In today’s digital era, individuals expect that images and graphics they consume are aesthetically pleasing. With the increasing demand for content, marketers have to produce more creative projects in-house and deliver them faster. And with popular programs such as Instagram, Canva and Animoto there is no longer an excuse for organizations not to put some thought into their branding and marketing collateral – no matter what their marketing budget may look like. Check out our tips and tricks below to learn some of the basics that will take your branding to the next level!
No font is the same, and using just one font is not effective branding, yet not all fonts can be used together. Depending on the personality of your brand, you should pick a font that also conveys the same type of personality. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Georgia (which this blog is written in) are more traditional fonts and give the sense of integrity, while san-serif fonts such as Tahoma or Arial are more modern with a contemporary feel. Script fonts, on the other hand, are feminine and elegant. Using a combination of complementary fonts in your marketing collateral will help grab your target audiences’ attention and actually get them to read your content while also making it easier for them to digest. Having a poster with all the same font is boring and not aesthetically appealing. For example, choose a serif font for your headers and then a readable sans-serif font for the body text. Adobe Fonts is a great resource to download thousands of fonts, and it also suggests complementary fonts that can be used together (these fonts are good for both personal and commercial use, however you need an Adobe license). Check out this article for 70+ free fonts for commercial use. At Redstone we keep the font we use consistent across all mediums from our email signature, to proposals, to our website, and internal documents. Our font has become a part of our brand, and yours should be too!
Similarly to the typography you choose for your marketing collateral and other mediums, you should be using colours that reflect your organization’s “feel.” Different colours can elicit different emotions in people depending on where they are from and the cultural meaning of that specific colour. In North America, we associate green with nature or money, red with love, or pink with feminism. Your marketing and promotional materials should of course always fit and complement your logo – although you don’t always have to stick to the one or two colours that are in your logo. For example when choosing branding for your annual conference, don’t be afraid to experiment with additional colour pallets that will complement your organization’s logo.
Remember that visuals tell a story, usually faster and more gracefully than words. The text and graphics used in your marketing will come together to tell your message. With every piece of marketing that your organization puts out, whether it’s a social media post, blog post, promotional handout, or advertisement, you should always ask yourself “what is the message of this piece that I want my readers to receive?” What kinds of emotions, senses or feelings are you attempting to appeal to in your audience? You must then ask yourself if that message fits with your brand. You want your audience to associate your marketing material with the personality of your organization and you don’t want to tell them one thing and then do another. Keep your message consistent and on brand. Lastly, clearly define the objectives for each marketing piece. Is the objective to gain awareness or exposure, increase visits to your website, increase registration for an event, gain more members? Each one of these pieces would have different messages; however they must also be consistent with the image of your brand. It’s important that your collateral and message always has your organization’s overall voice.
So why does this all matter? Because graphic communications is the primary vehicle that portrays your organization to your target audience, whether it’s your stakeholders, customers, or members. Having branding that is “pretty” to look at increases user engagement and their experience with your brand. Ultimately, consistency is key. At every touch point your organization has with your audience, your message, branding, and voice should be consistent. These elements all come together to create a personality for your organization and it is how people will identify you in your industry! Of course, there are numerous other design elements to consider when creating compelling marketing materials. We want to know what tips n’ tricks you use when creating your organization’s brand, share in the comments!
Kaitlyn McGuirk, MPC
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