8 great tips to make your brand look consistent

8 great tips to make your brand look consistent from Liz Hall Design

Creating consistency with our marketing materials is always at the forefront of our minds, or at least it should be. It’s how we become recognisable to our customers and potential customers. And it’s also how we stand out from our competitors.

Creating a brand style guide is a great start as it keeps us on track. I create one for every logo design job and adher to it myself so I keep myself on track. It’s very easy for the designer in me to get carried away. And just because the design is nice, it doesn’t mean it’s right for the brand.

Coopers of Bingley was one of my very first jobs as Liz Hall Design, and one I’m still very proud of as I managed to create a very distinctive branding for Jo, owner of a local cleaning business.

After I designed the logo and website, Jo kept coming back to me for other marketing collateral – I’ve put together a mini case study to show the 8 different ways we built the brand, creating a very unique look which helped her business stand out from the crowd.

Coopers of Bingley logo created by Liz Hall Design

Logo design

Jo’s only request for a logo was to use the ‘C’ for Coopers as it held a sentimental reason for her. Otherwise the canvas was blank. The logo I created was very simple with a vintage feel and a touch of luxury which summed her up exactly.

Good to know – Don’t be afraid to inject your logo with your personality especially if you’re a sole trader and you are the business. You can continue the style with all your marketing (print, social media and website) and you’ll find it easier to create your business personality.

Coopers business card created by Liz Hall Design

Business card design

Inline with her branding, we kept Jo’s business card simple and uncluttered. She specified she wanted a QR code and we added this on the back. She also loves some bling and for special events she adds a tiny diamente to the sparkle on her logo to give it a luxurious feel.

Good to know – Business cards can work really hard for their money and have a huge potential to leave your mark with potential clients. For ideas take a look at my blog Ten creative ways to use your business card for marketing

Coopers label created by Liz Hall Design

Label design

Jo had a laundry side to her business and wanted a label to use for free gifts for her customers. I suggested adapting the business card so this kept the consistency and we could keep costs lower too.

Good to know – Jo was happy for a new design for her labels but carefully designed, you can use your business card both as a business card and as a labels for freebies, products and samples. Always tell your designer your future business plans as it might affect the design.

Coopers letterhead and invoice created by Liz Hall Design

Letterhead design

Jo used her letterheads for a price list, quotes and invoicing.

Good to know – A letterhead can be used for a million different things, it’s perfect for using when sending any information out to your customers, whether physical or digital. Create it in Word and use as a template so all your contact information is always easily accessible for your customer. Include your social media if you’re looking to increase followers.

Coopers postcard created by Liz Hall Design

Postcard design

A postcard was needed for a leaflet drop and for general giveaways so we decided to an A6 postcard for a more luxury feel to stay consistent with the rest of the branding.

Good to know – A6 postcards are a popular size and a good alternative to the traditional A5 flyer as the are so useful. If you’re looking for some postcard or leaflet inspiration, take a look at my blog 5 design alternatives to the A5 flyer

Coopers website design created by Liz Hall Design

Website design

The website continued the clean and simple lines with a touch a luxury, and helped generate lots of website enquiries for Jo.

Good to know – Your website is where your potential customers may find you in a Google search or where potential customers might check you out having met you at an event or networking. Either way, it’s very important to give the right impression as we make the decision whether we like or dislike a website in 50 milliseconds. That’s 0.05 seconds. That’s not very long at all.

Coopers social media graphic created by Liz Hall Design

Social media graphics

Headers were created for both Facebook and Twitter which continued the Coopers of Bingley branding using her colour palette and photography which had been commissioned.

Good to know – Social media is how most of us stay in touch with our customers on a regular basis so it’s important you brand your pages correctly both visually and with your writing – it has to be consistent with your printed media and with your website.

Coopers vehicle graphics

Vehicle graphics

Jo knew she would get enquiries from having her van parked outside customers houses so wanted to use it as a promotional tool.

Good to know – Vehicle graphics can be a full vehicle wrap, a sticker in your back window or magnetic signs on your doors. See what works for you.

Feedback from Jo has been lovely:

“ I initially contacted LHD to help me design a business card/ logo. She immediately understood what I wanted. Very patient and nothing was too much trouble.

Many leaflets and one stunning website later I often recommend Liz to others.

A creative genius and and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Interested in working with me? Get in touch!

Liz x

5 design alternatives to the A5 flyer

5 alternatives to A5 flyer

You’re thinking you need to do some marketing, you need some sort of a flyer. An A5 flyer will do. Everyone gets those so it’s fine for you too. But is it?

Now don’t get me wrong, A5 flyers are a classic and have their place. If you’re doing a leaflet drop or you need something cheap and throwaway then this is perfect. Gardeners, trades, garages, promoting an event, new restaurant in town – you’re just letting everyone know you’re here. Get 5,000 printed. Perfect.

But what if you want to create marketing collateral that people will keep, not just fold in half and shove in a pocket or handbag. And yes, we’ve all done it with flimsy flyers.

What if you want to look more professional? What if you want to stand out more? What if you don’t want to give your leaflet to the masses but rather to your super customer who will hopefully buy your products or services?

What if you don’t need 5,000 flyers to sit under your desk for the next five years? You’d be fine with a few less and really think about who to give them out to – a particular networking event, a conference, a fayre, on your counter if you have a shop, a place where you know your super customer will see them and hopefully pick them up.

If you’re looking for something a little different or you just need some inspiration, I have five alternatives for you to think about.

A6 postcard design

A6 postcard design

An A6 postcard is half the size of A5 and while it might initially seem small, take a critical look at your text and images. If you’re just throwing everything at it for the sake of filling space, you might find you can lose a paragraph or tighten up a couple of sentences. Pick one strong image that sums up your brand, dump all the tiny space fillers. You might find that A6 is plenty.

It’s a great cost effective alternative to the A5 flyer making it ideal for promoting a pop up shop, a new exhibition or a list of the services you offer.

A7 postcard design

A7 postcard design

If you thought A6 was small, A7 is half the size again. But sometimes, less is more. Get straight to the point, add your contact details, what more do you need? If you have the right image and message for your super customer, you don’t need waffle.

An A7 postcard is a great size for promoting a new restaurant, a sneak peek of a new product or a new yoga class.

DL postcard design

DL postcard design

The DL postcard is a great all rounder as it can be used both portrait and landscape depending on your needs. It’s a popular shape with my customers and just the right size for a variety of promotions.

Ideal to use portrait for a price list, menu or voucher. Use landscape for a glamorous invitation, a networking giveaway or special offer.

square postcard design

Square postcard design

I won’t lie, I do love a square postcard! It’s my favourite to design and always has the wow factor. If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and create a statement then this is the way to go.

Brilliant for an exhibition handout or trade show giveaway, a wedding fayre or restaurant event.

A5 slim postcard design

A5 slim postcard design

Finally, for some thing totally off the beaten track, how about an A5 slim which is half the width of an A5 flyer. A very unusual shape so guaranteed to make an impact.

Use it for a special offer voucher, invitation or to promote fitness classes.

So next time you’re looking for new marketing materials, have a good think about what you actually want to say and what you need to say.

And consider the five lovely alternatives to the A5 flyer.

Liz x

10 creative ways to use your business card for marketing

Your business card is probably the smallest piece of marketing you use for your business but it has such HUGE potential. After a networking event or client meeting, the humble business card is the one thing that stays with your potential customer.

This tiny piece of cardboard is a tiny piece of your business, a tiny piece of you. And I see so many business cards which are either blank on the back (such a waste) or they’re not using the back to their full potential.

Fortunately, because most of us go through business cards pretty quickly, it’s not usually too long before you’re ready for a reprint. And when you are, have a think about some of the following ideas. Could you use them for your cards and make them work that little bit harder for you?

1. PROMOTE YOUR LOGO

If you really can’t think of anything else to put on the back, put your logo on there. When I get handed a business card, I always flip it over and take a look on the back. At the very least you’re giving your logo a little extra exposure.

2. CLARIFY WHAT YOU DO

When I was sorting through my pile of cards I had lots that said Coach or Consultant or something along those lines that was quite vague. If this is your job, be very specific and add a list of services you offer or a short sentence about what you specialise in. Don’t leave potential customers in any doubt what you do or your card will end up in the bin.

3. USE IMAGES OF YOUR PRODUCTS

Having an image on the back of your business cards is a brilliant way to showcase your products or services. It’s a good choice for all sorts of businesses, think: hairdresser, architect, florist, caterer, jewellery designer, kitchen designer. If your business is you, how about a great shot of you on the back. But don’t use an old cropped photo – invest in some great photography that really shows you in a positive light. If you’ve already made a great impression, your potential customer will remember that every time they see your picture.

4. A GOOD TESTIMONIAL

Some customers may be wary about trying your product or service. What better way to allay their fears than by having a testimonial, ideally one that addresses their fears or gives them peace of mind. Or maybe one that shows how you solved a problem they might be having. You could tie this in with a case study which goes further to show how you can help them.

5. THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTION

How about a question or statement to engage people? Obviously something that ties in with your business – you don’t want thought provoking questions that have nothing to do with your business!

6. A MAP TO SHOW WHERE YOU ARE

A map is a good choice if you have a shop or maybe premises that are difficult to get to. Is parking easy – add tips on where to park. Even if not difficult to get to, it helps potential customers to visualise where you are.

7. APPOINTMENTS & LOYALTY SCHEMES

Appointments, loyalty card or referrals can easily be incorporated into your business card and it gives people a reason to keep hold of your card. This is the type of thing that can be kept in a purse or wallet so even more handy for passing details onto their friends or other contacts.

8. QR CODE TO DIRECT

If you want to direct people to your website, a blog or a video showcasing your skills, how about a QR code. Make it enticing and part of the design. It’s a great idea if you’re trying to build your email list – scan to download a free e-book or other irresistible freebie.

9. SPECIAL OFFERS

Some businesses offer a free consultation or XX% off the first job to entice potential customers. Why not remind them by having the information on the back of your business card. If they are interested, it gives them a reason to keep the card. And it reminds them.

10. USEFUL INFORMATION

Can you give people some free useful information about your business? Not lots of information as you don’t want your card to look busy and messy. Perhaps three tips to help them: take care of their nails or hair, de-stress and relax, take care of their PC, take photos for their business, a recipe… you get the idea.

Essentially what we’re trying to do is get customers and potential customers to keep our cards and not assign them to the dreaded filing system in the waste paper bin.

And not only to keep our cards but also to drive traffic to our websites, to our blogs and to our social media accounts. Give people a reason to pick up the phone and call, or email, or arrange a meeting. A reason to sign up for a special offer or a fabulous freebie.

I’d love to hear how you promote your business with your business card – let me know in the comments.

Liz x