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Web Design

Web Design and Marketing: Your Brand Your Message

By:

Brandon Clay

on 8/27/2013

In our field of web design and marketing, we focus on helping companies to articulate the image they see for their brand through their graphics, logo, promotional materials, and all else that displays a message. We focus on the branding of companies but personal branding is just as important. In this day and age, we have access to someone’s complete on-line life. Whether you are trying to build a personal brand for your own sake or trying to use your personal brand as an edge in getting hired, it is important to be clear, concise, and deliberate in your choices—especially for your web presence.

Try an exercise. Close your eyes for one minute and picture what comes to mind when I say “Woody Allen.” You’re probably picturing the font he has consistently used for his opening and closing credits: white with black background, a little curvy, but classic. You might also think of his thick rimmed round black glasses, comb-over, and collard shirt and khakis: the same uniform he wears on film and in real life. Allen is a man who has mastered his personal brand. Since his first film he has stayed consistent with his opening and closing credits, wardrobe, and in many cases actors. He has also mastered the art of productivity, consistently working on a film a year for over 50 years. Allen built and nurtured his brand, never straying from the original method he set forth. In fact, Allen still writes his movies on the same typewriter he began his career writing jokes with.

Of course in the modern day, it can’t always be as easy and simple as Mr. Allen made it seem. For our modern day brands, we have much more to consider. While Mr. Allen began his career and made the first of his fortune writing jokes, today he might have begun as a blogger—or honed his career as a blogger. In the modern day, our on-line presence is essential and with this presence, we must create consistency in order to be a successful brand. Our blogs are our essays and Twitter is our stand up comedy routine.

A key ingredient to a great brand is consistency. At Via Studio, of course, we believe this consistency begins with your web design. You want to create a site that causes users to associate a certain aesthetic with your company. Whether you go for simplicity like Mr. Allen, chic and classic like Chanel, or swift like Nike. Each of these brands has placed themselves in the category of classic. While you might not make as big an impact as a giant like Nike, the key is to design like you will be the Nike or Chanel or Woody Allen of your industry. You want to choose a unique format and logo representative of yourself and your personal brand. For Via Studio, our distinct quality is the V that looks like a ribbon. We also set up a distinct color scheme of purples, yellows, and oranges. Though we didn’t go quite the simplicity route, we feel our design is sleek, fun, and creative which is very representative of our brand. The various fonts used on our site also help to display a bit of what our brand can do. As you can see from our case studies <link> we interpret the best image for a brand in to their website design.

And important key to branding yourself in the modern day, along with consistency, is ensuring your on-line presence is representative of the message you want to send. Companies do careful background checks before they hire and the same goes for clients. You need to make sure your on-line presence is current and consistent with how you want to present yourself. You should choose one professional photo to use for all of your social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and your personal blog. This way when companies or clients search for you, the professional photo will be the first to pop up. Be sure any photos that may detract from your professional image are not accessible through Google or the like. You also want all your platforms to reflect your overall goal. If your expertise is SEO, it’s okay to mix in a little pop culture commentary in your tweets or blog posts but you want your platforms to mostly be expressing your SEO expertise.

If you have many a diverse background, there is no harm in being honest about it and expressing it through your platforms. Many people come to a certain point in their lives when they decide to rebrand and possibly go down a different career path. Since the web is clouded with personal history, including past careers, you don’t want to erase the past. Instead, your diverse past can give you a leg up on other candidates (whether landing a client or job). A web design company might hire on someone whose background was originally marketing because they have a better understanding of the way branding works, though they haven’t been doing design for quite as long as another candidate.

The most important piece of the branding puzzle is showing you and your company’s personality. Clients and potential employers don’t like to see a flat candidate. They would be a little concerned to know someone does nothing else besides work—that just isn’t healthy. While you want to fill your on-line presence with all that is beneficial to promoting you in your chosen field, you want to show a personality. This can be done with your design format as discussed earlier and it can also be done with blog posts, Twitter, and web site. Sharing charitable work is a great way to showcase a personality aside from your professional one. Charitable work also helps to build up your professional personality. Sharing videos from YouTube is a good way to display some personality and also get shares from Twitter and Facebook. Another way to get shares is by creating or sharing memes. Memes are pictures that display bold text commenting on the picture in a funny way. There are meme aps you can get for you smart phone such as Meme Generator. Since memes are humorous they often get a lot of shares and help put some humor in to your web presence.

Remember, the most important aspects of your on-line and personal brand are consistency, positive messages, diversity, and personality. Your on-line past can haunt you and negatively affect your presence if you aren’t carful. Building your personal and company brand on-line make it simple to get across the image you want but make it tough to shake the past so do some exploring, questioning, and googling to take inventory of your image on the web to ensure you come across the way you intend.

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