Building Your Brand
Branding is a vital part of modern culture. Images, fonts, colors, and layouts all portray a certain personality/character about a product. It allows consumers to easily pick out on product from another and develop a familiarity between the style and company. Whether or not branding is a good thing, it is a proven and powerful way of marketing. That is why it is important for professionals entering the workforce to develop their own brand making them an appealing product to the companies looking to shop!
January 25, 2019
Where do you even start? The first step in discovering your own brand is to look at others. There are common trends and choices that brands make with the visual design. For a young professional it is important to start with these:
Once you have these aspects ironed out the rest of your brand building is as simple as putting them to use! It is vital to stick with with these choices when developing your business card, resume, and website. Consistency in all elements is what branding is all about!
Choose A Color Palette
Develop/Commission A Logo
Stylize Your Layouts
Pick/Stick With 1-2 Fonts
I highly recommended that you start with your business card. Even if you are not going to print them, a business card is a culmination of all the different branding aspects. It will give you a design to look back to and mimic when developing the rest of your business materials. The first part of a business card, of course, is developing a logo!
Here we have the process my logo went through, the key word being process. Like all design, it is all about iteration and improvement over time. If I had stopped on my second pass I would be known as the colts guy. I don’t even watch football! Once you get to my latest design you can see a clean and unique image that relates back directly to myself. I utilized my initials in my logo design largely because “ET” reminds people of the movie. This is an example of using association with common media to make your mark in the viewers mind. That is what branding is all about!
After the logo is said and done, you need a few more elements before creating your business card. The first being a palette. Find a color scheme that you are comfortable with. Something that really displays your personality and goals. For example here is the palette I chose when beginning my branding process.
Purple was my choice because of its association with royalty, wealth, and more importantly it is my favorite color! A palette will help keep everything cohesive and visually pleasant. After the palette it is fonts. If the logo has text it is a good idea to make sure the font choice compliments it. You are allowed two
fonts maximum! One for headers. One for body. Two fonts can help give a visual break but a singular font can do the job just fine.
Once you have everything ready and decided it's time to design your business card! When designing your card it is important to stand out. This is what the palette, fonts, and logo all are meant to do. Make sure to use them to make a real impact when you hand them to a potential employer.
If you are going to print your card make sure to get samples! Lots of companies will offer sample packs so you can pick different effects, cardstock, and shapes. My current business card uses raised foil which I discovered as an option from samples I ordered! This gives it a more impactful presence and goes further to push the relation to wealth that the color purple conveys. Wealth as in offer me more money not look at my money!
Iteration is the only way this will get better! The more you work on your resume the cleaner and more impressive it will be. Start with a clean header in the style of your business card to establish a visual style and that can be easily copied onto the top of any cover letter.
Resumes also give the final step to branding: stylized layout. This is the style in which your information is displayed. How large are the fonts? What is used to separate sections? Is it compacted? Does the text have a lot of breathing room? There is no one answer to all of these questions. It all depends on what you want to showcase and what profession you are going into.
For mine, I chose a compacted style due to having a lot of information to display. IT shows I can find a way to display a lot of things but in an organized fashion. It is a resume piece in itself!
Once the logo is done. Once the palette is chosen. Once the fonts are found. Once the card is designed. It is finally time to make your resume! When designing it make sure to keep your business card handy and imagine the two as an extension of each other. It is vital that from a glance you can match your business card to a pile of resumes without question.