Branding 102: Visual Branding

branding basics visual branding

Branding confuses so many people because they think that a brand is considered a brand once they have a fancy logo and the same colors on all of their Instagram photos.

The logo and your Instagram images are important but they're surprisingly not the "meat" of your brand. Your overall brand image and your "how" is more important and you can read more about that here in the Branding 101 post.

Notice I didn’t mention a logo and pretty colors as the first topic because your "who" and "what" are most important. Put your main "who," "what" and "how" everywhere in short concise sentences. Put it in your social media bios, place it within your captions, mention it when you host Periscope videos and webinars. Make sure everyone watching you knows what you do and how you do it from the IRS to that girl who called you ugly in third grade.

Your logo is important but it’s not your brand

Now here's how to make everything concise:

Your logo:

Here are quick examples of logos:

The one on the left is a hideous logo I found on Google. You can't read it and it looks like a paintball center logo and I would almost bet money that it isn't. 

The one on the right is a logo I created for the blog Accidentally Adulting years ago when I was designing more for my side hustle. It's legible, easy on the eyes, fun and feminine. It's perfect for her blog that actually appeals to fun and feminine women.

example of bad logo
accidentally logo

Is your name your brand? Put it in a gorgeous font, tie letters together, make it you but make it easy to process. If I can’t read your logo after 10 seconds, my interest dwindles and the same goes for the general public. If you're designing on your own, Pintrest is the place to go for ideas and DaFont.com is the place to go for free fonts but pay attention to the commercial licenses. Some fonts are free, others just ask for a donation or a full on payment for use. If you plan to sell anything behind your name, I would go ahead and use a commercial license. 

Your Fonts:

Keep fonts easy to read and decipher. Script is pretty until you can’t read it. Some people have a better eye for this than others. People with design backgrounds can usually spot when two fonts clash or if they're a great pair. An easy rule of thumb is two fonts that compliment but are completely different in some way. Serif fonts like Times new roman look best with sans serif fonts like Helvectica. Script fonts also look well with sans serif fonts

Your website:

If I’m on your homepage and there’s no consistent theme, I’m finding the red x and I’m off to a better website. Make sure your images are related and crisp and not pixelated or blurry. If you use random images from other websites, pay attention on if you'll need to credit the photos. Your graphics should also all have similar fonts and colors. If you start to change up the looks of your brand, make sure it all clicks.

If you're a Youtuber or have consistent posts somewhere else online- Youtube videos, a podcast series on Soundcloud etc, you should highlight that on your homepage and throughout your website. If you had a feature on XoNecole, let us know!

If there's something you're promoting or selling heavily, make sure it is on your website at least 3 times so that your audience continuously sees it and has the opportunity to pay you or sign up. Make your sales page make sense, make your email lead in (newsletter incentive sign up) and anything else you highlight visible and easy to understand. Don't make it harder for people to give you coins or get on your list.

Your Color Palette:

 You can use  Coolors.co  to generate gorgeous color palettes.

You can use Coolors.co to generate gorgeous color palettes.

Know your brand colors well (you shouldn’t have more than 2-3 main colors and possibly a few supporting secondary colors). If your designer picked your specific colors, ask for the Hex codes. The code usually looks like this- #f3e9e8 (that's the shade of pink I use) or something similar in numbers and letters. If they didn’t give you the exact Hex codes or even worse they don’t know or find out, you need a new designer. 

Once you have those elements together, it's important to know the look and feel of your brand through images. Pintrest is the perfect place to gain inspiration for a new mood board or for ideas for your Instagram page. The days are dwindling for Instagram pages that have a super strict pattern but a cohesive feel and type of image is a solid way to go.

Remember though, visuals are not important if the rest of your brand foundation is in shambles. Start there and move on to making it pretty.

For an in depth dig into branding, we have two Hustle Hive Elite masterclasses ready for you to enroll and get the gems!

hustle hive elite membership group

Author: Shay Duriel Davis, the Creator of The Bronze Hustle and Hustle Hive Elite