I've said this a time or two on the blog -- your organization's visual brand is really, really important. In most cases, it's your first chance to make an impression on a potential customer or client, some of whom aren't going to take a risk on your business or organization if you don't have professional, cohesive branding.
If you're interested in a more in-depth look at the importance of branding, including how-tos on establishing your brand, you can check out my branding series. Today, though, I want to offer a few quick action steps that will improve your branding in a big way, without requiring a huge time investment.
Invest in good-quality photography.
Using clear, bright, well-composed photos -- rather than the "just okay" photography most organizations wind up with-- instantly elevates the quality of any branding collateral. This might mean investing in professional photography services or equipment, but it could be as simple as getting outside with your smart phone and a white-posterboard background and taking advantage of some good, natural light.
If you've seen that font before, stay away from it!
When you're choosing a logo font, go the extra mile and look for a font that's not commonly used by other organizations in your niche. This is often as simple as avoiding the default fonts on your computer (for a few places to download free or inexpensive fonts, check out Tuesday's blog post).
Add texture to your graphics.
Particularly in graphics involving text, it's easy to think type and color are the only elements you need to pull in. But those flat graphics don't draw the eye. Even the simplest graphics need some form of texture to create visual interest -- take a look at the Hue & Tone post graphics for an example.
Establish a consistent look on social media.
If you post graphics on social media, have an idea of which fonts, colors, and textures you're going to use in that space. These should be consistent with your overall brand identity. If there's a certain type of content you post often -- quotes, for example, or opening and closing dates for your business -- you can develop a consistent graphic template for that content and rotate in colors and textures.
What's worked for you as you work to brand & define your business? Let me know in the comments. If you have questions about your branding, or want to discuss ideas, drop me a line here.