Stress-Free Branding for Newbies: 3 Steps to Develop Your Brand's Signature Style
Do you ever feel like you look around and see all of the other biz owners and content creators out there, maybe even in your niche, who seem to be KILLING it with their graphics?
If you have, I bet you want a piece of that pie. You want a recognizable brand that WOWs your audience and keeps them coming back for more.
If you’re a business owner or content creator who is struggling to be consistent in your branding and visuals — you keep changing things up and can’t seem to land on an aesthetic that feels good to you, supports your vision, and resonates with your audience — then you’re in the right place.
I want to share the first steps you can take toward creating a high-end brand and designer-quality graphics — YES, even if you’re short on time, or budget for that matter, and you don’t have an eye for design.
All you need to do is nail your brand’s signature style.
And I promise, you can do it without feeling puzzled and overwhelmed, so you can finally pick your colors, fonts and images with confidence!
How to discover your brand’s signature style
1. NAIL YOUR BRAND WORDS
With so many things to consider, like your why, ideal client, your values etc., let's just zone in one important question: What do you want your ideal clients to FEEL when they land on your website?
What do you want them to feel when they see your images on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest?
The first step to discovering your brand's signature style is choosing 3-5 brand words.
Don’t allow yourself to overthink this. Set a timer for 10 minutes and freestyle all the words or phrases that come to mind. Just let it flow.
Here are some prompts to help you come up with these brand words:
- If your brand were a personality how would you describe it? How would it look, feel, smell or sound like?
- It can also be helpful to think of key feelings, core values, colors, seasons, vibes or moods that you want your brand to portray.
Once you’re done freethinking, I want you to come back to your list of words and circle or highlight the ones that really light you up, align with your values and that make you proud, excited, and unique.
Once you pick your 3-5 words, write them down on a post-it, stick them on your corkboard, and even better, put it in your Trello Company Guidebook. Just make sure you see it every day, so it becomes part of everything you do and create for your biz!
2. NAIL YOUR VISUAL VISION
Whenever my toddler asks me this, I always try to leave what I'm doing to say "YES"! It's not always possible, but 9/10 times, he then moves on to something else and I can continue with my task.
Playing is good for my creativity.
My soul gives me that same grin and eye twinkle my toddler does. To nail your visual vision and communicate your personal style in your Biz - you need to play.
So let’s have some fun, friend. ;-)
Now that you have your 3-5 brand words, you can use them to start pulling together your visual inspiration. My favorite thing to do is to start creating a Pinterest board of images that echo the aesthetic that’s connected to your brand words!
To find images that speak to your brand, I want you to use the brand words that you came up with and combine them with physical things that you love.
So if you said your brand is timeless and you love interior design, you can search for “timeless decor”. Or if you’re looking for branding examples specifically, you can search for “boho brand” or “elegant brand”.
Go ahead and Pin anything that feels in line with what you envisioned. It could be spaces, places, people, fonts, colors, layouts, even that scatter pillow with the pretty print. Do the images you are collecting, correlate with your brand words? Do they have the same vibe? Great! You're on the right track! No? What needs adjusting? Feel into the answer.
And here’s a bonus tip for you: if you find an image that really resonates, click on it and then scroll down for similar images below that pin.
Get creative here and have fun. You can’t mess this up! Just pin what lights you up.
Once you’re done pinning, take a visual break, then come back and refine your board by deleting images that don’t fit your vision or the personality you envision for your brand.
Edit it for your absolute favorites until you have approximately 20-50 images!
3. NAIL YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE
You might not have realized this... but you’ve just pinned down your brand’s signature style baby!
Just look at your new brand words and Pinterest board. You've officially got inspiration for days! Now, it’s time to capture its essence!
Let's create your Personal Style Statement (PSS). Your Personal Style Statement is the general feel and vibe your "pinned" images, fonts, and colors give you. This statement will tie in with your Brand Words.
Here's an example of mine:
Warm and approachable with an eye for quality and style, incorporating sophistication + timeless principles, with a few touches of blue.
Now it’s your turn!
Don’t worry about it not being perfect. Write down similarities. Light or dark photography? What colors repeatedly come up? What textures or patterns? How do these tie in with your Brand Words?
Write down your own Personal Style Statement and put it on your wall or somewhere you’ll see it often.
Pencil to paper works miracles, friend.
You just created your brand’s signature style!
I've given you initial steps you need to nail your own brand’s signature style. Now you have a great starting point! This is the filter you run across all your images and graphics you create for your business.
Is this... coherent with my brand words?
Is this…. coherent with my personal style statement.
It can be tricky when you're bombarded with what everyone else is doing. The key is to create moments of silence to listen to what your subconscious is already showing about your style.
I'm excited to see how these exercises workout for you! It's okay for your initial vision and end result to be completely different. In fact, that’s a great thing!
Once you're happy with your end results, it’s time to create your moodboard and pick your colors, fonts and the elements you need to put together your brand board.
Don’t worry I'll show you how to do that. Check out this post on How to Create Your Mood Board in Canva!