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How typeface, colours and voice can define your brand

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Who are you?

That is what your audience wants to know. From the first time they visit your website or you pop up on their Twitter feed, the countdown until they form an impression begins. It takes someone just 10 seconds to form a first impression based on your logo, so it is vital to make sure it’s a good one. Even though it will take another 5-7 times before they recognise your logo, they won’t forget that first time they laid eyes upon you.

As Copyblogger rightly said, ‘branding is just another name for creating a perception.’ It is not just a name, strapline or logo – it is everything you do as a company: how you talk; how you engage; how you respond. Brand loyalty doesn’t stem from how good your website looks (although it will help initially), it stems from how you interact with your audience. They are switched-on and expect a similar service no matter how they make contact with you. And with some consumers deciding whether a brand is a favourite from the moment their service begins, you need to make sure is consistently brilliant from the off.

To help you make the best impression, here is our advice on 3 of the most visible parts of your brand.

Typeface

Have you ever wondered why some companies seem traditional or respectable, while others give off sharp or fashionable vibes? Certain typefaces create certain impressions and choosing the right one for your brand will help you to portray the image you want.

Serif typefaces fonts like Times New Roman and Baskerville have little embellishments on their letters called serifs and imply respectability and tradition. Sans Serif typefaces do away with those little serifs – their clean, simple style suggests reliability and honesty. Scripts can show class and elegance, while Slab Serifs are made to be seen (think WANTED posters).

Whichever one you choose, make sure it’s you.

Colour

Starbucks. McDonald’s. Coca Cola. You’re thinking in colours about these brands, right?

The green, gold/red and red/white colourways have stayed the same for a reason: colours can increase brand recognition by 80%. Like typefaces, colours give off a vibe to audiences.

What do you want yours to be?

Do you want your ambition to be red? Or maybe you want to exude some confidence with a slice of orange? Perhaps demonstrate trust with a dash of blue or exhale some green serenity?

Or do you create an icon that is instantly recognisable whatever the colour, a la Apple?

Whichever one you choose, make sure it’s you. 

Voice

In 1962, Jack Kerouac wrote, “it ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”

55 years and a whole load of marketing study later shows this to be true: 45% of a brand’s image is down to its voice. Anyone who follows innocent drinks on Twitter will recognise their blend of dry wit and sarcasm. It works brilliantly for them (283k followers can’t be wrong), but would it work for someone a bit more corporate?

If British Airways filled their feed with off-beat humour, would it give you a sense of quality and security? Probably not.

Understanding how you should speak to your audience and then doing so will further cement the brand image you want to portray. In today’s screenshot culture, remember that anything your brand says could stick around for a very, very long time – so how can you keep your voice consistent across all platforms?

Decide what tone you’re going to take, write it down in a communications guide and ensure anyone who is going to be communicating on your brand’s behalf reads it and sticks to it.

Whichever voice you choose, make sure it’s you.

Need a bit more help?

We’ve repeated ‘make sure it’s you’ because that should be the most important takeaway from this blog post. Authenticity is increasingly important to consumers, particularly in an era defined by fake news and mistrust.

Understanding what you want your brand to be and making it happen are two different things. But, with a bit of thought, you can make sure that your audience sees you in the right light.

Want to talk more about brand identity? Drop us a line!