Brand messaging

Before you start thinking about your logo, or any other part of your brand, you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand.

  • Your mission (what’s your “why?”)

  • Your values (what beliefs drive your company?)

  • Your brand personality (if your brand was a person, what kind of personality would they have?)

  • Your unique positioning (how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?)

  • Your brand voice (if your brand was a person, how would it communicate?)

These elements are what define your brand, and before you start building your brand identity, it’s important you have a clear understanding of each.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who exactly you are, don’t sweat it. Sometimes, all you need is a simple brainstorm to help you get clarity on who you are as a brand.

When thinking about your brand messaging, ask yourself the following:

  • Why did we start this business?

  • What are the beliefs and values that are important to us as a company?

  • What do we do better than anyone else?

  • What makes us special?

  • If we could describe our brand in three words, what would they be?

  • What are the three words we would want our customers to use to describe us?

Typography reference

  • Serif fonts (like Times New Roman or Garamond) have what look like an anchor (or to some people, little feet) on the end of each letter. This classic typography is great if you want your brand to appear trustworthy, traditional, and just a little old school.

  • If “serif” is the foot, “sans serif” is without the foot. Sans serif fonts (like Helvetica or Franklin Gothic) are letters that have smooth edges and lack the anchor or “feet” of their serif counterparts. Sans serif fonts give a more sleek, modern feel to brands.

  • Script typography emulates cursive handwriting (so much for all those cursive lessons in elementary school!). These fonts (like Allura or Pacifico) can be a great way to add a luxurious or feminine feel to your brand.

  • Display fonts are kind of in a league of their own. Each display font has a specialized element, whether it’s an unusual shape to the letters, outlines, shadowing, or a more artistic/hand-drawn edge (think Metallica’s lightning bolt font). Want to make a bold statement and create a brand identity people won’t soon forget? A display font is a great way to do it.

Shape Reference

  • Round shapes—like circles, ovals, and ellipses—are all about the warm and fuzzies. Brands that incorporate round shapes can create feelings of community, unity and love. The rounded edges can also be viewed as feminine.

  • Straight edged shapes—like squares, rectangles, and triangles—make people think strength and efficiency. The no-nonsense lines create a feeling of stability and trustworthiness, but you need to be careful: if the shapes aren’t balanced out with something fun, like dynamic colors, they can feel impersonal and fail to connect with your customers.

  • Straight lines also have their own implications: vertical lines suggest masculinity and strength while horizontal lines suggest tranquility and mellow vibes.

Color palette Reference

  • Red: Red is the color of passion and excitement. It’s the perfect choice if your brand identity is loud, youthful, and exciting.

  • Orange: Orange is another high-energy color and is great if you want to appear friendly and playful. It’s used less commonly than red, so will also make you stand out.

  • Yellow: Yellow, the color of sunshine, is all about happiness. The cheerful vibe makes it a good choice if you want to feel fun, accessible and affordable.

  • Green: An incredibly versatile color, green can be used for just about any brand. Culturally, though, when people see green, they think two things: money or nature. If your brand is tied to either of those things, green is an especially good choice.

  • Blue: The most universally appealing color in the spectrum, blue can help your branding to appear more stable and trustworthy, so if you’re looking to appeal to a wide demographic—and get them to trust you in the process—go with blue.

  • Purple: Purple is the color of royalty, so if you’re going for a luxurious feel in your branding, this a safe bet.

  • Pink: Right or wrong, pink is culturally tied to femininity, so if your brand is targeted towards women, pink should be a definite contender for your brand color. It’s also a great color for brands with a soft or luxurious identity.

  • Brown: Brown is perhaps the least use color in all of branding, but that could actually work to your advantage! Any time you do something different, it helps you stand out. Brown can also help people to view your brand as rugged or masculine.

  • Black: If you want to be viewed as modern or sophisticated, there’s nothing as classic and effective as black.