Your branding speaks a thousand words about your company’s professionalism and the style and quality of your products and services. We expect to pay more for higher quality services. We are more likely to trust brands that look professional and visually appealing. Your branding is the key to a great first impression that will support your pricing power and allow you to build trusting relationships with clients. The following is a guide to start branding (or re-branding!) your business from the ground up.
First, you need a brand identity. This is more than just your logo, though it does contain a logo or two. A brand identity includes the colors, fonts, graphics and images that define the look and feel of everything from your business cards and signage to your website and Facebook page. When you’re working with a designer, it’s important to define a set of fonts and colors to use anywhere you have type. You may choose more elaborate custom fonts for print pieces and signage and use simpler, more common fonts for online. For example, here are the fontswe use on The Knot brand. You should also define a few key images and the exact colors you’ll use every time you create something new. Gather all of these pieces of information into a Brand Style Guide. Having a Style Guide makes designing new ads or fliers a snap because you have easy access to everything you need.
Now let’s talk about your logo. When you’re designing your logo, think about how it will look at different sizes (e.g. on a large sign, on a tiny business card, etc.) and make sure it stays readable. Here is a logo sized for different layouts. Notice how you can drop the tagline and still make a strong visual impression at the smallest size.
Next, make sure you request a vector art version of your logo file. The file extension should end with .ai (which stands for Adobe Illustrator). Vector art files are made out of mathematical ratios rather than a finite number of pixels that can get stretched and blurry when you enlarge it. Vector art allows you to use the same file to put your logo on anything from a golf ball to a billboard.
Now that you have your Style Guide, a few key fonts and images and your logo, create a brand asset library folder in a secure location such as on your Google Drive or on Dropbox.com. It’s a good idea to store these items in “the cloud” or somewhere online so that even if you accidentally spill coffee all over your laptop, they’ll be safe. Also they are easily sharable with others. Now your brand is ready for business!
Use our checklist to make sure you have everything you need to create your brand identity.
For more advice and insights on branding your wedding business, check the branding channel on The Knot B2B.