this Canva Content License Agreement series, we’ll be diving into the can and can NOTs of your Canva designs as a blogger. Part three of this series is all about how you can legally use Canva content throughout your blogging business!
Having a cohesive look is an essential part of your blog’s unique brand identity. It’s vital for recognizability and builds trust with your readers.
In fact, studies show that a person must “hear” about a product approximately seven times before they feel comfortable investing in it.
We think the same holds true for blogs in general. We firmly believe a person needs to “hear” about a blog’s message quite a bit before they’re ready to take action.
Ready to nail your product launch? Get our FREE Product Creators QuickStart Kit with a checklist, cheatsheet, and Canva design template so you can create a digital product for your blog!
We’re all working hard to establish trust with our readers; to get them to take action.
That’s why we put ourselves in front of the camera even though we’re insanely introverted.
It’s why we send out a weekly newsletter even though we’re afraid of bugging our readers. We crave that connection. We want that community of followers!
What good is a stat or number unless it means you’re making progress toward your goal? For many of us, our goal is to make an impact while generating an income.
Personally, we want to help bloggers reach their income goals by overcoming the graphic design hurdle.
And while we think most bloggers would love to be able to give it all away for free, this is our job, and it’s how we support our family and pay the bills.
REMEMBER THIS POST LATER! PIN IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!⬇
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having income be one of your major end goals to blogging, especially when it’s completely possible to make an income while serving your reader.
Take us, for example. We get to share our passion for graphic design with thousands of bloggers who are learning to love design through the use of Canva templates while making a six-figure income.
But that wasn’t always so. Before the six-figure income, before the +20k email list, before the incredible JV opportunities, came the foundation.
Your blog’s unique brand identity is a big part of that foundation.
Having that recognizable look to where your ideal reader says, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that chick!”
That’s where it’s at. Now let’s start with the basics, shall we?
BRAND YOUR BLOG
The first step to having a cohesive brand is to establish a brand for your blog. This is where our FREE brand board comes into play.
You’ll need to figure out who YOU are and who you want TO attract. We do this by establishing a:
- Color palette (generally five colors)
- Signature “look” or style
- Brand fonts (we recommend one premium font from Creative Market)
- Few branded design elements (optional)
If you have absolutely no idea where to start, not to worry. Pinterest is a fantastic option for brainstorming brand styles.
Be sure to set your ‘Inspiration’ board to private and start pinning anything that you feel represents your blog’s brand. You can pin patterns, color palettes, photos, fonts, and even your favorite style of pins.
To kick off your search, start with ‘brand board’ and go from there. After a little while, you’ll start to see some commonalities you can work with.
But if you’d rather skip all that and have the work done for you, you NEED to check out our Five-Minute Brand.
We’ve designed 40 completely unique done-for-you brands to where all you have to do is add in your blog’s name. It’s truly lived up to the Five-Minute Brand name!
Because color is so incredibly powerful, you can actually make a person feel a certain way simply by using color. The same holds true with attracting a specific audience.
Bold brands with fun personalities tend to use bright and powerful colors. Just like soft brands with very feminine personalities generally gravitate towards calm and comforting colors.
Related Post: How to Choose the Perfect Colors for Your Blog
One thing we need to make perfectly clear is that your blog’s brand should be more about your audience than you.
If you pop into any one of our team’s closets, you’d find very neutral, earthy colors. But our brand’s first color palette? It was bold, bright, and fun.
We even threw up an impromptu survey in our Facebook group asking if their brand’s color palette matched their own personal style. The majority of the responses were, “The colors couldn’t be farther apart!”
Pinterest and Design Seeds (our fave!) are great places to find your brand’s color palette or for inspiration if you wanted to make your own.
Once you have your brand’s color palette finalized, add it to your Brand Kit in Canva or save it somewhere safe because these are the ONLY colors you’ll be using throughout your blog.
Brand recognition is about consistency, and that includes using the same colors on your Pinterest pins, social media graphics, lead magnets – every aspect of your blog will use this ONE color palette.
The one caveat to that is seasonal content. You can absolutely 100% create a holiday color palette for your seasonal content.
There are some things you need to keep in mind, though, but overall, it’s a big YES from us!
Using what we just talked about regarding color palettes, the same holds true for your brand fonts.
If you want to attract a bolder type of person, you might want a more “messy” script font for those designs that need a little oomph.
If you’re a delicate or very feminine blog, you might want to use a more elegant-style script.
Remember to take into consideration its readability. We’ve seen way too many designs that used a completely illegible script font that no doubt kept people from clicking over.
Related Post: Our BEST Typography Tips to Create Amazing Designs
Just because you think it looks stellar doesn’t mean it’ll attract your ideal reader. Not to mention knowing if your audience primarily uses their phone or computer to surf the web will make a big difference, too.
Our brand was solely designed with our unique audience in mind. We first started out with a very bold color palette and fun script font we purchased on Creative Market.
We used our two fonts, Poppins and Justinot Infinity, on every element of our blog – social media, lead magnets, digital products, blog images, logo, email signature, slide decks…
The only place we experimented with a few different fonts was on our Pinterest pins.
But as our audience (and their tastes) evolved, so did our brand. Our brand’s style, while still bold, became a bit more mature with deeper colors and an outlined font instead of our fun script font.
Don’t get too hung up on this, and definitely don’t let this stall your branding process. This is something that may evolve over time.
That being said, it’s also not something you want to switch up every other day because you can’t make up your mind. Stick to something simple that you can recreate easily.
For us, we were known for our “multi-colored font with the off-set outline” style for the keywords in our graphics and products.
Additionally, the keywords we used to grab our reader’s attention were created using textured fonts in Canva.
Related Post: Create Jump-Off-the-Page Textured Fonts in Canva
Is it extra? Yep. Did it require more design time on our part? You bet. Did it pay off? You have NO idea!
Our audience instantly knew it was our Pinterest pin before ever reading the pin description.
We were consistent with our color palette. We were consistent with our brand fonts. We were consistent with our design style. And boy, did it pay off!
Other bloggers might use a shadow look or just keep the text simple and accent it with a specific layout or use design elements like borders, banners, shapes, etc.
And yes, all of this can be created using Canva!
They have so many text effects to choose from, like hollow, splice, neon, and even glitch! It’s very retro; we love it!
BRANDED DESIGN ELEMENTS
A great way to add branding to your visuals is by including design elements.
For us, we loved using banners to emphasize our free template text and twirly dotted arrows for a bit of fun!
Others may use stars, borders, or other designs. Canva has a great selection of design elements that can be easily changed to match your brand colors.
You can even take it up a notch and purchase a graphic pack on Creative Market. Another option is not to use any branded design elements because that’s okay too!
We know plenty of bloggers who’ve been so consistent with their blog’s brand that no additional design elements are needed for instant brand recognition.
As we’ve mentioned before, what makes these things recognizably you and your brand is the fact that you stay consistent!
If you’re switching up your logo every other week or using 12 different colors, then your brand style won’t be consistent, and you’ll end up confusing your audience.
Just like everything else when it comes to business success, consistency is key. We know this to be especially true regarding blog posts (Google has made this perfectly clear!) and emailing subscribers.
Our readers know to look for us in their inbox every Thursday at around 3:40 pm ET with another ah-ha Canva design tip!
HOW YOU CAN BRAND YOUR BLOG FOR A COHESIVE LOOK
But I’ll give it a shot. You’ll want to incorporate your brand style in pretty much every thing you do:
- You social media icons (plugins like shareaholic and social warfare can be customized to match your brand colors)
- Your side bar (about me graphics, popular post or category graphics, headers, and icons)
- You blog font (if you are using a theme that won’t let you customize fonts, check out the Google Font plugin that lets you set your headers and paragraph font to any google font!)
- Your logo and blog header (obviously 😝)
- All of your social media graphics and headers
- Any freebies or products you create (becuase you’ll want people to recognize where they got them and think of you when they’re using it!)
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
The bottom line is: what makes your brand stand out and become recognizable as you and your brand is the fact that you use the same style all the time.
No, your readers wont get bored. PLUS– it actually helps you save time designing because you don’t have to think about what style, color, or fonts to use.
Check out the video below to check out our design lab and see lots of examples of what I’m talking about.
COHESIVE BRANDING: HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT AND BRANDED LOOK FOR YOUR BLOG
Posted by Simplifying DIY Design on Saturday, June 2, 2018
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Don’t forget to grab our FREE Product Creators QuickStart Kit! Use the checklist, cheatsheet, and Canva design template to create a digital product for your blog!
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