be everywhere so make sure you love it! Tip: When getting your original concepts from your designer – ask for them in black & white. Not color. By looking at them in black and white you take all of the “noise” out and can focus on the actual design to make sure it represents you and your business.
4. Create a style guide.
What’s this? A style guide is also called a branding board. It’s a great way to create consistency throughout your website, blog, social media. Every time we change our look, I start with a brand board.
Choose 3 fonts. We recommend sticking to the 3 font rule to avoid your brand from looking clutter and mismatched.
Choose your color palette. This is a hard one. We definitely have our signature colors but I have been known to change it up a bit from time to time to keep our look fresh. Your color palette should convey your business. Light pastels, bold neons and dark, muted colors all have a different story to tell – don’t you agree? Generally, I recommend my clients choose 3-5 colors for their palette.
Lastly, we like to choose patterns & graphics for our brand. Stripes & polka dots is our go-to but we’ve thrown in chevrons, herringbones, leopard print along with some pretty florals from time to time. (Again – we’re all about fun design – other businesses may go for a softer, more subtle pattern mix.) For graphics, we choose what speaks to us – whether it be hearts, a pineapple or a pretty little flower. As a design studio, we are lucky to be able to change up our look without too much judgement. Which is a good thing because we’d do it anyway!
So in the end what does a style guide/brand board look like?
Ta-Da!!! Don’t you love it? It’s a just a tiny little glimpse into our brand and who we are. That’s what your style guide should do for you! When you start to feel like you stray too far from your brand, it’s nice to go back for a little reminder. The color codes are a great way to make sure that all of your marketing materials have consistent coloring too! (PS – You can see more brands we’ve created here, here & here.)
In the end, you should have a fabulous website using your Style Guide as a reference.
At the end of the day, no one knows your business quite like you so make sure that you end up with a brand you are proud of and will love to look at every day. Need help? Let us know! Have questions? Contact us! Show us your brand by adding your link below! XOXO!