Today’s post features an excerpt directly from my latest ebook: Craft Your Brand. The first step I take with all of my clients is inspiration because it can do so much when you’re working on crafting your brand. Many people aren’t really sure what to do with everything they like or moodboards, so this selection is for you. Oh, and if you’d like to purchase your own copy of Craft Your Brand and start developing a powerful brand for your blog, you can do so here. Now on to the post!
When you’re getting started in developing your style, it can be incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by everything that’s out there online. There’s such a variety of design styles within the blogging community, and if you just start looking at everything that you love one of two things will happen: you’ll end up accidentally copying one or a few styles that you’re particularly fond of or you’ll end up stuck with the amount of decisions on what styles you could put into effect with your brand.
The main point of the research stage is to simply start getting ideas of what you like the most and what will work for your brand. It’s not simply about taking a look at what you like, but also asking yourself the difficult question: why do I actually like that design style or element? It’s also a good idea to ask yourself if the style or element would provide the impression of your brand that you actually want to give to current and potential readers.
Note: the most important thing when working on your design is to make sure that you’re creating something that’s unique and authentic to your brand. While you’re doing the research and collecting inspiration, you may end up finding yourself wanting to replicate certain elements or even the majority of the design that someone else is using. If you start feeling this way, throw up the red flag for yourself. Instead of simply replicating the elements that you’re responding to, get critical and ask yourself why you really like the element? Would this create the right impression of your brand that you’re going for? How can you create a similar yet unique element for your own brand or blog design?
While you’re collecting your inspiration, try to answer these questions:
• What about this element / overall design do I like?
• Why do I like this element / overall design?
• What impression am I getting from this?
• Is this impression and style relevant to the style I’m trying to create?
• How can I take this and make it my own?
The more you can say about the element or overall designs that you’re collecting, the more defined of a style you’re going to be developing for your brand. It’s one thing to say that you like certain fonts and colors and another to know why you like them and how you can bring them together for your brand. When just starting out, most people are just using elements that they’ve seen other people use that they like, which is why most blogs that haven’t been designed by a professional often look like a mishmash of styles.
HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR DEVELOPED STYLE
Now that you have your design style figured out, it’s time to start creating your design. You may be doing a total overhaul or just a few minor tweaks. As you’re working on your logo make sure you have your brand words, values, and newly created moodboard beside you so you can reference them while you’re working. While you’re working on your logo and other elements for your brand, compare what you’re doing with the notes you took on your inspiration.
Don’t just create one new logo and call it a day. When I’m working on new designs for my clients, I often can create up to 15-20 different styles before I start narrowing in (similar to how we did with the inspiration images to get to the moodboard) on what would work best for that brand. Play with fonts, colors, patterns, shapes and more. Give yourself plenty of time to work on this. I like to take several days to a week to get started with logos, then slowly begin to narrow in. By creating, stepping away, and then coming back, I’m able to look at both what I’ve created and new ideas with fresh eyes.
Ultimately, your goal is to make sure you’re collecting inspiration in the best, most beneficial way for the process and then really referring back to your notes, your brand words, and your moodboard while you’re creating your new branding. You have to start strong to finish strong, so don’t just create a Pinterest board full of things you like. Be intentional about the process and you’ll be much more successful in creating the best design for your brand.
Developing your brand is tough, and trying to create a brand that’s true to you is even harder. I’ve been there, and I’ve struggled with it just like you. That’s why I wrote my Craft Your Brand ebook. It’ll help you get to the root of your brand while also getting a better understanding of how to create a design for your blog!
If you need it to go even a step further, you can check out my Find Your Focus workshop, which will help you get to know your brand and audience even better, create free and paid content, and develop an intentional 90-day plan for moving forward!