You’ve probably heard the phrase “branding is more than a logo”, but what else is included?
While your logo is an incredibly important branding element, there are so many other design choices that are made when you create a visual brand that’s built to last.
Visual branding is just as much about your customized color palette, font pairings, graphics, and imagery as it is about your final logo. Too many clients focus all of their energy on their logo without defining the foundation of their brand design first.
I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen for you!
As you start to discover the different elements of your visual brand, it will help to know the four C’s of visual branding and website design. All of these principles are embedded into my design process, and I know they will help you in yours too!
Your website design will fall flat if it’s not communicating anything to your ideal audience. What is your website saying with the stylistic choices that you’ve made?
This is why it’s so important to first start from a foundational place of strategy before you launch into the design process (even though design can feel more fun!).
If you have a fanciful script font featured on your website (like my client Alba Rose Photography), you are communicating a message of classic romance and timeless treasures. This fits her brand perfectly!
Maybe you find yourself more drawn to the raw feel of film portraits (like my client Heather Payne Photography) since it communicates a genuine authenticity that brings out the story behind each photograph.
Each design choice you make is communicating something to your audience so you want to make sure it is the right message. When you work with a designer, you’ll be able to determine what mood and vibe you are interested in presenting so you are communicating the right message.
The best designs not only say something but also make you feel something. What emotion is your website evoking? Is it aligned with the emotions your ideal bride has before she decides to contact you?
Color, typography, and textures all have different emotions naturally associated with them. A cozy knit sweater is going to make you feel different than an electric blue cocktail dress.
There are a lot of style and design choices involved with what you wear, so imagine how much more intentional you’ll want to be with the brand you present on your website! A designer (like me!) will help you with pulling out those messages and solidifying your purpose so you can communicate it through design.
Once you know the message you are trying to communicate, then you can start to think about how your design will be displayed throughout all of your marketing channels.
Your website is an important place to show off your visual brand but it will also be implemented on social media, emails, client onboarding resources, and any print materials you may have. Because your visual brand shows up in so many places, it’s important to have a consistent and cohesive look.
Consistency builds trust with your audience because they know what to expect from you. If they consistently see the same logo, colors, and fonts, your brand will become more noticeable and memorable.
Have you ever seen people who use a different font on every Instagram photo? Or maybe you’ve seen someone who uses every color of the rainbow in their website imagery? These aren’t great examples of consistency because their style choices always change.
If you’re scrolling through social media and the brand’s photos are always cropped differently or have a different filter, you might wonder who created the image each time you scroll past it. The reason why this is harmful for your brand is because people aren’t associating you with consistency or cohesiveness. They never know what to expect.
Instead, I focus on creating consistent website designs that fit within my client’s visual brand. Sometimes clients come to me with a visual brand already created and other times we work together to create a visual brand that makes a statement. Either way, I educate my clients on the importance of keeping design elements consistent, even if it seems like it would be more fun to switch it up.
Now you have a design that communicates a specific message and is consistent across all platforms, but it must be clear in order to make an impact.
Raise your hand if you’ve looked at a logo and thought “This design is super cool, but I don’t know what it is…” I’m raising my hand along with you!
Design for design’s sake isn’t as purposeful as design that is clear. Sure, cleverness is a great attribute in design when done well, but clarity is way more important.
You want people to look at your design choices and think it feels like a natural fit. If you have a cozy, welcoming vibe, you might gravitate toward calm blue tones with soft grey lettering that gives added white space between letters. Your visitors will see the connection between your design and personality, bringing clarity to your website.
One way to see if your current brand is lacking clarity is to go to a networking event and ask a few people what they think of your branding after handing out your business card. These are people who are just experiencing you and your brand for the first time so they’ll be able to give a lot of great insight into how well your design fits the way you present yourself.
Last but not least, your visual brand needs to be creative! The whole reason why people invest in design is to come away with a visual brand that is unique. This innovation happens inside the design process and results in a one-of-a-kind brand.
This is one of the reasons why I love starting the visual branding process with moodboard creation. Nothing says creativity like pinning images on a Pinterest board!
Within the curated collection of Pinterest images, you can start to pick out similar colors, textures, patterns, and moods. This helps us understand what direction we want to visually take with creating your other branded elements (like your primary and secondary logo).
Since the wedding industry is so saturated, it’s important that your visual branding is created from a place of innovation and creativity. Design should challenge rules and step outside of the status quo.
Creativity helps you stand out from the crowd so you can show off how unique your services and client or customer experience is. Let’s combine all of your favorite aspects of design into a cohesive look that is all your own.
Which of the 4 C’s do you feel most confident in? Let me know in the connect below!