How many different channels does your advertising go out through? If you’re like most small businesses in the UK, you’ll be using a real mix of media. A typical month might see your logo, products or other graphic design work in the local free sheet, on the side of a your van, on your Facebook page, on your site, on a review on another site and a dozen other places.
At boxChilli, we’ve seen many businesses struggle to create a consistent look across different media, but it’s an important part of branding. A consistent look means that your company:
- Looks professional
- Is instantly recognisable
- Builds a reputation
Large companies employ dedicated professionals to create the right graphic design for any moment, but you can achieve a consistent look without hiring another staff member. Here’s how.
Describe your Look
Spend 10 minutes and write down what your look should be. Full sentences aren’t required, but you should aim to be clear. Include emotions and colours that are or aren’t appropriate. If we describe two clothes shops in four words each, you’ll quickly get a different picture. Compare shop one (friendly, comfy, peach, robin’s egg blue) with shop two (rugged, durable, denim, plaid). Which one would you buy work boots from?
Start with the Good Stuff
Many graphic designers work freelance. This means that if you need a single day or even a single hour of graphic design work, you can get it at a reasonable price. We’ve already posted about why we think getting your logo professionally designed is important, and it really does make the rest of the process easier.
Choose your Colours
Modern humans are really good at spotting brands but we’re still attuned to colour. Picture some of your favourite (or least favourite) brands and a colour probably springs to mind. You don’t have to use the same one or two colours everywhere, but using your brand colour as an accent or background will help make your products and advertising memorable and easy to recognise.
Keep it Simple
We’ve suggested you choose a focus colour, and we also recommend keeping other elements simple. This doesn’t just apply to graphic design: it also covers packaging, signage and displays. A trick many chain stores use is to invert their colours on their plastic bags, so that the standard logo colour is used for the whole bag, with the logo printed in a darker shade or even white. Simple, yet effective.
Get the Technical Details Right
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and technical specifications, particularly if you’re paying for advertising. As an example, any graphics you intend to reuse, such as a logo, should be available in a number of sizes. Stretch an image beyond its original scale and it’ll look terrible. Shrink an image and it may be blurry and illegible. Have a library of images at different sizes and resolutions, and you’ll quickly be able to pick the right one for the job.