Thursday, October 4, 2012

Take a Look
In graphic work there is one thing that is absolutely essential to branding yourself, business, blog, etc. Consistency. We are quick to give ourselves or business a name, throw together a graphic and layout, and boom we're done, right? Well you are branding yourself, but not the most effectively. To create a brand you want to strive to make a look. You want a symbol or style that will be intricately connected to you. When people see elements from your brand they should mentally connect it with you. This is all part of branding.

Today I am going to talk about a tool that can help you keep your brand cohesive and consistent. Creating a look book. Now I am not talking about a book of fashion, I have watched that Jane by Design episode too, but I am talking about a book/binder/what have you, that is filled with the look that you want for your brand. It is pretty much self-explanatory. You get in your mind what you want your look to be. Now don't get frustrated if you don't know exactly, making this look book can help with that, just start one element at a time. So let's say you see a brush on photoshop that you like. Print it out and put that on a page in your look book. You see a magazine ad that has a color scheme that you want to use, tear it out and put it in your look book. You have a favorite font that you want to use for branding, type something out, write out the tracking and aspect you want to use on it and put it in your look book. Colors, patterns, designs, layers, texture, fonts, whatever it is, get it and put it in your look book.

Once you are happy with the complexity of your look book you can efficiently brand yourself or business. Now you have the look you want. You know your style and you know what impression you want it to leave on your viewers or consumers. Now every design can go through the look book. Right down to the font, it needs to stick with the look you have created. If you have established florals with earth tones to be your theme of color, don't throw a purple accent in there. Even if you are stuck on the "pop" of color, don't do it. Even if there is a super popular element that EVERYONE is using, for example the { }, if it doesn't fit in your look don't use it.

I am on the planning team of an event coming up in January. I am over the promotions and branding, so guess what my first project is? That's right! Creating a look book. I am starting with an ad from a magazine that the coordinator gave me and just said, "I like this look." She did not know, but that was the perfect thing to give me so that I can make a look that she will be happy with. So this is also great for you designers. Creating a look book and giving them to your client so that they can approve it is a great way to make them happy and to save you from spending hours on designs that they won't like. It may be great work, but if it does not match what they have pictured in their minds it won't matter how creative your work is, they will not be satisfied.

Okay, I am off to work on this look book for January. Have you ever made a look book? Let me know if you start one! I'd love to hear how it progresses.
Don't forget to enter the MASSIVE giveaway from Yours Truly. I am a contributor so I have it listed on my page. PLUS be back here tomorrow to enter the giveaway for a great cause. You just have to read this amazing story and see how you can save lives.
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  1. Love the idea of a look book! Definitely going to try that the next time I need a blog redesign. I actually JUST got a new look yesterday and love it! But these are great tips! :) (And it sounds like fun, not work!)

  2. I love this post! I've been thinking about branding a lot lately, and these tips are so great. Thanks so much for sharing! (And that new project sounds super exciting)

  3. this is a great post. really useful for bloggers!! new follower, can't wait to catch up on your posts :)

  4. Hey dear! Just wanted to let you know that I featured your post on my ~A Little Sunday Potluck~ post today. Feel free to stop on over & check it out and grab my Feature button if you feel so inclined!
    Thanks for the great blog branding tips!

  5. great post! would you like to follow each other in gfc? let me know!