How to: Great Brand Design For Your MT Business
So, you've started a business. You registered your name, and you're ready to design a great visual brand!
Branding tells your potential customers who you are, it also helps them recognize you in the blink of an eye. The creative process behind branding can also be daunting.
We're a web design and digital marketing company with 20+ years of experience. We're excited to offer our custom design expertise for your benefit!
Why Consistent Brand Design Matters
A Kodak Moment if We've Ever Seen One!
Every business needs a calling card—something unforgettable. That can mean a fantastic logo, consistent advertising, or a gorgeous website design. (In an ideal world, all three!)
The most successful brands have become symbols in their own right. Think about Xerox, Google, Kodak, or Netflix.
Ford has even petitioned the Unicode Consortium to add a truck to their lexicon of emojis. The truck emoji in question? A not-so-subtle homage to an f-150.
So branding is important, but why does it need to be consistent?
Well, each of the above companies has a branded, easy-to-digest, targeted message. Your brand should use reoccurring color schemes in marketing materials. Focussing on excellent customer service is also a great strategy.
Great branding asks your audience to remember you when they see your logo, maker's mark, or product. If your company's branding makes your customers feel something, then you've succeeded.
In fact, a good brand gets you chosen over your competition. The more favorable and visible your brand is, the better.
Start By Finding Inspirational Brands
Everyone needs creative help, a solid base, or a good starting point for their brand. Start with a list of inspirational websites, stationery, and advertising. Consider looking through our portfolio for examples.
Creativity doesn't operate in a vacuum—it never should. Building a creativity-generating kit full of inspirational brands will get your mind moving.
You can think of creating a list of desirable brands like creating a brand 'lookbook' or 'mood board.' This holds if you're planning on hiring a brand designer. The more detail you can convey about what you would like the final design to look like, the better.
Here are some of our favorite brands for you to draw inspiration from:
Alright! Now that you have your inspiration selected, it's time to move into the design phase!
Finding Your Brand Designer
A designer can be a third party, or you can find your inner designer—that's up to you!
We should be clear, though: we want to be your designer. So, please reach out if you find the expertise and energy we display in this blog and on our website helpful. We'll start a free consultation right away!
We can’t wait to work with you to discover what makes your brand live in the minds of your customers.
So, How Do You Find a Great Web Designer?
Finding the right designer is easier than you might think. Look to the websites that you've already grabbed for inspiration! Most web design companies will leave makers' marks on the websites they create.
You can see our maker's mark at the bottom of every website we design. Look for 'Website Design By JTech Communications' in the bottom right of the footer.
A Word of Caution
Some web design companies are selling WordPress templates as 'custom web design.' Custom web designs on WordPress are often hard to optimize and are likely to have poor Web Vital scores. This will reduce your SEO potential.
If you want to know the web platform a site uses, reach out to the designer behind the site and ask! If the designer used a template site builder like WordPress, run their portfolio sites through a tool like Google’s web.dev. A good website should be performant. Web.dev can help you see if that business can deliver a product that can help you thrive.
Design Your Logo
Now, on to the exciting parts! A logo or branded mark is the easiest to identify visual features of your brand.
When we say 'Starbucks,' for example, what comes to mind first? Is it their unicorn frappe? Free wifi? Their questionable taste in coffee beans? Nope! We can almost guarantee that the first thing you think of is their iconic two-tailed mermaid.
Everything else might be a close second—but that's good branding!
A company's logo is critical, and corporations pay steep prices for them. Pepsi famously spent close to a million dollars with the Arnell Group to redesign its logo in 2008.
We've created many logos for our clients, and we've redesigned our logo several times. For a more visual example, check out the logo design we did for Sphinx Mountain Outfitters.
Sphinx Mountain's Logo Design
We've also created logos for Montana companies like Dr. Clean, McKennet Law, Healing Perspectives and Scrolls of Legacy.
Logo Designs for Healing Perspectives, McKennet Law, Dr. Clean, and Scrolls of Legacy
Design Your Brand's Stationary
Stationary encompasses the physical media you need for more passive forms of marketing. That means letterhead, branded envelopes, and business cards. Brands can mail or leave out their physical media. This puts your brand in front of your customers.
Our branding package includes a complete set of beautiful stationery and business cards for your new brand.
Designing Great Letterhead
Great letterhead is bold without looking intrusive. Letterhead usually includes:
- A logo
- A slash of branded coloring across the top
- Contact information
- A slogan (optional)
Please take a look at our letterhead below for an excellent example of letterhead design. JTech's Letterhead Design
JTech's Letterhead Design
You can also head here to grab a free Photoshop letterhead template that we've put together for you.
Designing Great Envelopes
Great design for envelopes is also all about making your brand unobtrusive. Any envelope you send out requires approval from the USPS. So, it would be a bad idea to design a complex envelope that carriers and mail machines can't read.
Envelopes are usually best designed with a logo by the home address and small branded embellishments. What that embellishment is is up to you and your designer.
Designing Great Business Cards
Finally, we have business cards. Business cards are all about doing something unique. Unique cards ensure your card doesn't sit in someone's wallet or desk drawer. 'Doing something unique' means two things:
- High-quality materials
- Striking a balance between design and relevant information
Business cards are the first exposure many people will have to your brand, so getting your card right is key. We'll be happy to talk with you about your brand's design if you give us a call!
Branded UI Design
Branded web design is important. The first interaction customers have with you is often a visit to your website. If they stumble onto visual elements that look off-brand (or off in general), the chances of conversion drop.
You want a site with an easy-to-use, on-brand UI design that encourages customers to buy.
We recommend hiring a UI designer for your web design. A UI designer can deliver a branded website that increases conversions. A good UI designer will also help you avoid UI patterns that are not accessible. A design that adheres to the WCAG accessibility guidelines is a legal requirement.
Increase Your Brand's Visibility
Now, it's time to pound the pavement! You can build the best brand ever, and no one will buy from you if they don't know you exist.
So, talk to everyone you meet about your excellent new brand. Hand out your snappy new business cards. Start running digital marketing campaigns. More visibility is almost always what you want.
Digital marketing professionals—like our team—spend their days running Google Ads campaigns, search engine optimizing websites, and continuously educating themselves on best practices. For this reason alone, we recommend contracting with a professional team for their marketing services. Each of our web design bundles includes a month of managed marketing for this exact reason.
If you're only looking for professional digital marketing help, browse our SEO packages!
Starting a business is hard, no matter how you shake it! Let us help.