by Sarah Marie Lau
Starting a business means a hell lot of work upfront. It means you have to take huge decisions and small ones too. You put so much thought and energy and love in finding a perfect and unique name, choosing the right domain name and so on.
Now, some of you may not be able to hire a designer for a unique branding, right now. I prepared some easy tips to get you started. – I know that sounds weird, especially hearing this from a graphic designer – hello don´t you want to earn some money? – Yes off course I do. BUT my main goal is to do awesome design works which makes your business stand out – which I can do best, when you are ready and prepared.
Always be simple and consistent.
You have to make some easy decisions for your fonts, colors and imagery and follow them religiously. Shure you can change them later in the progress, but I would suggest to only do this in a complete new brand launch.
Start training your visual awareness.
Collect screenshots, Images from Logos, Typography, Designs and Layouts you love. Start a Pinterest board to collect all those inspirations
1. Your Logo
Choose a Font you find appealing – and simply write out your business name.
Use that as your logo. So now you have a simple Logo – which looks always professional because you used straight design principles. For an Icon you can use your first two Letters in the same font. So it stays recognizable.
2. Readable Fonts
Choose 2 strong contrasting fonts and the appropriate font size.
One for your Headlines. One for your Body copy. Use the same font but with a different font style, for example italic or light for side notes and links etc.
Never ever mix and match more than 3 Fonts and stay consistent. Stick to those decisions and don´t try to switch without a specific and conscious design decision taken.
In the future I´ll prepare another post on how you can pair fonts.
3. Yummy Color
Choose a simple color pallet.
For example: you love turquoise and it aligns perfectly with your ICA´s feelings (Yes – ain´t that awesome?) –Use it as your signature color. Use shades of the same turquoise and choose one more contrasting color for example a golden yellow. Voila – you just created a color pallet.
Use only one bold bright color as your statement color. You can use it for a header background , your headlines, your buttons and your Links.
Choose a second color – the more flashy you want it- the more contrast you need to add. See our example: Turquoise is a sister of Blue – Blue´s Contrasting color is orange.
So when turquoise is your main color use orange or a olden yellow for little accents.
4. Desirable Imagery
Use a picture language which fits your ICA´s desires.
When you´re a nutritionist – use delicious, yummy mouthwatering pretty pictures. Custom made Imagery is awesome because nobody else will going to use it and with a good photographer you can develop your very own unique corporate picture language.
For the meantime here are a few low budget tricks:
Choose wisely: Invest a few dollars on a few images and use those over and over again. Look for the different forms of licensing and choose only the license you are going to use.
Collaborate with a Instagram Photographer and ask if you could use a specific image and link back on their account in return.
-> Yes do ask them it is illegal and it´ll get way more expensive if you don´t follow the laws.
Invest in re-usable Templates, for your Social Media Accounts and your Opt-In Offers.
Your Future Progress
– Train your visual awareness and save your favorites in your Pinterest inspiration board
– Prepare your Content
– Find and invest in a designer you trust
Hi, I´m Sarah Marie Lau, I create beautiful and easy to use interactive design concepts for creative agencies and entrepreneurs.
I can: Make your website persuasive. Create “big picture” branding concepts that help your business stand out. Conceptualize and design winning pitch concepts and presentations. Design a book full of yummy recipes….Or whatever it is you’ve wanted to create forever, but haven’t done because you get stuck every time you think, “How will I make it look nice and professional?”
Consider yourself unstuck.
I believe in design quality and a close collaboration with my clients. I’ve worked with some of Europe’s most innovative, experimental branding and interactive marketing and design agencies. I think outside what everyone else is doing, and come up with concepts you won’t see coming and going.
I grew up in a really small town in Germany called Rutesheim. Munich, where I live now, is the “Big City” for me. I’ve always been surrounded by design. My mother and my aunt were Fashion designers, my grand dad was an engineer and my dad was a programmer and technology geek. I grew up sketching and crafting during all my free time. (I still do. I love learning new skills, like photography, interior design, fashion design, and interactive art. Or binge watch Ted talks and other weird science stuff.) As a kid, I wanted to be an inventor and solve the world’s problems — like water pollution.
I didn’t get far with that, but I do solve problems every day for businesses and entrepreneurs like you:
People who need to stand out in order to make it. Who want to spend their time doing what they do best, and leave the tech and the visuals to someone who can make them beautiful.
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