Some people are the ‘I always know what I like’ type and are confident in their preferences. If that’s you, you are ready to start, go ahead contact your brand stylist and get the designing going. Unfortunately some of us find it challenging to make decisions when it comes to our own businesses and our branding. Giving up and neglecting your branding should not be an option for anybody, that is the reason why I wanted to give you a few clues to begin the brainstorming process on your own before even contacting a brand stylist.
First and foremost determine who the ideal client is for your business. The person you want to always keep in the center of your target when making any decision concerning your brand. You might have heard that your brand doesn’t necessarily need to match your personal style or that you don’t even need to like it yourself. While I get the concept I don’t fully agree with it. I think you are part of your brand and your brand is a part of you, in that sense your personal aesthetics and taste should be somewhat connected to your brand aesthetics, just as much as your personal core values should inspire your brand’s values and mission. If you don’t like it, you certainly won’t believe in it.
There are several practical simple elements you can use to figure out what you like and what you want for your brand without being an expert or before bringing it all to the expert to start the design work. It can help you determine a base for the aesthetics of your brand and facilitate the design decisions.
Y O U R E Y E
As simple and obvious as this might sound, sometimes you have to use your eyes with purpose and be intentional about noticing the world around you. With your business and brand in mind or should I say your ideal client, go to a home decor store you like, look at magazines that inspire you, visit websites that you find appealing, and so on. Make a list of similarities you can gather between all of those sources. Those similarities will reveal key elements that speak to you positively and have an emotional appeal to you and could be used for your brand. You can use those key elements and adapt them to your ideal client’s taste then.
A C O L O R W H E E L
Picking a color palette is often the best starting point for designing your brand. Color carries such meaning and has so much impact on the viewer. Color wheels are beautiful tools and you can easily find them in various places. Of course Pantone® offers a fantastic option, but it can be a bit pricey if this isn’t a tool you would need past your branding project. You can also find some more affordable alternatives sold by paint stores as Sherwin Williams®. Having the colors right in your hands, physically moving things around, playing with combinations, looking at different shades, can be quite helpful and more satisfying for a non designer or even a designer. It’s the perfect way to come up with an idea of color combination but also to discover new marriages of colors or in the contrary move away from previous ideas you might have had.
Y O U R C L O S E T
This one is a bit unconventional but searching your closet is another good and easy way to determine what you like to surround yourself with – textures, patterns, colors, even a specific styles (boho, casual, classic, etc…). It can be tricky to get anything from this exercise and end up being not much revealing at all as not everybody feels compelled to pay much attention to clothing style, but even then we all have our favorite pieces we like to go to. My closet for instance is mostly made of neutrals. I do have a few bold colors but I tend to be drawn to black and white, cream and beiges, soft blues and denim. I love natural fabrics and I like to either wear simple but unique items or highly stylish pieces (or used to before I had kids, ha!) You can see that aesthetic all over my brand Reverie Lane Designs. It’s simple with a unique style and it’s definitely black and white all over with a little touch of copper.
N A T U R E
I saved the best for last or at least my favorite source of inspiration. God has painted and sculpted such a diverse array of beauty and we only need to admire it all and let it consume us with inspiration. Whenever I have found myself stuck creatively, I could always find inspiration in nature and natural things in general.You can find the most organic and stunning color combinations in nature. There are obviously some beautiful manmade textures but undeniably nature offers so many unmatched options. Who hasn’t felt speechless staring at the beautiful oceanic horizon? A bouquet of fluffy petals or even a delicately put together veggie salad? I know I have and would encourage you let nature inspire you.
All in all, it is about being intentional and willing to pay attention to what’s around us. We all have things we like and things that speak to us and connect with us emotionally and sometimes we overlook them because they’re too obvious or too unconventional. It is no different for your brand aesthetic. It doesn’t have to become this huge, complicated endeavor. Go through the exercises I mentioned above and bring your findings to your designer.
REVERIE MINGLES: I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR HOW YOU CAME UP WITH THE AESTHETICS OF YOUR BRANDS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU?