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For those of you who are local to Somerville, you may have noticed that our big accountants in town have recently had a make-over! New name, new branding, new signage…new everything. We are the designers behind the new brand.
But the one important thing I stress about branding? Keep consistent. So for LBW Advisory, even more importantly as they have a number of staff, a style guide for use within their office was developed. A style guide is a handy reference tool so you don’t have to guess colours, fonts or anything else relevant to the brand.
We developed a new website design for Doctor Vein.
The layout includes a number of call-to-action sections on the home page, so it wasn’t just “an image and text”. A blog has been set up for ongoing articles and videos from the owner, Gan.
A common issue in print design: too much content and not enough space.
The typical solutions are editing content so it’s shorter, or going for a bigger sized brochure/poster/booklet. But sometimes we need to think sideways – sometimes, a larger document size isn’t available, or the content can’t be cut down any further. So what happens then?
This is where a key (or legend) often comes in handy. Keys and legends aren’t only used on maps, they can be used to categorise all kinds of information. Icons and colours are common elements that are used.
For the A Gender Agenda calendar, we were limited by space (A4 page) and had a set amount of events we had to make space for. A legend made up of colours worked best to save us space in this design. It also has the added benefit of being easy to quickly find events in each category. Design can be used in clever ways.
Logo design for new business Eureka Mattress! We also created a brand style guide for them to use in-house (means nobody has to guess the colours or what font to use – the guide says it all!).
We regularly design posters for A Gender Agenda, to help promote special events they run.
One of these events was Horses and Mindfulness. I personally adore the photo we used in this poster, the sky is just beautiful (and the horse just a little bit cheeky!).
Another mindfulness event poster for AGA is for their mindfulness sessions.
For a collective of restaurants in Mornington, we created “Birthday Club” stationery – which include discounts and prizes throughout the year.
Along with the posters, generic cards were designed for people to write their details on to join the Birthday Club quickly and easily (usually in the short time waiting for their food or coffee order to be made!).
Last year, we designed a range of flyers for Melbourne Jewish Book Week, for small events they are running separately to their main festival coming up this year. We set up a template design that was easily used across a variety of events, which kept branding consistent.
A few weeks back, I presented a talk on the importance of branding for small businesses to members of Mornington Peninsula Weddings. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to post little snippets from the presentation – little bits to help you!
The top struggle I come across with small businesses, is that they think they are too small to worry about their branding. In actual fact, being a small business can work in your favour – you have more control over your brand and have the opportunity to make it unique to you.
Your brand isn’t just visual, it’s not just your logo or your website or your photos…the way you communicate and the words you use are just as important. There is also a human factor in every brand – the personality you share through your business (especially through social media!), counts as much as the visual aspects of your brand.
Start small. I often speak to start-ups who are totally overwhelmed by all of the things they think they need to get started, where really, most only need a few items to begin building their customer base. Nearly everything in life is easier in small steps, and branding your business is no different.
Don’t forget brand recognition. I know it can seem like a fun idea to regularly change your colours or logo, but a brand needs to be seen at least 3 times in 3 different places to be recognised. If you don’t have a consistent brand, the opportunity to build recognition is lost.
A strong brand for a small business can be huge in building trust with you, before a potential customer even makes contact. Make that first impression count. A quick template logo or something put together in Word might be the quick and cheap option, but it could be losing you customers you didn’t even know are out there.
My last tip: keep consistent. You can be a small business and have a great brand, with a bit of clever thinking and planning. It’s about being memorable, being trustworthy, being a brand your customers/clients/followers love.
One of our long-term clients recently went through a rename: Mear Roofing changed to More Roofing. The cutest part? “Mear” was named after the owner’s kids, and they had another bub and wanted to include him so changed it to “More”. It is such a lovely personal story that makes a family business even more special.
As part of the rename, we updated their logo and website. The website required a new domain name, email addresses, and updated content.
Alison is a bright and bubbly mortgage broker, who needed a personal brand for her business – so we completed a logo design for her. She wanted bright colours, and no typical finance icons. However, we still needed to use something that was relevant to purchasing a home, so colourful beach boxes were used.