0800 867 746

How to style your brand for Printing

By Fiona Humberstone

You’re on the cusp of something big

Perhaps you’re launching a new business or blog. Maybe you’re changing direction or, having run your business for several years, you’re ready to up your game.

You understand that a smart, stylish and distinctive brand identity will get you noticed. You know that it’ll help you attract the right sorts of clients and show the world how serious you are. But how do you make sure that the time and money you invest in your branding will pay off? How do you make sure it’ll be an accurate reflection of your aspirations? That it’ll appeal to your most profitable clients, and more like them? How do you make sure you pick the right designer, brief them effectively and communicate your brand in a way that really represents you and your business?

You need a little focus, some insider knowledge and an experienced hand to guide you through the process.

Create a distinctive identity

Create a distinctive identity

Photo: Matt Pereira

Most of us understand the importance of having a smart and professional logo, website and business card. But if you want to realise the true potential of your brand then you need a brand identity that’s more than smart.

You need something that shows your personality, evokes the senses and captivates your clients. Styling your brand well is about reflecting what your business is all about and also your aspirations for the future.

It’s about creating an emotional connection between you, your business and your customer. It means capturing the essence of what you do and communicating that through every design decision you make for your brand. It’s about tapping into the overwhelming majority of customers who buy with their hearts and not their heads.

Styling your brand well means creating a look and feel for your business that’s utterly irresistible to current and prospective clients. In short, it makes doing business easier.

So what is brand styling?

Brand Styling is the art of using type, colour, pattern, illustration and texture to communicate a carefully considered and highly intentional message. One that will help you attract the right sorts of clients, compel them to do business with you and enable you to get where you want to be, faster.

Brand styling involves more than creating a smart logo, although that’s certainly at the centre of your brand identity. A well-styled brand pulls together typefaces with just the right character; colours that resonate and communicate your brand values; patterns that add depth and flair and illustrative elements that bring personality and style.

Essentially it’s about creating a distinctive look that reflects what your business is all about.

So what is brand styling?

Brand Styling is the art of using type, colour, pattern, illustration and texture to communicate a carefully considered and highly intentional message. One that will help you attract the right sorts of clients, compel them to do business with you and enable you to get where you want to be, faster.

Brand styling involves more than creating a smart logo, although that’s certainly at the centre of your brand identity. A well-styled brand pulls together typefaces with just the right character; colours that resonate and communicate your brand values; patterns that add depth and flair and illustrative elements that bring personality and style.

Essentially it’s about creating a distinctive look that reflects what your business is all about.

The brand board (above) shows some of the different elements that make up a well-styled brand. Your brand may include some, or all, of these elements depending on what you do and how you want to come across.

I’ve been styling brands for fifteen years now I’m consistently amazed at the effect a well-designed brand will have on a business.

It’s the difference between fighting for every project and competing on price or attracting a steady stream of clients who value what you do and are prepared to invest in the difference your product or service makes.

Expect your brand identity to include some or all of the following:
  • A distinctive logo that’s instantly recognisable
  • A colour palette that supports your brand values
  • A range of typefaces to add character
  • Illustrations perhaps to add interest and personality
  • Photography to add consistency and depth
  • Patterns and devices to add texture and flair

You may not need all of these elements, but if you want to communicate in a compelling way you’ll need to think about something that’s more comprehensive than simple your logo and a couple of colours.

When your brand identity is crafted with focus, flair and purpose it becomes an asset to your business. Enabling your current and prospective clients see your business the way you do; building value; setting you apart from the competition and helping you gain in confidence.

Photo: Matt Pereira

How to Style Your Brand

Create a vision

Photo: Matt Pereira

Start by getting focused

Essentially, you need to ask yourself: what do I want to be known for? What makes you different? What do your clients love about what you do and how do you want to come across?

Just take a moment or two to write down three words that encapsulate how you’d like your business to be seen. Three words that sum up what you want to be known for:

Create a vision

How should your brand look and feel? Without being too prescriptive, try to pull together a mood-board that reflects your vision for your company. This isn’t just about showing what you do, it’s a powerful jumping-off point for your creative process so think big and let your imagination run wild!

Ask yourself:

  • What impression do my current website and marketing materials give about my business?
  • Are they consistent?
  • Do they reflect what I want to be known for?
  • Am I winning business because of, or in spite of, my current brand identity?
  • Do I find it difficult to get my clients to see the value in what I’m doing?
  • Am I proud of my website, business card, logo and marketing literature?

Use colour psychology to help you make sense of where you’re headed

Translating your brand values into tangible fonts, colours, patterns and textures can be challenging. How can you be absolutely sure that what you pick sends out the right messages? Colour psychology is your friend. It’ll bring a very objective process to something that’s so fraught with subjective whim.

Pull in elements with intention

Think carefully about the choices you make when crafting your brand identity. You want to create a specific impression – whether that’s cutting edge, masculine and ergonomic or delicate, distressed, laidback luxe (and everything in between). Ask yourself: does this create the impression I want?

Review against the brief

Always! It’s always about mixing a blend of heart and head. You need to love it – it’s your brand identity, but it doesn’t need to reflect every nuance of your personality and most importantly, it needs to create the right impact with the people who are going to invest in your business.

Photo: Matt Pereira

About the Author

How to Style your Brand by Fiona

Fiona Humberstone has been styling brands and running workshops since 2000.

Having founded, grown and sold one of the UK’s most successful brand styling companies, Fiona now consults for design agencies and runs game-changing courses around the world and is available for speaking engagements.

Her bestselling book, How to Style Your Brand, is available online from Amazon.

Interested in more ideas on how to market your business?

Request your FREE copy of the latest Marketing and Print Ideas from Nettl!