Hey there, keeping your brand consistent can mean a variety of things. Your company’s brand is more than just your logo. Sure the logo has a lot to do with it, but it’s not everything. Your brand is kinda like your company’s personality. It’s everything from your logo to the way your store smells when people walk in the door. It’s the experience you provide your customers.
A website is really nothing more than the digital experience you provide your clients. When you design a website you have to be able to work with existing brands and be able to successfully convey them to potential end users. Don’t get it twisted, the company’s brand is more important than whatever you think looks cool. A disoriented brand will absolutely hurt a business.
So what elements of a brand can be translated into a digital realm?
1. The Logo
I bet you didn’t see that coming. Just kidding, if you actually didn’t see that coming then…
The logo is one of the most important elements of a company’s brand. It is the one graphic representation of the business. It needs to be displayed prominently on any business’s website. I know that for me personally, my brain kinda treats the logo like the secret pass code that lets me know I’m in the right place. If I went to a business’s website and seen a different logo or no logo at all I’d think I was in the wrong place. As a web designer I try to use the logo in a few different places on the website. Redundancy is not a bad thing when it comes to something as important as the logo. I’ll slap it in the header, maybe down in the footer, maybe I’ll make it slightly transparent and throw it in the background somewhere, there’s no telling what I’ll do. I’m a loose cannon who plays by a set of his own rules.
2. Color Scheme
Color scheme is another large part of a brand. Different colors evoke different feelings or thoughts from the viewer. Red says energy and power where green says calm or relaxed. It’s a big difference and if you start intermixing colors that aren’t apart of the color scheme you can come away with a website that’s communicating the wrong message. Not to mention, if the company has an established brand that was created by a professional, usually the color scheme works together and is balanced. If you mix in the wrong colors you could offset that balance and have a website that looks more like an ice cream truck than anything else.
It’s my opinion that every brand should have some set of fonts they use in all their forms of marketing. Similar to the color scheme, different fonts will evoke different feelings. A thicker, chunkier font says something entirely different than a thinner, cursive font. Most established brands will provide a header font and a paragraph font. Keeping this consistent throughout the entirety of the website will help really drive home that brand.
4. Textures, Images, and Background
As a web designer having designed over 100 web sites, I’ve never once had a client provide me with textures or background. This is usually something I’ll come up with myself by extrapolating the style and feel their brand has. If it’s a home builder I’ll use wood textures or images of residential construction for background. If it’s a wedding venue I’ll use velvet cloth or nondescript images of weddings in the background. Again, it’s all about driving home that experience and the background is a big part of that.
Images, whether used in the foreground or the background, are paramount in expressing a brand. Like little children, our eyes are drawn to graphics before they’re drawn to text. So having good quality images that communicate your brand are very important.
In well established brands, you’ll be provided all of this and the guess work goes away. But as a web designer for primarily small businesses, well developed brands are few and far between. Extrapolation is a way of life for me, so having the ability to break down a brand and see what the business is trying to communicate with it is very helpful. A brand is really just an attempt to communicate a message through multiple channels. That’s why earlier I described it as an experience. You ever walk outside and smell a camp fire and it immediately triggers memories of you and your bros hanging out or camping? That’s what a brand is trying to accomplish. They want you to see or hear or feel something and think of their business. Keeping that brand consistent is how that is accomplished. In the camp fire example, the reason that smell brings back those memories is because every time you smell that smell you’re usually doing those things. It’s consistency that really plants that trigger. So keep your shit consistent and you’re branding will be successful.