Practical Steps for Creating a Website or Digital Brand

Brad Matthews tech and digital category

Fonts

You need a font for headings and a font for body text. It doesn’t necessarily have be serif heading and sans-serif body, (actually no, the body should be sans-serif). What you do need is contrast. Both fonts need to be sufficiently different to each other. As long as they’re different enough nobody will wonder whether or not they’re the same, you’re good.

I highly recommend Google fonts for accessibility. You won’t have to worry whether visitors with certain browsers will have it. Moreover, if you’re working on another machine and need the font you can find a download easily.

Check out these font-pairing guides to help you find the right fonts for your brand.

Colours

First thing’s first. Think about your target audience. Have a little strategy now about your colour palate can help you save time and resources rebranding later on.

You can find a ton of information online about colour choice. I say don’t over think it. Be purposeful and deliberate without over-analysing.

With that said, here’s something to consider:

gender colour preferences

Also this:

common brand colours

If you’re going for universal appeal. Blue is best. It’s the most common favourite of men and women, with very few people considering it their least favourite.

  • You want a background colour, probably a white, possibly a light grey or cream. Anything else will look hideous for 98.4%% of brands.
  • As for your main body text, dark grey is particularly hot right now. Possibly more so than black, although many people aren’t conscious of the difference—especially on a light background.

Now the fun starts.

  • When it comes to your primary and secondary colours, you’ll want to choose at least 2 shades of each. Trust me on this if you’re planning on making social media content or using branded featured images for blog posts. Sometimes the contrast won’t work with one shade, if you arbitrarily tweak the colour every time you’ll look slightly amateurish.
  • Finally you want a contrast colour for buttons and other calls to action. It needs to stand out significantly from your primary and secondary shades to maximise potential clicks. If you’re palate is green and grey, orange or red would be a great choices for a contrast colour.
  • Optionally, you might want a backup colour, also significantly different to your main colours when your primary and secondary are not sufficiently contrasted to overlay on an image (for social media or a blog post featured image). Usually however, you can use your contrast colour for this—but if that colour also appears on the page it will lose some of it’s power to reap clicks.

This is a nice place to build your palate because you can save it and link your team.

Logo

You need a logo and it needs to communicate what you’re about. It doesn’t have to be special, fancy or expensive. You aren’t trying to impress so much as signal who you cater to or what it is you do. The worst thing you can do is choose a logo that alienates your target market. If in doubt (or your business offers abstract services), go for something neutral.

So go ahead and find or create a shape, icon, graphic, mascot or object related to your brand. If it’s a personal site this can be your initials, a signature or anything unique about you.

The only rule here is to make it high resolution. That gives peace of mind if you need a large image for the website, to display in a video or to print.

Social Media

Using what you’ve just settled on, you can now create your branding images for social media platforms. Canva is a great tool for this as it allows you to resize images to fit different platforms. Just double check the always up to date social media image sizes cheat sheet because Canva is out-of-date on a few things.

If you’re planning on sharing blog posts to social media or creating ‘meme’ styled content, consider using Canva to set up a consistent brand overlay. This will make your brand instantly recognisable and keep it consistent.

What this looks like in practice:

practice paradox consistent branding

That’s the basics done and dusted. From here you can start to worry about the nitty-gritty like intro and outro clips for online videos or podcasts, and everything else.

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