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Branding Design

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5 Steps to Figure Out Your Branding Style (Plus a FREE Workbook!)

Bold & Pop :: 5 Steps to Figure Out Your Branding Style (Plus a FREE Workbook!)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your brand is a wholeeee lot more than just your logo and brand colors. Yes, your brand is how you are distinguished from your competition which includes your logo but it’s also the feelings your brand evokes in your ideal audience.  Think of it this way, your face is your logo but your personality and values paired with your face is your brand. See where we’re going with this?

We get it though. It can be pretty overwhelming knowing where the heck to start when it comes to your brand. How in the world do you figure out your brand style???

While a designer can help you come up with some of this, there’s some homework you need to do ahead of time. Luckily we’re sharing a handy-dandy step-by-step process to help you get that crystal clear vision for your brand! (Don’t forget to download the workbook to go along with this blog!)

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Audience

The first thing you need to do is identify who your ideal audience is. Without knowing who you are targeting, there’s no possible way to develop an effective brand. You’ll just be grasping at straws. (Don’t worry you’ll still infuse yourself into your brand as well!) Identifying your ideal audience is a little more than say women between 20-30 years old. You’ll want to develop as full of a profile as you can including their likes and interests, where they hang out, etc. If you’re not sure where to start with this, we have a fullllll step-by-step right here for ya!

Step 2: Identify Key Attributes You Want Your Brand to Reflect

Now that you have an idea of who your ideal audience is, it’s time to identify the key attributes YOU want the brand to reflect. While your brand is what attracts your ideal client, you still want it to reflect your values, personality, etc. This is how you want your brand to make people feel. The way you want people to describe your brand to others. These attributes will help lead the design of your logo, the colors you choose, the voice you use, etc. It boils right down to the heart of your brand.

To get started with identifying these attributes, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are at least 3 words you would like to describe your brand?

  • What types of designs are you attracted to?

  • What are the words you’d use to describe the designs you’re attracted to?

Once you identify how you want to describe your brand and what types of designs you’re attracted to, you can start to piece together the similarities. What attributes pull you in while also speaking to your ideal audience? What are the attributes you don’t like and want to avoid in your own brand? (Yes, finding what you don’t like is just as important!) Having a list of words, attributes, and emotions will help steer the rest of your brand development.

Step 3: Identify Your Design Aesthetic

Now that you know the attributes you want your brand to reflect, it’s time to translate those into visual design elements like your logo and website. So get out that list of words and attributes you’d like your brand to reflect because we’re getting ready to brainstorm!

With your list front and center, start different lists for each of these:

  • Colors you’re attracted to and that reflect the words on your list

  • Symbols you may be drawn to that also reflect the overall vibe you are going for

  • Design elements you liked about other brands that have similar attributes you are going for

Now that you have a better idea on some visual elements, it’s time to put together your inspiration board! This is where you solidify your colors, the typography you’d like to use (script vs. serif vs. san serif, etc.), as well as imagery to evokes the brand style you are going for. Seeing it all together will give you an idea if you need to make any changes to fit the overall vibe you’re doing for and if not, it will provide direction for the rest of your branding. We typically create our own inspiration boards but you can also create a Pinterest board that will give you the same idea.

Step 4: Develop Your Voice

While your visual elements may be what others use to identify your brand, your voice is what helps bring it to life. Remember when we mentioned before that your face is just your logo but your personality and values paired with your face is your brand? You bring out that personality through your brand’s voice. So again, get out that list of attributes as well as your inspiration board and start to really think about the type of voice your ideal client would respond to. Do you need a professional, sophisticated tone? Or can you be more playful and whimsy?

This is arguably the hardest piece of a brand to develop and may take a little practice and readjusting (it took us a little while to nail ours down too!). One of the easiest ways for us to determine our voice or a client’s voice is actually through social media posts. You can see a pretty immediate response from your audience (if you have social media accounts already started) and you can see what they respond to and what they don’t. So take your time with their piece… Practice makes perfect!

Step 5: Bring It All Together

And now it’s time to bring all of these pieces together into one happy little brand! You’ve determined your key attributes, you’ve developed your design aesthetic and you’re working on your voice. Now you need to finalize that logo. Take or source photos that articulate your branding style on your website, social media and other marketing materials. Develop the copy for your website and social media posts. It all comes together in this final step to create one cohesive, strong brand.

Make sure all your pieces come back to those key attributes and are reflecting your brand as well as speaking directly to your ideal client. This is how you’ll leave a lasting impression.

Don’t forget to sign up for access to the workbook to help you as you read (or reread) through this blog post! We want this to be an easy but still comprehensive process for you whether you have hired a designer or not!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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Our Step by Step Process for Branding and Web Design Projects

Bold & Pop Branding and Squarespace Website Design Collective : Our Step by Step Process for Branding and Web Design Projects

Whether it's your first time designing your logo and website or you're rebranding, one thing is for sure.. the process can feel really daunting! Color palettes, font selections, and design decisions.. I mean where do you even start?! We totally hear you. Which is why we decided to give you an inside look at our full branding and web design process start to finish and offer some tips to help you prep for future projects. If there's one thing we can promise, it's that the process is probably not as scary as you think! So let's get to it! Here's a look at how we complete branding and web design projects in 4-6 weeks.

Welcome Kit & Onboarding Process

It all starts with an email! 💌 Most of our potential client relationships start with an email after people have had some time to explore our website and look at our services. We're all about transparency at Bold & Pop, which is why we include a detailed look at our services including pricing, our process and samples of previous projects right on our website. We also offer our Get Poppin' Welcome Kit and FAQs page, both of which offer further info and address common questions. This allows potential clients to see if we offer the services they're looking for, within their budget and answer some questions they may have all on their own. While we absolutely love connecting with everyone in our community, we know that sometimes you're just window shopping and might not want to set up an initial call so having everything on our website allows us to streamline our new project process.

Following a service inquiry, we will set up a consultation intro call or meeting to chat! During the call we'll ask what you are looking for, give you some background on our expertise and the Squarespace platform, and answer any questions you may have. If you enjoy our call and think we may be a good fit, we'll follow-up our intro call with a customized proposal for your project based upon our conversation.

Starter Kit & Questionnaire

If you decide we're the right fit for your project (insert dance party here 💃🏼) we'll set a project start date and send over our project Starter Kit packet to take care of the project logistics and provide you with next steps.

Within your starter pack you will receive:

  • Project Agreement

  • Deposit invoice

  • Client questionnaire

  • Client homework

All of that fun stuff 😉 Our starter packs include a step by step guide to kick off the project and give you a detailed look at some of your client homework. Homework!? While we'll certainly do most of the heavy lifting, we'll need you to complete our project questionnaire and compile any current assets you have for your brand. Our questionnaire consists of about 10 questions asking feedback on your design aesthetic, purposes for your website, must-have pages, etc. Some key questions to help us get in your head and start dreaming up your design.

Sample list of assets you will want to organize:

  • Any design inspiration you'd like considered for the project (snapshots, artwork, Pinterest boards, magazine tears -- whatever inspires you)

  • Logo files, branding guidelines, or color palettes

  • Design elements you'd like included

  • Photos or artwork to be included on website

  • Copy for website (bio, service information, etc.)

Don't worry if you don't have all of these! If you're just starting out it's quite possible you won't have any of these. The key is to get anything you do have together so you can share and stay on schedule for your project.

Bold & Pop Branding and Squarespace Website Design Collective : Our Step by Step Process for Branding and Web Design Projects

Inspiration Board

After we take care of the logistics portion of the project we can get onto the fun part... kicking off the design! Based upon our your responses to our project questionnaire and our consultation call, we will put together an inspiration board that will set the tone of the project. This includes a collection of photos that showcase the vibe, as well as choosing a color palette and font options. This step allows us to create a visual guide for our clients to make sure we are on the same page for bringing their vision to life. After we present the inspiration board, we will make any requested changes -- tweaking colors, or additional font options -- and then it's logo time!

Logo Design

Now that we've locked down the style of your project we will design 3 logo concepts for you to review. We try to present you with 3 different takes on your chosen style so that you have some diversity in your options. Once we have finished the design we will present them for you to choose which concept you like best. We then offer two more rounds of revisions to make sure it's just perfect!

A lot of people are intimidated by this stage because it seems like such a big decision, and it is! I mean what if you don't like the logo options or need more than 2 revisions? While in the scheme of things it sounds like a small amount of options and edits, you'd be surprised! At this point in the process, we've already talked about what you're looking for and nailed down your style so it's all about tying those elements together. Psst.. a little secret too, most of our clients actually only go through one round of revisions. This is definitely one of the biggest perks with working with designers who you connect with and really seem to understand your vision from the get-go. If there's one thing you should spend time doing it's finding a designer you really connect with!

Bold & Pop Branding and Squarespace Website Design Collective : Our Step by Step Process for Branding and Web Design Projects

Website Design

Now that you have a brand spanking new logo, can we get a heckkkk yesss?! 🎉 It's time to move onto the web design portion! Based on the assets and the info you provided in your questionnaire it's time to start piecing it together on your website. At Bold & Pop we specialize in Squarespace website design, which allows us to focus on nailing the design and functionality of your site with a quick turnaround. The back-end is also super user-friendly which our clients love because it's easy for them to make edits after launch (don't worry we train you!)

We begin our web design projects by designing the homepage first. Your homepage is your website's first impression so we start there! Once complete, we'll present the design to you to get your feedback on the layout and the style of the custom graphics (banner images, buttons, and components). We include 2 design revisions which gives you the opportunity to make big layout changes or revise the style of your graphics. Your choices on the homepage design will flow throughout the rest of the website, so we want to make sure you love the design. This portion is all about nailing the key design flow. What if you need to adjust the text or want to swap out photos more than 2 times? Don't worry, when we say 2 design revisions we're talking about the main layout. So if you want to move the photo options around a bit or the text a little more that's no problem.

Once you've signed off on the homepage design, we'll move onto the interior pages of the website. We'll design the remaining pages in one swoop and then will present the website in its entirety to you for feedback. From there you'll have two more sets of design revisions for the remaining pages to make sure everything looks and functions just how you need it to! Once everything is all set, we'll finalize the design! 

Website Launch & Training

It's time for launch! At this point we'll optimize your website for search engine optimization (SEO), transfer your domain and link any connected accounts (email, social media, email newsletters, etc.) and then it's time to get your new baby live! After your site is live we'll set up a website training session to walk you through the ins and outs of your website and provide you with our Keep on Poppin' exit kit -- we're all about kits and organization over here! During your training, we'll walk through all of the key Squarespace features and all processes applicable to your website (ecommerce and blogging components). As I mentioned before, our clients loveee using Squarespace (just about as much as us) because once the design is finalized the back-end is super user-friendly. Of course we're always just an email or call away, but we do like to empower our clients so they don't feel chained to their web designers every time they need updates.

After training, we wrap our projects up by providing you an exit kit which includes:

  • Applicable logins for your website and services

  • Squarespace feature reference guide

  • Branding style guide

  • Hi-res logos and all applicable creative files

And that's it! While there's certainly a lot that goes into our projects, we have created a process where we walk you through each step so that it's not scary or overwhelming. The only emotion we want you to feel when it comes to your brand and website design is EXCITED!!! 🎉 Of course, each designer and firm's process will vary a bit, but this is how we like to get business done at Bold & Pop! Thinking about a branding or web design project in the future? We're offering a FREE content upgrade below with workbook and pre-project checklist that will help you get ready no matter which firm you decide to work with!  

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P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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