I am sure you already know that it can be a real struggle to find and connect with your customers. We, as people, make snap judgments. It takes about 50 milliseconds (yup, that’s 0.05 seconds) for your potential customers to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. In addition, this is not even counting the load time factor of your website.
If this challenge sounds familiar to you, I’ve got great news: the following five basic visual branding tools can help you establish a lasting personal connection with your customers. Let’s dive right in…
Create a Better Connection
Visual branding is all about creating a recognizable and emotional connection with your customers. If done right, your branding can be a powerful tool in creating a need and want for your products.
In other words, even basic branding is often overlooked when creating a new business, mainly because entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with brand psychology within graphic design and marketing. The internet is full of great companies that never really got a chance to succeed because they used that cute pink font their friend sent them in an email.
You have to evaluate what emotions your product and brand should convey. In conclusion, how are you connecting the visual look with the value and purpose of your product?
This is what you do:
- Write down who your ideal customer is. Give them a name and everything.
- Write down what feeling your brand should make the customer feel.
- Note what feelings your competitors bring out in their branding
- Identify something that makes your brand stand out from your competitors
Brand Colors Creates the Bond
It is time to talk about color psychology. Yes, that is an actual thing. Our brains love to combine emotions with color, visuals, and sound. Here let me show you how excellent color branding can be.
Think of the brand Coca-Cola. Good. Now, if you have been around their branding, your brain would have told you “Red,” enjoying life and being yourself (maybe even polar bears if you are hitting 40ies.)
That is the power of branding.
However, let’s stick to the basics, for now, so you can strengthen your customer relationship.
Think of your customers. Who are they, and what do they like when searching for a product like yours? What emotions do you want to bring out in them?
Look at the color reference chart we made to help you match colors with emotions.
This is what you do:
- Match the feelings you wrote down from TIP #1 and match them to the color scheme. Find three to four colors that match your brand.
- Make one of the colors stand out from your competitors.
- Download our free brand template below and add your colors.
Color theory has been a part of human culture and history for centuries. If you want to learn more about this fascinating part of our brain, we recommend that you read “The Designer’s Dictionary of Color” and “The Pocket Complete Color Harmony.”
The Designer's Dictionary of Color
in-depth look at 30 colors key to art and graphic design. Organized by spectrum, in color-by-color sections for easy navigation. Available as Kindle or Hardcover
The Pocket Complete Color Harmony
1,500 Plus Color Palettes for Designers, Artists, Architects, Makers, and Educators. Delve into moods, colors and why some colors attract. Available as Kindle or Paperback.
Typography Helps Customers Engage
Typography is often ignored when creating a business. It might seem like something that should just be set to “default Word font,” but typography matters. For instance, it helps conserve one of the most valuable resources you have – reader attention.
You can find many articles and books with each their opinion about the correct fonts to use. We narrowed it down to two reasons and three fonts that can help you get started.
- Easy readability where details are needed
- Unique fonts when you need to stand out and convey something different
Let me show you an example.
Which one do you feel comes off as a more personal message to a customer?
I assume you also picked Card 2.
The cursive font created the personal touch, where the other sets a more professional tone of voice and look.
Great starter fonts for your visual brand guide
We recommend you start out with these FREE-TO-USE (yes, fonts are often copyrighted) Open Sans, Inter, Roboto Slab, or Amsterdam One as headline fonts. To make text easily readable, you can go with Open Sans or Roboto. These are also quick to load on any website.
However, if you choose a unique and different font, it has to make sense of what you are using it for. It has to be readable.
This is what you do:
- Visit Google Fonts and find two to three fonts that you would like to use
- Verify the fonts are available in the backend of your website and Canva
- Download the fonts to use in other software
Should you wish to learn even more about the secrets of typography, then we can recommend reading “The Designer’s Dictionary of Type.”
The Designer's Dictionary of Type
Providing a vivid and highly accessible look at an even more important graphic design ingredient: typography. Keedy Sans, author and designer Sean Adams demystifies 48 major typefaces, describing their history, stylistic traits, and common application. Available as Kindle and Hardcover.
How to Create a Basic Brand Mood Board
This last one might be entirely new for you. A mood board is a collection of images that illustrates the values and emotions of your product and company. You create it by finding images that relate to your business. When you look at them, you should think of the values, colors, and general emotions.
It can be as little as six images or a big collage with many different elements. The important part is that it reflects your brand.
The example below is from our free Basic Visual Branding Guide.
When making marketing material or writing PR copy, you can quickly take a look at your mood board to, yes, you guessed it – get you in the brand mood. After that, this will help you focus on the correct elements when you create content.
This is what you do:
- Find at least six images that help you represent your brand
- Speak out loud what emotions and feelings each image gives you
- Map them into a collage – use our Template to get started quickly
Download our Free Guide and Template
We made a 12 page Basic Visual Branding Guide and Template to help you get started. It covers every aspect of this article and shows an example of a Basic Visual Branding Guide for a small business selling coffee.
Hop on our newsletter below and get the guide in your inbox.
To use and update the Template, you have to register a free profile with Canva.
In conclusion, spend time setting up your basic visual brand identity, so you can quickly reference colors and typography when producing marketing materials.
The key is then to stay on brand. In other words, when you show your brand identity clearly on all platforms, your customers will start to recognize you. You can use secondary colors to stand out in specific seasons, however, always stick with your primary color range.
Don’t overthink it. Have a cup of cocoa and enjoy the journey. You are in the beginning, and any basic branding will make you stand out from most other startups.
I hope you will find the Basic Visual Branding Guide useful.
Best of luck.