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How to Ensure Brand Consistency in Your Graphics [Streamline Your Graphics Series - Part 1 of 4]

Create your visual brand system - aka the heart of your biz 

Here’s a truth bomb for you, friend:

If you want your biz to stand out online, you need eye-catching, scroll-stopping graphics. 

Your visuals help you get seen and heard in the crowded online world — not to mention make a great first, second and third impression with your dream clients. And if your graphics aren’t on point, you can lose those dream clients in a sea of puzzled-together graphics. 

But you already know all this. I’m preachin’ to the choir here. You know you need beautiful, attention-grabbing, on-brand graphics… but creating them doesn’t always come easy, am I right?

I know it can feel SO easy to give up after a few “failed” attempts. You spend hours hunched over your laptop, squinting at the screen, trying to move things around to make something that looks ‘just okay’, only to put it out into the world and only get a double-tap from… your Mom and your bestie. 🤦‍♀️

I promise you babe, it doesn’t have to be this hard.

 

 

In this four-part blog series, I’m going to show you how to make your graphic creation process super easy — so you can stop second guessing yourself + start saving yourself TONS of valuable time and energy when creating your visuals.

In this series, you’ll learn:

  1. How to ensure brand consistency in your graphics (this post right here, yay!)
  2. How to DIY your graphics without them looking DIY
  3. How to Marie Kondo your Canva Pro setup
  4. How to speed up your graphics creation with Canva templates

Ready? Let’s dive in!

 

 

Create your visual brand system

You don’t have to be a designer to have great visuals. Let’s say a big fat goodbye to that lie before moving on, mkay?

You also don’t need to have 10 brand colors, 5 fonts, 3 alternating sub-logos, a brand shoot, and everything else the checklist you downloaded on Pinterest told you that you need to look pulled together online.

But you know what you do need? You need to make some key choices about your brand and stick with them. This is what we call your visual brand system.

Look, I’ve been there, babe — I’m no stranger to change! My business has pivoted so much and continues to grow, and it’s only natural that my branding elements have changed along with me.

When I first launched My Canva Design business, my visual brand system looked a little like this:

I know! Sometimes I can’t believe the difference either. But, remember — this evolution happened over 4+ years! It took a whole lot of trial and error, but also a heck of a lot of patience to get the brand I have now.

Even if your brand is constantly changing, you’re only going to waste time if you’re over-analyzing your colors, fonts or photos every couple of weeks. 

So here’s my advice to you: create a visual brand you love right now, and then let it go (let it gooooo 🎵) — at least for now. You can come back to it when it makes more sense. For now, just trust the process, love.

Repetition makes the heart grow fonder

Repeating the same colors, fonts and photos for every graphic not only saves you tons of time and creative energy, but it also helps your tribe immediately recognize your content.

They’ll be scrolling their way through the Gram and stop in their tracks when they see your visuals, cause they’ll know exactly who posted that beautiful graphic even before they see your name up top.

That’s what we call brand consistency — and it’s the bomb.com.

It breaks my heart whenever I see a biz owner wasting her time changing out brand elements and overanalyzing every single graphic because she hasn’t figured out her brand consistency. 

If you get stuck in the rut of constantly looking to other brands for inspiration, your own visuals are going to stay messy and pieced-together… and let’s be real, friend: this is not the best use of your time! 

So, how can we create this magical brand consistency? I’m so glad you asked!

My easy, DIY system for a consistent visual brand

Here are two things you can do TODAY to make your visual brand more consistent. 

1) Go back to your mission statement, core values, and your WHY

Take a bit of time today to reconnect with why you created your business in the first place. Why are you here? Why is your little corner of the internet so interesting and valuable? Why should people listen to what you have to say?

Every decision you make, every color you choose, and every graphic you create should stem from this vision. If you’re having imposter syndrome whenever you post graphics online or you’re constantly feeling stuck comparing your content to others’, you’re losing sight of the bigger picture, babe!

Reconnecting with your ‘why’ will help you feel so much better about your graphics creation, and it’ll help you create visuals that feel soooo you. 

2) Create or revisit your brand mood board

Your brand mood board outlines your brand’s colors, fonts, images, patterns, logo, and sub-logos in a single convenient place to see how they work together.

It looks a little something like this: 


Knowing which brand elements you’re going to use over and over in your business saves you
time and ALL the stress that comes with over-analyzing your visuals. Not to mention it helps you build brand recognition online. Hearing a common thread here yet? ;) 

I update my mood board every six-ish months and print it out as a visual reminder. So, instead of sneaking in an extra script font or a new color here and there, I add these elements to my mood board first to see how they work with my brand’s bigger picture.

If you don’t have a brand mood board yet, you can create one quickly and easily with the template in my Free Canva Resource.

BONUS TIP: Add your mood board to your Asana or Trello “Company Brand Board” for easy reference for you and your team. I usually have my hex codes available for easy copy + pasting and go-to headshots and logos too.


Let’s see it in action!

We all know a bad graphic when we see it, but it can sometimes be hard to figure out why it’s bad.

Ouch… did that make you flinch? Yeah, it’s not the finest example of a clear graphic, and if it did get attention online it would probably be for all the wrong reasons. Let’s take a look at what makes it bad:

  • Graphics are an afterthought + it shows
  • No visual system
  • Readers scroll over or feel confused + overwhelmed
  • Inconsistent colors, fonts, styles
  • Not a lot of white space
  • Inconsistent photo style
  • Low credibility


Now, let’s look at an example of an on-brand graphic that works within your visual brand system.

There are plenty of reasons to love this visual, but here are just a few:

  • Graphics are a priority + it shows
  • Guides the reader's eye
  • Feels clear and easy to understand
  • A clear goal for each visual
  • Familiar brand colors (5/6 colors only)
  • 2-3 brand fonts (easy to read)
  • An organized approach
  • Consistent style, photos + elements
  • Graphics instantly recognized

See you in part two where we'll go over some DIY Design tips.

xo, Nicholette

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