A question and problem I see arise time and time again with fellow business owners is how to make your visual brand more cohesive.
So, with this in mind I thought I would take you back to the basics and share with you 4 ways to make your visual brand more cohesive. Before I do that though, I want to talk about why it’s important to ensure your visual brand is cohesive. Firstly, it’s going to help make your brand more recognisable. The consistent use of colours and fonts can create an association straight away to your brand and depending on how well known or recognisable you want your brand to be, using these elements is going to help improve this.
Secondly, it’s going to help make your business and brand look even more professional. Which is what everyone wants, right?
4 ways to make your visual brand more cohesive:
01 – Brand Colours
Make sure you first of all know what your brand colours are. Ideally you want to have 4 brand colours in total – 2 or 3 main colours with the rest being complimentary colours. Knowing what the hex codes are for your colours is also going to be super helpful because knowing these means if you are planning to use the likes of Canva, you can input your specific brand colours into there by their hex code.
Once you know what your brand colours are – use them and only them. I wouldn’t recommend adding another colour into the mix or using different shades of your brand colours. This is because people aren’t going to recognise your brand that way if you’re using lots of different colours all the time.
02 – Fonts
My advice around fonts is almost similar to the above for colours. I would stick to a maximum of 3 fonts in total – using two main fonts with one complimentary font if needed as and when. This means together with your set brand colours, your visual brand is going to start looking cohesive already and much more professional.
03 – Photos
Make sure that the photos you use all have a uniform look and feel to them. Think about how you want your overall brand to look and feel, for example, light and airy or dark and moody. This will help you determine what sorts of photos to look out for, especially if you’re looking to use stock photos. There are free and paid for stock photo websites out there, but I always think professional photos always look better because they’re a genuine and true representation of you and your business.
You could always create your own ‘on brand’ photos by collecting and using branded props within your photos to create that subtle colour association. If you’re a personal brand and you don’t have a budget for a professional photographer yet, why not choose an ‘on brand’ outfit in your brand colours, make sure your hair and make up is nice, grab a friend and go take some snaps for a bit of fun. You could take 30 photos for example doing different poses in a few locations and start to create a batch of photos you can use going forwards. Then do this again the next month so you build up a library of photos you can dip into and use.
If you have a product based business or what to show some props which relate to the service you provide, why not create a Pinterest board with photo ideas that you could try out and take yourself.
04 – Alignment
This is the last element when it comes to making your visual brand more cohesive. It’s really subtle and something which can be overlooked, especially if you’re not a graphic designer. So what do I mean by alignment? Well, I mean left, centre or right aligned. For example, looking at your logo, which out of the three is it? Let’s say it’s centre aligned. This means any designs or graphics you create yourself – the text within the designs need to be centre aligned. If your logo is left aligned, I would look at left aligning your text. This isn’t a set-in-stone rule though as it all depends on what you’re creating the design for too, but it’s definitely something to consider. It just makes everything looks nice, neat and clean.
So those are the 4 basic ways to make your visual brand more cohesive and they are something I instinctively do when I start working on any design.
Once you are clear on all of the above, it’s then time to assess and look at your visual branding online and offline.
Online Visual Branding
This can include your social banners on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. It can also apply to your website and any online graphics – profile pictures, blog graphics, podcast graphics, social media graphics, memes etc. And let’s not forget any digital resources you use within your business too – pdf workbooks, ebooks, lead magnets, infographics… the list goes on.
Offline Visual Branding
This includes any printed materials – business cards, gift vouchers, thank you/greetings cards, labels, leaflets, letterheads, loyalty cards. And if you host in person events – sign in sheets, worksheets, workbooks, place cards etc.
You want to ensure that all of the above or whatever online and offline visual branding you have in place for your business is cohesive looking at the four basic elements above. Are they all using the same brand colours? Are they all using the same fonts? Are the photos being used cohesive in look and feel? Is the text all aligned so everything looks professional?
How cohesive is your visual brand right now?
If you feel as though your visual brand needs to look more cohesive but you’re not sure where to start why not give it a score from 1 – 10 in terms of how cohesive you would say your visual brand is right now. 1 being it’s all over the place and 10 being it’s super cohesive.
Once you’ve given a score, I would look at and list out all the different visual brand elements you have that need improving and begin from there. If you would like any help with this of if you have any questions then please do get in touch.
Let me know what you score is out of 10 below and what you’re going to do about it.