15 Steps to improve your Branding | Ronny Hermosa | Skillshare
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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Before We Jump into the 15 Steps

      0:42

    • 2.

      Define Who your Audience Is

      1:58

    • 3.

      Define your Unique Selling Proposition

      2:03

    • 4.

      Introduction to the 15 Steps

      0:20

    • 5.

      Step 01: Visualize Your Brand Personality

      1:51

    • 6.

      Step 02: Find your Emotions

      2:11

    • 7.

      Step 03: Keep It Simple

      3:04

    • 8.

      Step 04: Keep it Consistent

      4:40

    • 9.

      Step 05: Make it Easy to Understand

      1:31

    • 10.

      Step 06: Speak the right Language

      2:06

    • 11.

      Step 07: Brand your Social Media

      2:51

    • 12.

      Step 08: Get a great logo

      3:46

    • 13.

      Step 09: Choose the right fonts

      3:37

    • 14.

      Step 10: Pick your colors

      2:23

    • 15.

      Step 11: Run the Black & White and Tiny Tests

      2:29

    • 16.

      Step 12: Ask for a feedback

      2:51

    • 17.

      Step 13: Create templates

      4:42

    • 18.

      Step 14: Keep your brand style guide close by

      3:25

    • 19.

      Step 15: Use Canva

      5:26

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About This Class

Follow these steps to create a brand that inspires trust & professionalism

This course can help you build a consistent visual identity that will :

✅ impress your customers,

✅ make you stand out from your competitors and

✅ make sure your brand is recognized and remembered.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ronny Hermosa

My goal is to make YOU a better designer

Teacher

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting my profile!

I teach about Canva and everything related to visual marketing. Indeed, I believe that people still judge the book by its cover and in our age of content overload, if you want to get noticed, you'd better be on point with your visuals!

Canva is a powerful option when it comes to creating graphics and visuals because it is free & easy to use. The heart of Canva is its template library that will help even the most inexperienced designers come up with great visuals in no time!

Originally I'm a video producer, I'm the founder and CEO of a Nonprofit which helps purpose-driven entrepreneurs and organizations communicate better, especially about the impact they are making. So I create a lot of videos, social med... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Before We Jump into the 15 Steps: in this murder, I'm going to guide you through the 15 steps you can take right now to influence the way people perceive your brand before we dive into the 15 steps. I think it is very important that we take a minute and cover two important prerequisites that are knowing your audience. Who are you talking to and defining your unique selling proposition? In other words, why are people buying your product instead of the competitors? You need to have a clear answer to both of these questions before going any further. Indeed, they represent the foundation upon which will build your entire communications strategy. Then the 15 steps will help you develop or improve your visual identity. 2. Define Who your Audience Is: pre requested number one. Define who your audiences Defining your audience is the first prerequisite to building a successful visual brand identity. If you don't know exactly who you're speaking to, how would you know what to say? Well, think of it this way. Who should want to be friends with your brand? Get specific with these questions. Try to figure out the age, gender, location, income martial status, occupation, education level, etcetera. Depending on your product or service, it may be helpful to define ethnicity as well. The process of gathering all that information is referred to as creating by your personas. Buyer personas help you understand your customers and prospective customers better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content messaging, product development and services to the specific needs, behaviours and concern of different groups. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two buyer personas or as many as 10 to 20 for larger companies with different court businesses. My advice for you is to start small and create your first buyer persona. Ask yourself who is the ideal person I'm trying to communicate to? You might have more than one ideal audience, but picked the most important one for your business right now. So I want to propose you a little exercise. We will be creating a buyer. Persona off your idea audience. So going to details, give him or her name. Ah, and answer all these characteristic of the person this by a person, I would later help you understand who you're talking to. And this will be very useful for the rest off creating your visual identity to make your life easier. We are providing you with the template that you can use to create your by your persona. 3. Define your Unique Selling Proposition: free, regressive number to define your unique selling proposition. Once you know your audience, you should understand what makes them tick. What value you're bringing to them. Why would your audience rather buy your product than that of your competitors? What makes you different from all the sellers in this marketplace? Here are three tips to help you discover and define your unique selling proposition. Number one. Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Too often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or service and forget that it is the customers need not their own. That must be satisfied. Step back from your daily operation and carefully analyze what your customers really want. Tip number two is. Know what motivates your customers behavior and buying decisions? You need to know what drives and motivates your customers. Go beyond the tradition and customer demographics such as age, gender, race, income and geographic locations that most businesses collect. Analyze their sales trends. You need to look at their motives for buying and the psychology behind the act of buying Tip number three. Uncover the real reason customers buy your product instead of a competitors. The best way to do this is to ask your customers. You will be surprised how honest people are when you ask them how you can improve your service. Is it quality, convenience, reliability, friendliness, clean Inglis design or customer service? Ask them to rate the importance of the features, your product or service offers. I have a little exercise for you once again for this lesson. Um, I would like you to describe your unique selling proposition. Use the three tips included in this lesson and describe why your audience will buy from you instead of your competitors. Take your time and ask questions to your customers so that you will get real insights and not projections or suppositions. 4. Introduction to the 15 Steps: Now that we have covered the two prerequisites, it is time to dive into the heart of this training and for you to discover the 15 steps you can take to improve your visual identity. I would be presenting the steps in a specific order. Indeed, some need to be taken before the others, so I suggest you follow and respect the chronology. 5. Step 01: Visualize Your Brand Personality: Lesson three. Step one. Visualize your brand personality. How do you present your personality Visually, in an online world, many brands face the challenge of expressing personality without actually interacting face to face with its customers. Whereas before your sales team or customer service would put a human face on your brand online has created a barrier. Creating a mood board or inspiration board can reveal pretty useful while trying to visualize your brand personality. A Mood board is a collection of visuals that work together toe embody the vibe and feeling you want your brand to evoke. To create a mood board, start thinking in terms off tones, colors or keywords you would like to use to describe. Your brand later used those keywords to start looking for images or visuals that represent your brand. Once the images are gathered, narrow your selection down by choosing the visuals that most represent your brand and put them on your board. You can create a digital mood board using tools like Pinterest or even can Vine. It's templates, or you can go the old fashioned way and create a physical mood board with visuals taken from magazines or visuals that you find on the Internet. Having a visual guide is super helpful to start building your brand identity. It is also helpful for keeping you on track as the project progresses. For this lessons exercise, I'm gonna ask you to create a mood board that describes the personality of your company. We have created a template for you, so go ahead and use it to create your mood board. 6. Step 02: Find your Emotions: Lesson four step to find your emotions, a sure way to reach your audience it through emotion and emotional storytelling. Does your brand tell a story that will move your customers in some way? Associating your brand with positive emotions will help you connect with consumers, providing an emotional context in marketing campaigns. Make your message more engaging and more impactful. Some of the most commonly used positive and negative emotions in brand strategies include fear, guilt, dressed security, competition, love and a sense of belonging. Control. Desire for freedom and independence. Desire to be a leader to be first desire for instant gratification. Desire to be trendy or cool desire to get a good deal of value for your money but also desire for more free time. As you might have noticed, all these emotions are pretty egocentric, and that is for one simple reason. The reason is that consumers don't care about brands. It would be foolish to think that your customers or your audience is actually really caring about your brand. You care about your Brandt, your audience and customers. They only care about how you can have them. Our brand can help solve their problem, make their life easier or better and satisfy their emotional needs. So this is very important, and I would like you to understand that in this context, storytelling is key. People relate to life stories, much more so than to content that features or promotes a product. People don't like sales pitch. They like a good story. So what is your story and what emotions do you want to trigger with your brand and this lessens exercise? I would like you to write down a list of five emotions that you want your brand associated with. 7. Step 03: Keep It Simple: Lesson five. Step three. Keep it simple. Your visual identity does not need to be complicated. When you have too many things going on, you run the risk of confusing your audience. Remember this one simple rule. Everything you do with your visual identity should make it easier for customers to understand what you do and how to do business with you. So go ahead, have a look at your visual strategy and remove everything from your visual identity that does not contribute to improving that customers experience. When it comes to visual marketing, keep it simple is a good strategy to apply, especially for these three kinds of elements, like one your images. The lack of visual clutter draws the viewer's eyes directly to the desired focal point, making a strong impression. Many brands used this strategy, and the trend is also observed on the best websites. You have a feel of order because the website uses a lot of white spaces, so it give this look off order and everything is well structured. Keep it simple also applies to words to your copies to your text. Create short, succinct boast articles or taglines to communicate a message. Consumers especially mobile users, spend less and less time reading content online, so keeping your marketing messages short and suite is crucial to retaining their undivided attention. Spend some extra energy developing engaging taglines and titles for your post news letters or articles as very often they will be what makes your audience decide to click and read further. Keep it simple, easy or so a good rule for videos. Video marketing is very popular nowadays, and this will likely last for many years to come. However, few consumers will happily offer you 10 minutes of their timeto watch your latest shooting video. If you want to succeed with your video marketing strategy, it is vital that you understand the importance of creating short, narrative driven videos. I'm not saying that all your video should be short. What I'm saying is that you should invest your efforts in crafting the best message possible, and most of the time the best message is also the simplest one. In many cases, making your message simple means prioritising a single core message or idea that prompts the viewer to take one single action. This is referred to as call to actions, so in other words. Your messages should be very simple to the point and contain one single concept. And at the end of this message, you should insert a court action to prompt your visitors will to prompt your viewers to take one single action like leave a comment or visit our website or like our Facebook page . 8. Step 04: Keep it Consistent: lesson six step for Keep it consistent. Consistency lies in applying the same filter on your photos. Published images of the same size. Use the same front across your visual platforms, etcetera. It creates cohesion so that if a customer follows you on Facebook instead of instagram, this still get the same story. Your customers expect to have the same experience whenever to deal with you. It doesn't matter if the contact you via Facebook, your website or if they saw your product catalog. Think of it this way. A potential customer finds you via a post you made that they have seen on Facebook. This post had your logo in it and presents a visual with a specific filter applied to it. Your Facebook pages well done. So after a few clicks this potential customer lands on your website. He wants to know more, maybe by some of your products. What do you think will happen if what he sees on your website is the old version of your logo and a completely different style of visuals? Most probably it will feel confused, and one understand why right away. But the reason is your inconsistent in the way you tell your story visually, so you did a good job of bringing the potential customer where you wanted to. But he just shot yourself in the foot because your visual marketing is inconsistent and now the customer thinks your brand is a matter ish. In order to achieve this consistency, we recommend you develop a news, a brand style guide, which will define the key elements of your visual identity, such as your logo front families, the color and imagery style but also provide guidelines on what to do and what not to do with this visual identity. The objective is to create consistent messages that flew across all of your online properties and social media channels. Here are the three main reasons you want to create a consistent visual identity. First is that it builds awareness. Consistency is important with your visual identity because it gives your target audience a visual reference whenever they experience your brand. The goal is that the moment a person sees your Brent, the instantly remember who you are and what you're about, so setting this reference is very important. The more consistent you can be, the easier it will be for people to recognize your business when they see it. The second reason consistency is very important is because it builds trust. While it may not seem like a big deal, inconsistency in your branding is one of the fastest way that you can break dressed with your audience. For example, let's say you are selling home Deco or your products are beautiful. The design is great. Everybody that comes to your showroom say so once a year, you go and participate in a trade fair, hoping that you will find some new customers. You came prepared and have these brand new business cards that some designers has developed for you. A bunch of potential customers come and visit your booth at the fair. The compliment you on your products and ask for your business card. You hand it to them and think you made a good impression. But when these potential customers go home and decide to visit your website, it's a whole different story. Your home page looks outdated, and the photos of your product are too small and sometimes off bad quality. What will happen is that you will lose the trust of these visitors, where they might have second thoughts about buying from you. If the person that visits your website is not the same person that you met at the fair, the story gets even worst they would never know. You have great products with great design based on what they see on your website, so consistency in your branding off all your marketing materials will build trust with your audience and give them confidence that you can follow through on your promises. The third reason why consistency is very important is because it builds authority. When people become familiar with your brand, we don't have the opportunity to build authority and become the expert in your industry. Consistency is essential for helping people become familiar with your brand. This is why it is important for businesses to develop a brand story so that once they get the attention of the audience, they can communicate a clear message and tell the story of the brand in a powerful way. To finish this lesson, I would like to propose a little exercise. I would like you to find two brands that have a very consistent visual identity. Take time, analyzed this identity and explain to me why it is good 9. Step 05: Make it Easy to Understand: Lesson seven. Step five. Make it easy to understand if I stumble upon your website, will I know what you offer? Am I going to click where you want me to click? One of the objectives you should keep in mind while developing your visual identity is to improve the users experience or you X. The user experience could be described as how you feel about every interaction you have with what's in front of you in the moment you're using it. So it seems pretty obvious that a good visual design will greatly improve the overall where you feel while you're experiencing what's in front of you. Good visual design can help you improve user experience. And here's how. Let's say when you're communicating messages, a clean layout, appropriate illustrations and an obvious hierarchy between the concept will improve the effectiveness of your message. Driving actions the way you design your home page, for example, can influence which part of your website visitors will discover first well designed buttons with a clear call to action catches section Titles and attracting photos will help you lead your visitors where you want to take them and have them take the actions you want them to take? Why? Organizing information? Good visual design will also help you organize and structure information. A well designed flyer, a poster will be much easier to understand than a cluttered visual. 10. Step 06: Speak the right Language: Lesson eight steps. Six. Speak the right language When you go to Spain, if you want to be perfectly understood, you'd better speak Spanish. Well, The same rule applies to social media. You shouldn't talk Twitter If your marketing on Facebook for visual branding it is key to find the appropriate content for your audience on each platform and then, even more important, toe, adapt your content to these platforms. Let's say your company is willing to invest in a corporate video. Well, that three minute video might be great for your website. It might be OK for your Facebook page, but it's certainly not okay for your instagram account. When it comes to visual content on social media, it is not a one size fits all. For example, Facebook and Google plus are all about community. You should use these platforms to start a conversation with your audience. Engage interest to further develop your brand. Twitter is all about short messages up to the minute information commentary, self promotion and catchy image. Res Instagram is more suited to slices of life and lifestyle photos, so Rule number one, when you're creating visuals for your social media, is to ask yourself if you're speaking the right language, speaking the right language or so means knowing the right image dimensions for each platform, every platform as its own dimensions for profile pictures, cover photos, etcetera. Research the latest image dimensions on Google by typing keywords like social media blueprints or even better, start your designs with canvas pre configured dimensions. So to finish this lessons a little exercise for you. Find a recent social media blueprint on Google for the social media platform that you're using. Be extra careful because these platforms evolve all the time. So if you find a blueprint made in 2014 there's a good chance that the dimensions won't apply anymore. Make sure you find a recent one. 11. Step 07: Brand your Social Media: less and nine steps. Seven. Brand your social media. A powerful way of promoting your brand is to use the reach social media offers. Visuals play an important part in social media branding. If each of your profiles looks like there are owned by a different company, it creates a disconnect for your users. You want your branding to be consistent across all channels. This will help people immediately recognize your company, no matter which site or app they're using. Here are a few tips to successfully develop your visual identity on social media. First, it is to choose a color palette. The easiest way to develop your color palette is to take a look at your logo. You want to get to a point where people associate those colors with your brand. Keep in mind that different colors can impact the way people perceive your brand. This refers to the psychology behind every color. Second tip is to use the same logo avatar across all your channels. You should be using the same avatar for every social network. The easiest option is to use your logo or the symbol that represents your company. People should see your avatar and immediately associated with your brand. Another tip is to apply the same filters whenever you're sharing images on Instagram or other visual channels. Keep your filters consistent. You can decide to use no filters a door, or you can go with one or two famous filters from Instagram. But our recommendation is choose one or two filters and stick to them. Using a different filter for every image you share. Makes your post look unorganized and inconsistent in the last tip is to create templates. If you have more than one person handling your social media content, it can be helpful to create templates for any visuals you share on social media. That way, your funds, colors and design will always be consistent to create templates you can use for a shop or visual tools like Can VA. Now, developing your visual identity across different social media channels doesn't mean you have to create a profile on every platform out there. That would be a huge mistake because you probably don't have the resources to create quality content for all these platforms, so choose a reasonable mix of platforms and develop a consistent branding across all of them. Here is a little exercise to finish this lesson. I want you to go and create an account on Can Va. So that is canvass dot com. Once you have created your account, I would like you to develop two different visuals, the 1st 1 being your Facebook profile picture and the 2nd 1 your Facebook cover image use Can va precise templates to develop those two visuals. 12. Step 08: Get a great logo: Lesson 10. Step eight yet a great logo. I like to say that your logo is the face of your company. It is how you are recognized. Indeed, it is the first thing people will see when you give them your business card when they log on to your website. And let's face it, we make judgments about people based on our first impressions all the time. Because it is so important, you should give your logo the importance it deserves. Your logo is also what your consumers would have in mind when they think about your brand. Your logo should be easy to recognize, should symbolise what you're Brenda's and carried the value you care about. Simplicity is key in designing your logo. Let's play a little game. I'm going to show you why multinational companies invest millions of dollars in their brand image. Are you ready? Just say out loud. What comes to your mind when you see the visuals? For most people, the logos of such companies connect our minds to the business in question without the need to see its name or even the full logo. In fact, the simpler your logo is, the easier it is to recognize. It is a fact that some of the biggest brands in the world have the simplest logo, along with being easy to recognize. Simple logos also translate better on all platforms like your website, letterheads or business cards. Here are five characteristics of a great logo. First, it is simple. The simplest logo's are the ones people remember the most. Ask yourself. Could someone look at this logo and easily describe it, or is it too complicated to get a sense of it quickly? A great logo is also appropriate. It is relevant. A great logo should be relevant to your practice. It has to have meaning that relates to the work you're doing. Ask yourself, Does this logo communicate the right tone and style? Does it show? Are in some way hint at what type of business or product it is representing. A great logo is also versatile. Adaptable. A great logo can be printed at different sizes across different mediums and in different applications without losing its power. Ask yourself. Will this logo be effective as a letterhead as well as on a billboard? Would it work in full color as well as in black and white. A great logo is also memorable. Impactful. You want to capture your viewers attention and leave a positive impression. Ask yourself. Can this logo make a lasting impression on my audience? And finally, a great logo is timeless. Aim for longevity. It is the neutrality of your design that makes a local timeless. Ask yourself. Will this logo still be relevant in a year in five? Can it withstand years or DK's of changes in the industry? Now, I would like to propose you to take five minutes and have a long harnessed look at your own company logo. Are you okay with that being the face of your company? Does it symbolize what your company do A cell? Does it successfully express your company's value? Is it memorable? If the answer is no to any of these questions, maybe it's time you hired a team of professionals to redesign your logo. Let's finish the lesson with ah little YouTube video about logo design. You will find anything here below the video 13. Step 09: Choose the right fonts: less an 11 Step nine. Choose the right funds. The funds that you choose to use in your branding are very important and will contribute to your customers unconscious perception of your business In order to keep your brand consistent, you should look back at your brand story, values and personality in order to choose the funds that would trigger similar emotions as your story does, Fonts help convert your tune. So what type of funds are there? We can distinguish four basic fund categories. It is useful to understand these funds categories when you are choosing suitable front or combining funds for your design project or when you are discussing your fund choices with your designer, for example, the first category font is the serif. Serif. Fonts have little feet or lines attached to the end of the letters. They are generally thought to look more serious or tradition. The second category is the sun Serif san Serif literally means without serious. These funds do not have the extra lines at the end of the letters, and for that reason they are generally thought to look more modern and streamlined. Because serves are usually small and thin, they often don't display as well on pixel base creams looking distorted and noisy rather than clear and crisp. So many designers favor Sunseri funds for Web use, especially a small sizes. The third category of Funt is descript scripts on what we might think of as cursive or handwriting style phones. They generally have connecting letters. You will find that script funds come in many different styles, from elegant to fund and casual to Han Drone. The fourth and last fund category is the decorative display. When you hear front is categorized as decorative display or novelty, it all means the same thing. That front is meant to get your attention. They are often more unusual than practical and should only be used in small doses and for specific effect or purpose. Now I'm going to give you a few criterias to keep in mind while choosing your fun combination for your visual identity, think suitability. Does your phone choice suits your identity, your brand personality? Is it appropriate for your brand? Think functionality. We would be practical and easily readable in the context of your design. Will it work on the different supports you need to print it on? Think versatility. The most useful sort of fund commune. A variety of weights such as light, regular, medium, bold or heavy but also styles such as narrow, condensed, extended or small caps. It might be good to consider at least one front that is rather neutral. That means that can be used in a large number of occasions and combine it toe amore decorative type of funds and, lastly, think readability. It seems obvious, but is your front easy to read? A good way to test your funds readability is to reduce its size and see if it's still easy to read. You can also adapt the spacing of your text or the space between letters and words to make your text more readable. I have a little exercise to finish this lesson. I would like you to find a font that you like, install it on your computer and create a simple design with it. This exercise aims at showing you how easy it is to install a new front on your computer, but also give you a sense of all the possibilities that open to you. 14. Step 10: Pick your colors: Lesson 12. Step 10. Pick your colors. There is a ton of research out there on color psychology that will tell you which emotions are associated with each color and how that will affect your branding. The colors of your brand also contribute to the unconscious perception that people have of your business. The use of color is a great way to make your business stand out and can help make your business more recognizable When choosing your colors. Take a minute to look at others in your industry so that you can choose colors that will make you stand out. So how to choose from millions of possible colors depending on If you already have one or two primary colors in your local design, you might want to work with the two like coolers. Coolers lets you generate a color palette from scratch or from existing colors. Let's say we already have two primary colors in our logo, but we need to find two or three secondary colors. Well, coolers free color generator is the perfect tool for that. Just input the hex code of your two primary colors, luck them with the little padlock and hit the space bar of your keyboard. Cooler will then start generating new colors. If you find one that you like, you can lock it with the same padlock icon and continue until you get your full color palette. Once you have the perfect palate, you can export it in the foreman of your choice. Pretty cool, huh? Now, if you're starting from scratch and haven't decided on your primary colors yet, it might be a good idea to go through color palettes that designers have put together to find your inspiration. For that, I would recommend you check out color lovers. Color lovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, pallets and patterns. I particularly like their huge collection of ready made color palettes. Just click on browse, select your filter like the most loved, the most favorited, etcetera and start discovering pallets. Once you find the ones you like, favorite them or export them in a variety of formats to finish. I have a little exercise for you. I would like you to create a harmonious color palette with the cooler color generator and exported in a J pic format 15. Step 11: Run the Black & White and Tiny Tests: less than 13. Step 11. Run the black and white and tiny tests. Regardless of what color you choose for your branding, you should always consider what your design elements would look like in black and white. If they don't look good printed. It's probably another wise choice for fixed design elements, including your logos. Think about how your branding would look like on an invoice on the small business card, for example, will still look good parallel to the color consideration. You might want to think about size. Your design elements should still look good when reduced to a very small size, and this is particularly true with your logo. Make sure the visual of your logo is still recognisable when you shrink it down to the size of a fabric on. If Africans are those little icons that show up in your tabs when you open a particular Web site or webpage, they're very small indeed. Their size is 16 by 16 fixers, So if your logo is still recognisable at that size, you're good to go. When creating your visual elements. Think about how they would look like as up I count social media profile pictures or avatars and Fabricant. As usual, we have a little exercise to finish this lesson. I would like you to grab your company's logo and create a black and white version of it. In order to do that, you need to use a picture editor like for the shop, or you can even use Can va online, which is free. The first thing you would have to do is to import your logo in the program, and then to make it black and white, you will have to reduce the saturation. So use the saturation tool and make it black and white. Very concretely. That means you have to bring the saturation all the way down to zero, and you will see the colors will change and disappear to become black and white. Once you've done that, go ahead and start the tiny test. To run the tiny test, you'll have to open a new project. So if you use Photoshopped or can VA, you will have to open a new project and set the projects dimensions to 16 by 16 pixels, which is very small, then important logo inside this very small can va to see how your logo looks in that very small size, you will have to export it into a J pack or PNG file. These two tests are a bit harsh, but they should really give you an indication off whether or not your logo is appropriate. 16. Step 12: Ask for a feedback: less than 14. Step 12. Ask for feedback. The beauty of social media is that you can interact with your audience. Don't let that go to waste. Use this opportunity to ask your audience what they think about your visual identity. Ask them if they like your color is your logo or other visuals that you might use. Here are a few ideas of how to engage with your audience to collect their feet back. First, you can ask them to fill in the blank. This is a great way to find out what your fans are thinking about and to get new ideas. Ask something like the first thing that comes to my mind when I see your logo is filling the black. The second type of post you can create is little surveys. This is a great way to get feedback about your product or service and let your fans know that you care about what they think. Ask questions like, How do you feel about our new logo? Next, you can ask for opinions on something you have shared. Connect with your fans on something other than something you're trying to sell or get their opinion on something new that your brand wants to try. Ask something like, What do you guys think of this new business card? You can also run quick A B tests. This might be a good way to come to a decision. If you are hesitating between two viable options as something like Which of these two photo filters do you think fits our brand the most? And then you post two version of the same photos with two different filters applied to it? You can ask for tips. This type of question is perfect for engagement, not just between your brand and its fans, but also between the fans themselves. And it is a sure way to get valuable insights. You can ask something like Which software do you guys used to create visuals to share on social media? And finally, you can ask for help. This type of question can be useful to your company when you're developing a new product or service and want to collect ideas directly from your customers. By doing this, you know exactly what they expect from your brand. It also creates a feeling of collaboration between your company and your fans. Go ahead and ask something like what colors do you guys think might be trended this winter ? Post a photo so you can use these types of questions to understand how your audience perceived your brand. Not only will you gain valuable insight, but you will make your fans feel important by involving them in the decision making process . Okay, this lessons exercise is going to be very easy. What, at least for you, indeed, this time I will be the one working. I'd like you guys to send me your logo so that I can have a look at it and give you my modest opinion. Please send it to Ronnie Double. And why at fair Trade connection that organ and then get back to you. 17. Step 13: Create templates: less than 15 step 13 create templates. I hope that by now we all realized the importance of having great visuals to share on social media. If not, let me give you one more argument to convince you. 90% of the information we absorb is visual. Think about it. Social media is now an integral part of our day to day lives. Visuals have become a vital component in engaging our audiences. In my opinion, the best and easiest way to create these great visual that we need for social media is to use templates. Working with templates presents a lot of advantages. First, it ensures consistency by respecting our visual style guide. That is, the funds that we have chosen our color palette and our imagery start second, it increases the speed. We don't start from scratch every time we can reuse previous designs to speed up the workflow. Third, it makes you look like a pro. Using well designed templates would make your company look very professional. Fourth, it guarantees that your designs are other right size. Keeping track of all the social media post I mentioned could be a daunting task. Precise templates are a great way to never have to worry about this anymore. And fifth, it makes it easy to outsource. If you don't have time to develop all the documents and visuals you need for your company yourself, you can just create a template and let your team do the rest without having to worry about the end result. So go ahead and create templates for your different design needs. Like Facebook. Cover instagram quotes, block featured image video, custom thumbnails, etcetera stories, template in the cloud. Or, if you use canvas to produce them, they will be saved in your project library automatically. I personally use templates for different occasions. One of it is when I post photos on our Facebook page on Fair Trade Connections. Facebook page. I like to add a hand drone frame around my photos and position the logo of our company in one of its corners. Using this template allows me to create these visuals very quickly and ensure brand consistency. The result is a homer generous Facebook feed in a strong brand identity. I also use a template to create custom thumbnails for our video series. That's fair trade really work. We publish one new video every week on our Facebook page, and we need great visuals to catch people's attention and focus on the post. So in order to do so, I use can va. I created a very simple template with just a nart isn't photo in the background, and then we have a bubble with the text in it. It is not very elaborated, but I used the same color and the same composition to create consistency for the Siri's. I couldn't recommend using canvas more for creating your templates. Can Va is an amazing tool If you go to Canada dot com slash templates, then you will come to this page where you have a library off the different templates that can valets you used to create your designs. So go ahead and find a template you need. In our example, I would just go ahead and find Facebook cover template because I want to create a new visual for my Facebook page. So as you can see, you have template in many different categories, But Facebook will fall under the social graphics, so if I go to social graphics, I can find the Facebook cover here. Once you click, you will be proposed. A large selection off Facebook covers different style, different designs. If you scroll all the way down, you will see that this is only the first page. You can go to page 12 and still find a visual that is appealing to you. So go ahead and select one, and you will see that Can VA gives you the option off anything This template. If you have an account, just click this button and you will be ready to go. Ready to edit your templates? You can change the text. You can change the color of the background. Basically, it gives you a lot of freedom, and the result is always professional looking so really recommended. Open a can of account and start designing your templates and all your visuals. Basically, with can va this lesson exercise. You have guessed it. I would like you to create a few templates, So go ahead and select the templates that you need the designs that you need bait. An instagram quote, post a Facebook, cover a profile picture whatever you need. So go ahead and create two templates and use canvas to create them. 18. Step 14: Keep your brand style guide close by: Lesson 16. Step 14. Keep your brand style guide close by. One of the best ways to keep track of your visual brand identity is to keep a library of your exact specifications. You should always use the same funds, sizes, colors and image types. This is referred to as your brand style guide, and we are going to have a look at one. While it is relatively easy to create a basic visual reference with can Vow such a tool that shows your primary colors and fund family, you should consider the possibility off having a team of professional designers developed a complete brand style guide for your company. A brand style guide is a document that codifies how an organization presents itself to the world. Put another way, it's a reference to that helps maintain consistency by demonstrating whether brand looks, feels and sounds like. Using one ensures that your brand looks and feels the same, even when you have different people from different departments of your company creating designs. It is also particularly useful when you work with independent designers, bloggers, video makers, interns or volunteers. Sending them your brand style guide will ensure everything they would do will fit perfectly with your visual identity. Here are six elements that should be included in a brand Styx guide First, your brand story. It may or may not include all these information, but usually in this section you find the company's vision mission, your target audience, your personality and your values. Second point is your logo. We discussed about logo extensively before in this training, but this tie guy should specify that your logo cannot be resized or stretched. It includes information about the padding to respect etcetera. The style guides also gives information about what can and cannot be done with your logo. The third point is your color palette. The style guide should speak about the appropriate colors for background text and primary elements. It includes the Pantone name and number, the print color or so known as C M y que and the digital colors, RGB and the hex codes. Your style guide should also speak about typography and provide the front selection and their ideal sizes for different text hierarchy. From H one to H six, the fifth point is your imagery style. The style guide shows the best practices mood boards or give guidelines about the composition filters, etcetera. Use on your visuals and six you're star guide should include your voice. Select the tone of voice you would be using to communicate, maybe have a list of words you can and cannot, using your communication as well as best practices. Do's and Dont's. So having a brand star guide is the best way to ensure a professional looking visual identity. Now for the exercise, I would like you to take a deep look at another company's brand style guide. I thought about which company I should choose, and I wanted to pick one that everybody knew. So I went ahead and chose Cape by clicking the link below this video, you will access document with Skype's Complete Visual Identity Visual Style guide. Go ahead and read it in order to get a good sense of what a brand style guy should look like along with the information it should contain 19. Step 15: Use Canva: Lesson 17 Step 15 USE Can Va can va is probably my favorite design up right now. I have been using it to design or sorts of documents and visuals from Facebook covers to, uh, graphics for the video. I produce two slides for my power point presentations and also annual reports. The platform is always evolving, offering always mawr and easier options for savvy and UN savvy designers alike. That is what makes kind of a great you can be fund of design like I am and already have a good knowledge, but still can. VA is suitable for you. Or you can be the perfect beginner with no design skills whatsoever but still pull out some great visuals from the platform, so it makes it great. Here are the main reasons why I love can va number one. You can customize your design in a few clicks, so it is very easy on very quick to change the images that you are using. You can upload your own images into the platform, or you can choose from their stock library. Every stuck image that can va proposes, uh, will cost you $1. To be honest, I never paid for any images because I never feel the need to. And also, I do have a good base of photograph to work with our own photographed, so I never I never paid for any design, but if you need to, it's only $1 you can pay. With a credit card, you can change your phones very easily. Can Va has a very nice selection of about 130 fresh funds? I discovered a lot of cool funds actually through the platform. It's very easy to change the background of your visuals by using one of your photos or again from the library, and you can change colors very easily. You can input the hex color codes in order to have your custom colors, um, in the program. And also they have a very intelligent color management system that recognizes all the different colors that you are using in one specific project and so you don't have to search for them. They're all memorized in the program. The second reason why I Love Can Va is that you can design social media content without a budget. Canvas makes it super easy and affordable to create quality social media graphics. Its precise canvas ensure that you will always have the right dimensions for your social media visuals. So they have this library of social media templates, which is free that you can use as many times as you like. So this library makes it easy for you to update your social profiles regularly and have great designs. The third reason why I love Can va is that all your designs are saved in the cloud and accessible from everywhere. This is a great benefit because we have all lost at some point in our life, an important document or an important presentation. Whatever document that just erased last forever can vary. Store all your project in the cloud, which means you will never lose your work. It's always gonna be there. Plus, it's super easy to share documents. Share a project with a friend in the fourth last and maybe most important reason why I love Can va is that if you are an NGO or a nonprofit, you can benefit from the free upgrade to canvass for work. So I personally was able to a great can va to convert for work for free because we are an NGO with Frederick Connection. The process waas Pretty simple and quick. We just had to send our company statuses to Canada in an email. I have this document in pdf, so I send it to them, and a few days later, my account WAAS upgraded so can therefore work unlocks lots of cool features like the ability to magically resize your projects. That means if you're creating, if you are working on Facebook cover, but you decide. Oh, this looks pretty good. I would like to use this on my twitter cover as well. Then you hit the magically resize button. You specify that you want a Twitter cover, and then it will adapt the elements of your design to the new convert I mentioned. I can vouch for work also gives you the opportunity to upload your own fonts and company colors like creative palette of your company colors, which is custom. And you can save this as preference in Canada to use whenever you like. So this is very interesting. The camera for work upgrade represents an amount of about $10 a month. I think that's how much they're sending it for. But as I said, before. If you are an NGO, a nonprofit, you should get it for free. In order to benefit from that, you have to type in and Google can VFA nonprofit. I think that's what I what I did, but I'm pretty sure, and I double checked not so long ago. It is still available, so I put the link below this video. You can use it and try to see if you can get the free free upgrade for your company.