Have you walked down the wine aisle and brought a bottle purely based on the label design? Me too! It’s funny and pretty clever how certain labels draw our eyes toward them first vs all the others bottle on the shelve. And they can make us feel a certain way with brand design. You might not even be aware of it but labels are doing this! You might think I just look at the price not the label. And actually I still do check out prices first and foremost. But let’s face it there’s usually way more than one bottles at the same price point your will to spend, so this still means there are a group of bottles craving for your attention.
You are not the only one.
Just like your small business you’re probably well aware that you aren’t the only one offering similar products and services to others. I’m not there are 100s and thousands of brand designer and strategist. I did a little googling to through in a fun fact and a one to be aware of but since 2000 and 2021 the business population has increased by 2.1 million. So if you think you’re the only that’s selling soya candles in the shape of a shell or something you might want to think again! So if there are other out there, how can your business be that bottle of wine that gets picked from the shelf?
Good question, and really the answer is very simple branding. Branding is what separates you from being seen as a commodity. Selling like a commodity means you’re competing on being cheaper on price, quicker, or more convenient than others. Sort of like a lot of hustle culture… it’s not fun and very exhausting and horrible way to sell if you ask me.
But if you harness the tools of branding you can raise your rates, you don’t have to be the quickest in fact you could be the slowest, or the most inconvenient. Don’t believe me? Well riddle me this why do people fly miles to go see their favourite artist in live concert? Why do people wait 2 weeks for a piece of clothing to be hand made and delivered? By creating a brand you are less transactional with your customers, you build his deeper connection with them to you. What you do, represent and offer feels more in alignment and connects with their world view and belief in life.
Focusing On Brand Design
So if the key is having a brand, and i’m sure you already heard branding isn’t your logo. What is it? To be annoying a brand is a lot of things! But let’s focus on just the design side of things. Design is such a powerful tool, we have just explained it can make us to take action, it can persuade us to choose that bottle of wine on shelf.
It’s crazy to think that we can evoke a feeling from someone through literally a font, colour, layout and illustrations. And all these element will contribute and help you explain who your brand is and what you stand for without having to really say it with such words! When I say a brand can evoke a feeling you might be thinking what a load of nonsense I don’t feel different looking at different packaging or website designs, but you’d be mistaken.
How Design Can Make Us Feel A Certain Way
And I know a good example for the doubters. When you see a piece of text and all the letter are in BIG LARGE CAPITALS. We of course feel like we are being silently screaming at, it’s not a comfortable feeling rather the opposite actually.
How can this be you might wonder? Well, if you think about it letter are just a bunch of shapes. And capital letters take-up more height and space, they have more straight edges and angular corners. So we see less curves and smoothness as you would see with lowercase letters. If you take c circle or the letter O it’s actually rather friendly looking, much more warm and welcoming that a simple line or the letter k. Curved lines are softer to us and that is what we feel.
We Begin With Strategy
So your brand design is a key part to help you get noticed, making a deep connection with your people through brand feeling. But where the heck do you begin with building a brand design? Before you start scrolling and gather million Pinterest image whilst getting that itchy to copy someone else brand and be done with it.
Firstly you need to figure out a few things, like what your brand is all about. What you want to be known for? How do you want to be perceived? How do you want to connect with others? What’s your mission? etc. You’ll also need to spend a large chuck of time working out who it is you want to attract? Get into the mind of your customer so you know what it is that they value in life. How can you best support them. And eventually how can you start to align your brand in a way that aligns with who you are and them.
Write a Personality Statement
Once you’ve figure a few things out it’s then time to work out how to use this to create a brand that will resonate with your people through design. I like to create a brand personality statement, so my brand that in the works goes like this. Onslow Studio is minimal, nostalgic & caring. These are the three things that I want my people to feel and maybe say if they had to describe my brand.
Minimal because I’m not one for cluttered design I’m all for functionality. I want my people to have a sense of calm wash over them. Therefore to show this through design, I would stick to stick to calmer colour. Simple clean layouts this means not too many element fighting for attention. But more white space to allow them to breath easy. This is why I usually pick a bottle of wine that has a label with less it!
I included nostalgic, I didn’t want the minimal design approach to come across cold and clinical. I choose nostalgic to bring feels of warmth and wholesomeness to my people. I do this through homely felt photographs of myself, less posed more natural and genuine. I occasional include warm hues. I wanted my imagery to typically feel like an olde photographer produced by a disposable cameras.
Caring is a difficult one to actually explain. But what i want to conscious stay well away from was overly luxurious and bogie design. I want to harness a feeling of community no exclusivity, open-mindedness, growth and togetherness. So to create this feeling through design I’ll maybe pull in illustration of faces and people. Select a font that is more soft and friendly looking with more of a roundness to the letters.
Start Making Your People Feel Something Through Your Brand Design!
Ok so i’ve chewed your ear off for long enough. It’s now your turn to decided what feelings you wish your people will evoke when they interact with your brand. Create you brand personality statement obviously after you’ve deeper dived into your brand strategy first! Then take a good amount of time to writing up your brands personality statement. Once you’ve done that it’s time to get your design thinking cap on and start working out how to translate each other feeling you want your brand to have through clever design elements. It might feel like magic but its really just good design!