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Branding Basics

Written By Sophie.

An effective brand and branding strategy can help your craft business stay ahead of the game, draw new customers in and give you an amazing edge to your competitors. No matter if your brand is a large scale company or a small scale start up, consistent and sharp branding is critical. So, lets discuss how you can make your creative business stand out from the crowd.

Brand Essence

The first big branding decision you will need to make is what exactly is your ‘brand essence’ – in other words how can you sum up what your business is and what you sell. This is critical when marketing your brand, as every visual decision will be made with this in mind. A good way to tackle this would be to start off with a list of words/spider diagram/table consisting of things that embody the spirit of your business. Don’t forget to think ahead – what are your main goals and ambitions for your brand.

Brand Colours

The colours that you associate with your business are perhaps the most important visual element of your brand – as it’s one of the first things your customers will notice! It’s important that you select and refine your brand colours and then consistently stick to them when creating business cards/your website/packaging etc. Its best to select a primary colour palette of 3-6 cohesive and sharp colours, listed in order of importance or use. When choosing these think about if you want to select warm or cool hues and maybe consider using complimentary colour pairings such as blue and orange or yellow and purple. You could also think about other textures and materials that would work well with your chosen palette.

Top Tip! Make sure you record the RGB values of each of your chosen brand colours. This means the exact same colour can be repeated universally across all medias.  

Below are some examples of primary colour palettes that work well together and could be used as inspiration. In addition, Color Hex is a fantastic website that allows you to browse colour schemes and view popular colours that could be used and adapted to your business.

 

 

Brand Typeface

Selecting a brand typeface or font is another important style decision. In a similar way to your brand colours consistency is key, so when you select a font everything must remain universal. The font you choose will impact the way that your brand and products are perceived by your target market so make sure you consider your options carefully. Do you want something more traditional or modern, decorative or bold? How easy is your font to read? Does it match your brand aesthetic?

There are hundreds of different fonts to choose from and while this may feel overwhelming websites such as You Work For Them allow you to browse through them easily. Below are some examples of different typefaces and some keywords suggesting how they may make a potential customer feel when associating these with a brand.

 

Brand Images

Another important visual element is your brand images. It is key that they are of a high quality and consistent in appearance (perhaps including some of your brand colours within the photos). It is also important that the aesthetic of the images reflects the type of brand you are trying to convey. For example, a popular style of product photography is a flat lay – where images are taken from above and a mixture of different complimentary products are arranged on a interesting/eye-catching background – watch this space for a future blog post on this.

Brand Trends

When making any important brand decisions for your business it’s helpful to take note of brand trends. These can be used as inspiration and aid you in achieving something that is cutting edge and relevant, helping you stand out from similar makers in your field. The brand trends for 2017 include 3D design, geometric shapes, bold colours/primary colours, negative space, hand-drawn style typography, minimalist style, vintage designs (70’s and 80’s) and animated or moving logos. Any of these trends could be incorporated into your visual brand easily to keep your target market interested.

Top Tip! Research projected design trends for 2018 using websites such as behance.net. This website takes inspiration from all aspects of art, design, fashion and interiors to generate design trend mood boards.

Whats the first thing you notice when discovering a new craft and design brand? Is it the colours, textures, fonts, images? What makes a brand unique? Don’t forget to join our growing maker community and carry on the conversation here…