So you’ve became an entrepreneur, huh? Congratulations! At the beginning of this amazing journey you probably need to cut expenses and don’t want to spend a lot of money on brand’s visual identity, visual communication or advertising. Well, you don’t have to. In the same way I don’t spend a fortune on accounting because some work I can do by myself with the accountant advisory and assistance.
Piece of a cake, right? Yes, if you get a little help at the beginning. Here’s my little guide for new entrepreneurs, small business and those who simply want to know more what to expect from designers when ordering visual communication elements for their company.
Rule of thumb #1 – Simplicity or KISS, keep it simple, silly!
KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. For business purposes we can use more accurate version of the rule: “keep it simple and straightforward”. Other smart phrases applicable for visual communication:
“Less is more”
“Less but better”
Simplicity always works because it’s elegant, versatile and lasting which is important with ever changing trends. You cannot go wrong with simplicity.
Rule of thumb #2 – Close the gap between a visual identity and a brand identity
Or… never let it to happen. Needless to say, visual brand identity’s key function is to make your company unique and distinguish from other businesses; whereas a brand image denotes how the brand is actually perceived by the audience. This is why It’s so important to send the proper message and don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean newsletters. A visual message is everything that visually represents your company: a logo, a website, quality of paper of a business card, color palette. Everything matters! Even an e-mail signature and website URL. Seriously! Once I’ve got a job offer from the company where someone responsible for communication didn’t use an e-mail signature. That case gave me a picture of a business environment with no care for details.
You don’t want to confuse your customers by making a wrong impression, right? Customers make buying decisions based on rational and emotional biases (B-2-C mostly). Try to use as many references to your business core values as possible and be honest. Make it easier for your customer to understand what your business is about. Translating your business core values to a visual language should be smooth and efficient to attract the right target audience. Consistency between visual identity and your company’s DNA is similarly important as the coherency of verbal and non-verbal communication (your words, tone of voice and body language).
Rule of thumb #3 – Keep the Consistency
Keep the same style of visual elements across all communication channels including:
– Business card;
– Social media layout (Facebook, LinkedIn);
– Print (leaflets, brochures, flyers or posters, tabloid ads).
It means that you should keep the same or similar font type, color palette and images everywhere – this makes recognizing your brand much easier. In this way you actually build your brand power. And building a brand power is a process that start even from an early beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur.
To be continued (next week): Part Two – Visual Business Identity – Short Introduction