How to Create a Brand System for Your Blog and Your Business
I remember when all you had to do was pick a logo and a color palette. Maybe you’d even create a tagline, but that was about it.
Anything more than that was for the big brands like Coca Cola. They had (and still have) 50-page style guides for everything – logos, fonts, images, graphics, placement, scale, proportion, ads, brochures, storyboards, radio, TV, web, print…all of it.
But a style guide for a small brand? That was just redundant. As a small business, your marketing was maybe a trade show booth, a brochure and a quarter-page spot in a local magazine.
Building brand awareness on a massive scale just wasn’t affordable for smaller brands.
Now everything has changed. Today every single brand is a publisher.
Can you see how amazing that is? We are publishing companies. Doesn’t matter if we have a team of one or a team of one hundred. We have the potential to reach the exact same audience as Coca Cola and get massive exposure for our brands.
What this means is that we need a whole lot more than a logo and a color palette. We need an entire brand system for everything so that all our brand elements work harmoniously together and are consistent everywhere.
If you look at all the places where people will experience your brand: your website, emails, landing pages, sales pages, CTAs, ads, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest… It’s a lot. And you need a documented system for things like social media posts, images, content, calls to action, web copy so that you’re not chasing these types of things at the last minute.
Here’s what you need in your brand system:
- Tone. How do you want people to feel when they experience your brand? Loyal? Creative? Bold? Humorous? Pick three words you want to be known for and use them to set the overall tone of your brand.
- Logo. Your logo should be simple, bold, and instantly recognizable (especially on profiles and favicons). It should work equally well in color and in black and white. For more on designing a logo, check out this post.
- Fonts. Choose a font or font pairings that speak your brand. Think about what fonts you want to use for your logo, and what fonts to use for headings, body copy and emphasized text.
- Colors. What colors support the tone of your brand? Bright and airy, warm, vibrant, dark and edgy, neutral and balanced?
- Image library. What types of images and textures reflect your brand personality? Smooth, soft, edgy? Start creating a library of images so that you have them handy. There are tons of free or inexpensive stock photo sites with amazing images. A few of them are listed here.
- Graphics. Same thing for graphic elements. What graphic elements will you use for your brand? Circles, squares, icons? Freepik and Flaticon are great sources for icons and graphics.
- Blog. Think about your short term and long terms goals for your business. How will you use blogging to achieve them? What types of content will you share? What content themes will you work with to provide the most value to your audience? I drill down on 14 ways to grow your blog audience in this post.
- Social media. Who is your target audience and what channels will you build a following on to reach them? Create profiles on each and mark down specific goals. For social media profile and cover image sizes, check out this post.
- Share images. Use Photoshop or Canva to create image templates for social media. Make sure you brand the share images with your logo, fonts, and colors so that people can instantly recognize your brand.
To make it extra easy for you to pull all of these elements together, I created the Build My Brand Toolkit. If you want a ridiculously in-depth, step-by-step system FULL of everything you need to build an epic brand that effortlessly attracts your dream customers, the Build My Brand Toolkit may be just what you’re looking for! Click the image below to learn more:
While you’re brainstorming your brand system, spend some time researching other brands that stand out to you. Look for quotes, images, textures, fonts, and so on that catch your eye. Pinterest is great for this. You can create a private board where you gather and refine your visual inspiration.
Once you have your brand system together, your next step is to document it in a style guide (yes, you need one!). Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But at some point you will, and here’s why:
- Posting on social media will take you minutes instead of hours.
- Your ideal customers will easily recognize your brand.
- Your image library will make creating blog title images effortless.
- You will know exactly what to blog about, why and for whom.
- You won’t get caught using off-brand colors and fonts. You will know exactly which fonts to use, how you want to juxtapose them, and what colors to use for each element.
- You’ll have the confidence to hit the ground running knowing that your brand is consistent everywhere and that everything works seamlessly together.
A brand style guide is just ONE of the many brand elements we’ll cover in the Build My Brand Toolkit. With this kit, you will create an entire branding system that includes your visual elements (logo, colors, fonts, social media templates, style guide) AND your brand copy ( About page, Home page, blog tone and style, and more). Learn more about the Build My Brand Toolkit.
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Thanks so much for your comment, Elane!
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That’s great to hear, so glad you find my site helpful. Good luck starting and launching your blog!
You mentioned free stock photo sites but forgot the links? Please share. Thank you!
Hi Sophia! I share some awesome free photo sites here – my favorite is Pixabay 🙂 https://conversionminded.com/6-sources-of-free-images-for-bloggers/.