Tag Archives: brand message

How to [Be Your Own] Brand Consultant – It’s Not Just About Brand Visuals

how to be your own brand consultant graphic

Many people confuse branding with company logos, corporate identities and websites. It’s true, consistent brand visuals are important to establish a brand identity. The company brand though begins with the intangible elements a company is built on.

Questions included below are important to ask before you start your company and well before you begin your marketing and promotions. Some of them will be easy, some may need to be honed in over time.

These questions can be used by start-up businesses or existing businesses that needs to evaluate their brand presence and definition. Grab a cup of coffee, pen and paper or open a text document and start noting answers for each section.

Brand Position

  • What unique value do you bring to the market?
  • What does your company do?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How does it benefit your customers?
  • How are you different from your competition?

Brand Promise

What does your company stand for and offer to your customers every single time? All brand decisions are based on this promise to prospects, customers, employees and partners.

Do you want to be known for:

  • high quality product or service
  • giving back to the community
  • niche market
  • 24/7 service?, etc.

Brand Personality

What are the specific personality traits you want your company to be known to provide or represent?

  • sophisticated
  • passionate
  • daring
  • sincere
  • strong
  • dynamic

What is your brand story?

Did you open an e-commerce shop with all Michigan made products to support local artisans? Did you author a book on a parenting because you want to help young mom’s and children?  Are you a manufacturing company built on a strong work ethic  and safety who has achieved ISO certification?

Share your company history here:

  • Why were you founded?
  • What value do you bring?
  • What products and services?
  • How does your story build your credibility?

Brand Associations / Visual elements

The physical assets of your brand; name, logo, website, font, tagline, business cards, print collateral, etc. When you are choosing images, fonts, colors for your brand visuals consider your market and message. Reflect your brand promise, personality traits, and support your unique selling position.

By all means be consistent! Start up companies may select brand visuals that are trending in the moment. Quickly they discover they don’t relate to their brand, they don’t stand out and are quickly dated. Take your time in this step and be sure to ask people outside of the company their thoughts on brand visuals you are considering.

You may find everything falls into place very easily. Some companies may find additional help of a brand consultant or a graphic designer with a strong grasp of brand marketing is helpful. We help companies at this stage and there are firms that have made brand consultation their specific niche. If you are a start up company without a budget to outsource a professional  brand consultant, don’t let it stop you from answering the questions. Your answers don’t  need to be award winning script others see. It is more about defining your brand to yourself first to help you to live it with your customers, staff, vendors and your community.

Stay connected! Which question is the most challenging for you? Did any of them give you new insight on your company brand? I’m interested in hearing how the process was for you.

Choosing Best Font – DIY Brochure Designs

Choosing the Best Font for DIY Brochure DesignsChoosing the best font or knowing different names of fonts wasn’t high on most business owners mind when I first launched my graphic design career. Most didn’t know what a typeface or font was.  With the advent of desktop publishing the world finally understood how dramatically the tone of a magazine or brochure could change based solely on font selection. Today new fonts are introduced daily and small businesses grapple with choosing the best font for DIY brochure designs.

A font by any other name is still a font…

Let’s address that statement that new fonts are created everyday. There are a plethora of fonts out there and a large number of free fonts on the internet. Designing a professional typeface or complete type family is a very technical and precise skill. Take caution when you are choosing fonts for your graphic designs.  It’s best to choose a font from a well known font foundry when you can. Some of the free fonts you find online have issues such as not having glyphs or punctuation marks or even numerals. Other concerns may arise with free fonts when turning your promotional materials over to a print professional. If the font you chose is inferior there may be issues.  If the chosen font for your DIY brochure design crashes the printers equipment you may encounter most costs and delivery delay. There are also viruses that weasel their way into downloadable free font files – take caution.

example of poor taste in fonts breaking 10 commandments of font useHere a font, there a font, everywhere a font font…

Fonts are to graphic designers as shoes are to women. So many fun, grungy, vintage, classic, groovy, elegant, contemporary, stylistic fonts out there! Fortunately, cloud storage and hard drives are much bigger than standard closets. Font hoarding has yet to become the next reality TV show. I must still caution constraint! Just because you have a few hundred (thousand) fonts at your disposal does not make it okay to use them all in one event flyer or postcard. Step away from the type tool.

You’ve seen the flyers in local venues. The ones with purple script font headlines with green BOLD heavy san serifs with cowboy ugly fonts for the body copy. And let’s not forget the Old English script in all caps.  Every graphic designer dies a little when we see these freaks of nature. Rules people – follow the rules!

10 Commandments for choosing the best font

  1. Keep with two main fonts for professional promotional print materials
  2. Choose fonts that either contrast or conform with each other
  3. BOLD is for emphasis – do not bold your entire brochure
  4. Is it legible? Frilly fonts with lots of swooshes can be hard to decipher – especially when used in small point sizes such as body copy
  5. Opposites attract – pair a thin font with a fat font or a clean sans serif with a frilly script
  6. Matchy – matchy – choose an elegant san serif for your headline and similar in weight serif font for body copy
  7. For print items body copy is most legible in a serif font
  8. Online studies show san serif fonts are preferred for quick reads and legibility
  9. Ornamental fonts (like Old English) were not designed to be used all caps (see #4)
  10. Match font style to your message. Example: Don’t use comic sans for serious information and don’t use helvetica for a party invitation headline.

Just tell me the best font for DIY Brochure Designs already!

samples of font types and font stylesI already did. I will be more concise – there is no one-size-fits-all best font for every DIY brochure design. It is all so relative, don’t you see? The best font for a DIY brochure design for a restaurant could be a flowing script or a weathered grunge font – what kind of restaurant is it?

Maybe you’re a professional business consultant who advises senior care facilities on end-of-life concerns? The best font for your senior care facility brochure would be a clean, clear font that can be read easily by aging eyes. Are you a home builder or construction company in need of a brochure that speaks to both the man and the woman of the house? Maybe a mix of a script font with a heavier block sans serif font will work? Because of the  many variables when it comes to the message, your prospects, and the product or service you are offering there is no true best font for your DIY brochure.

The best approach to choosing a font and designing your company brochure is be sure it is legible.  Be clear, legible, and sane – no dysfunctional color and schizophrenic font use! You don’t want your prospects running away screaming amateur, amateur! Keep the information you want to share and the people you want to share it with in mind as you design your company brochure. Remember what your company brand message. Marry the fonts and visuals with the brand message and you’ll make a connection with your target audience.