How To Create a Kick Ass Brand For Your Blog
So what do you know about branding? Have you given any thought to branding your blog?
When I say the word branding I'm talking about all of the images, colors, and fonts that your readers will come to recognize as yours.
Have you ever driven through a new town and were searching for a gas station? Up ahead you see a yellow sign. You can't quite make out the writing on the sign, but you know by the bright yellow color that it's a Shell gas station. That instant recognition is branding in action. That's what we're after.
So how the heck do I brand my blog? Good question, my friend!
Step 1: Create a Mood Board
A mood board is a collection of images that represent the feel of your blog. If you're working with a designer, they'll often ask you to create a mood board so they can understand how you want your blog to look.
A great way to make a mood board is to create a secret board in Pinterest and add images to it. When I was working with the super awesome Kristy Gardner of Peppercorn Creative to brand The Endless Meal, I created this mood board for her.
It's a good idea to create a mood board for yourself as it will help to keep you focused as you're designing and choosing the other elements of your blog.
Step 2: Choose Your Brand Colors
Your brand colors will be 4-5 complimenting colors and will be the ONLY colors you use on your website, social media, etc.
When you're choosing your colors, it's super important to work with hex codes. What the hex? Hex codes are a 6 number/letter code that identify colors. As there are millions of shades of colors (16,777,216 according to Wiki) knowing the code for the exact shade is uber important. Consistency is branding is key, yo.
Update: A comment from a reader (Hi Dave!) was to use an online color palette generator. It's a free tool that lets you upload a photo and it creates a color palette for you. I tried a number of them and my favorite one is Palette Generator.
Step 3: Create a Logo
Thankfully you don't have to be a designer to create a kick ass logo. Canva is an awesome tool and it won't cost you a penny. It's what I used to create the #OhMyBlog logo. Remember to save your logo in the largest file possible. You can always reduce the size later, but once you create the file you can't make it larger.
And to cycle back to hex codes, creating a logo is the first place you'll need that code.
Step 4: Choose Your Fonts
You will typically want 2-3 fonts. For The Endless Meal, I have three fonts: one for the main body text, one for headings and another that is in my logo and is the one I use to add the odd fun splash to a title.
Make sure that the fonts you choose for your main body text and your headings are Google Font Safe. Not all fonts are recognized by Google and you definitely want Google to be able to read your blog. The font I use to add the splash of fun is not a Google safe font, so I only use it in images and not in any of the actual text on the blog. To check the fonts you've chosen you can search for them here: https://www.google.com/fonts
To help you with your branding, I've created a template of a spec sheet that you can customize in Photoshop.
No Photoshop? No problem!
I've created the same template in a .jpg file that you can download. You can use it to create your own spec sheet in Canva, PicMonkey or Adobe.
If you're using the Photoshop version, make sure to save a duplicate copy (in .psd, not .jpg!) so you can edit it and change it as often as you'd like. The easiest way to save the file is to open it then right click to Save As then add .psd to the end of the file name.
Also, to help you get started with choosing your brand colors, I've put together a Branding Colors Cheatsheet with some color combos that I really like.