Emotional, exciting and empowering branding.

Does your brand help empower you?

When you have your brand designed it’s really REALLY exciting. You end up with all of these gorgeous resources that you’re just ITCHING to use. Your logo of course, and icons, illustrations – all manner of lovely things which represent your business and help you to strengthen your brand.

I know that this moment, when everything is pulled together and you have all of this STUFF available to you – is a moment where you feel excited, you regain confidence that your business looks like a proper business (it was a proper business before 😉 ) and you may even fall back in love with your business because this piece of the puzzle just fits. It didn’t before.

So imagine that you’ve gone through the whole design process, you’re at the end, you’re ready to use everything – you want to create some images for social media or design a postcard, so you take your files and… they just don’t work.

Crash.

How disempowering.

How depressing.

How.. unfair!

After all, investing in a brand for your business is just that – an investment. You’ve not just invested your money, you’ll have invested your time and brain power in meetings, feedback, thinking, processing.. and you’ll have invested your heart too because lets face it your business is a pretty special thing and you are investing in your feelings about that (and other peoples) through how it looks. You’ve probably been through a range of emotions that take you from quite excited but a bit nervous through to panic incase you make the wrong decision when presented with options right through to sheer joy and enthusiasm knowing that your brand is just perfect for you and fills you with confidence and oomph whenever you check out those proof files on your computer – so once you have them in your hands you are READY.

So when you get those files – in fact before you even start working with a designer – I’d encourage you to check that you are gonna get files that you can use. Even to check that you’re gonna get files at all beyond PDF’s – it’s no good for you if your designer is so fiercely protective of their work that you can’t show it off. It’s your business, your brand image – you NEED to be able to use it.

Your designer might give you the ai/ eps files, which is great – but unless you have the right programs these aren’t gonna help you a whole lot. You won’t be able to open them. (Always accept these, they’re the raw, original files which means that they can be used by another designer or a printer and tweaked, played with, amended etc.. super useful – just probably not by you on your laptop.)

What you really NEED, is the files for PRINT and for SCREEN (for your website and social media). These can be PDFs, JPEGS and/or PNGS.

The PNG is the most useful one.

Why?

Because it can (check that it does!) have a transparent background.

This means that you can overlay it on colours, patterns, photographs. It’s MUCH more usable. You can keep it in your Canva uploads or save it in the photos on your phone (handy for copying and pasting into your Instagram stories) and it will just WORK. No annoying white box that means you always have to use it on white or it looks amateur.

Try and get it for PRINT (300dpi, higher quality) aaaand for SCREEN (72dpi, much lower quality but super handy for creating social media graphics)

You’ll use both of these if you’re doing any DIY designing.

The last thing you want is to upload all of your graphics into Canva and then find that they just aren’t up to scratch. To end up designing leaflets that don’t match your brand because you don’t have files that you can use in the programs that you have. To pop images into word or power point and discover that they have a white box so you can’t use a brand colour as a background.

Also ensure that you have the colour codes for your brand. You can get away with just the hex code – the one with a # at the beginning. This is the one you’ll need for your colours in canva and on your website. And you can pop it into coolors.co to find out the other colour codes if you need those too. This will help your posts to be consistent.

You’ll need to know your fonts too. Not necessarily the ones from your logo – they don’t matter as much as the ones you’re going to use for your copy. This is something that you can determine yourself – just ensure that you make a note and ALWAYS use the same ones.

If you have usable files, the correct colours and you know your fonts then when you have your new brand and sit at your computer to create those graphics you’ll be all set.

In the past (10 years ago..) you may not have needed these things because maybe you’d have gone to your designer for every little thing – but now it would be foolish of any designer to assume that their client will do that. After all, we live in a world where we need to create graphics sometimes more than daily for all of our social media channels, where we can upload graphics to online places – or even to apps on our phones – and move things around to produce postcards without a designer and where everything moves so FAST that there isn’t always time to wait for a designer to turn a project around.

No matter how much we as designers might love to do ALL the things, it’s just not realistic, so I feel that it’s our duty to empower our clients with the tools and basic training to be able to create themselves.

This is why I offer social media templates with most of my packages and supply these with videos on how to use them in Canva.

This is why I ensure that my clients receive usable files.

This is why I make sure that my clients have their colour codes and font recommendations.

This is why I started the Brand Success Club – to empower business owners just like you to be able to do something AMAZING with their brands, themselves. Because it’s essential, because it’s practical, because it’s realistic and because I care about your brand visuals being used correctly and understand that whilst this is the way things are done – it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

I find so much joy in seeing an image which I didn’t create, made using elements which I did. Seeing my clients utilising their brand assets to strengthen their brands, communicate more clearly, become recognisable and memorable. Taking control of what they have and owning it in their own way.

How empowered does your brand image make you feel?

Mini Series: Five steps to grow your brand
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