I like to write a blog once a month, and I don’t worry about what I’ll write about - I just let the idea come to me. I’d half written one for this month, but it didn’t feel right. So I let it go and focused on some other work.
It was only when I was coming to do some brand research that I realised that my first impressions of a business were very much visual first, copy second. (Yay! I’d found inspiration for my next blog.)
We all like beautiful things, and showcasing your brand in the most beautiful way possible should be one of your key goals when looking to extend your reach.
To be honest, creating beauty in a brand is something I’ve always overlooked (and am still getting to grips with), but Steve Jobs wasn’t wrong when he obsessed over the typography in the Apple branding - something as small as this really does matter.
Statistics on visual storytelling show that visual is the most preferred form of content; it engages, and inspires, and keeps your attention. It’s no wonder why Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are so popular. Here’s a rundown of the visual trends for 2017.
I’m a self confessed Pinterest addict - it's my life's vision board. I love nothing more than feasting on beautiful images, and allowing the feelings they evoke to wash over me. (It’s why I chose the picture for this article - it made me feel great when I looked at it.)
Images feed the right side of our brains, which are linked to creativity, intuition, big-picture thinking and our emotion or pleasure centres.
We go all out when it comes to styling our home or our hair; so why don’t we take the same care over our brands?
Here’s some practical tips to beautifying your brand:
Use the best graphic designers you can afford; with a simple, clear design
Look at the brands you love and follow on social media. What is it about their design that appeals to you? Collect 3-5 examples. Find out who designed their brand, if possible, and get in touch! If you can’t afford them just yet, then save! It’s far better to wait and launch with something stunning than have a poorly executed design.
Use the best photographer you can afford; with authentic shots
Photography is ever changing, and in the world of business we’ve seen a clear shift from forced ‘posed’ photography, to a more authentic, documentary or reportage style. It’s now ‘cool’ to be as authentic as possible, as if the camera wasn’t even there, and just happened to take a great shot of your product or service.
Define your colour palette; and carry your design through to social media
I’ve seen so many brands have a great core colour palette on their website (say, brown, gold, and purple), but then you look on their social media channels and they have all manner of different fonts and random colours that just don’t go with their brand, and makes the whole thing quite disjointed. Be consistent in your approach; if you want to say something, create a post in Canva using your brand colours and font.
This is the most important one of all. I think the franchise HotPod Yoga do this really well - all franchisees adhere to strict brand guidelines. When you’re short on time, it’s easy to just stick a post on Twitter or Instagram without really thinking it through, but the more you keep beauty in the front of your mind, and the more you ask ‘Can this be more beautiful?’ the greater engagement you’ll get.