How Did You Show Up Today?

Imagine you woke up this morning a hot mess. You ran out of the house in a frenzy to run a quick errand. Messy hair. Sweat pants. No make-up. We’ve all been there. And then it happens. You run into that one friend who is always, always, without exception looking fabulous. She’s the one who makes Anna Wintour look sloppy. How are you feeling right about now? (I’m actually cringing as I type) Embarrassment has created a whole new level for you. You try to find the nearest exit. But it’s too late. There she stands in all her glory and style and confidence. Crazy thoughts run through your mind. You try to convince yourself that it doesn’t really matter how you look. You are confident, too. You’re not vain and insecure. It’s what you are on the inside that counts, right?

Now imagine waking up this morning. You went to the gym. You showered. Your makeup is applied. Seratonin is working its magic in your system. You then dressed in that one outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. You know the one. THAT one. The one that fits you well. The one that is your color. The one you spent a little extra money on and have never regretted. It doesn’t matter how many times you wear it. It just feels like a million bucks. Now imagine running into your fabulous friend. How do you feel? Probably much more confident. Capable. Stylish.

Why? What has changed? You’re still the same person. The one key difference is that your appearance now is more reflective of how you want to represent yourself; of how you want to show up for yourself and put yourself out there to the world around you.

The same is true of a well-designed website, brand identity, and logo. Like a perfect piece in your wardrobe, your graphic design identity should have these four characteristics;

Your imaging should represent your style. This seems an obvious piece of advice but if you are a business that caters to seniors you probably shouldn’t represent your business with youthful colors, elementary grade school font types and images that evoke the look and feel of say, a daycare facility. Conversely, a daycare facility would not have the same style as a law firm. You get the drift.

Your logo and identity should be the perfect color for you. Do you look good in blue? What about your business colors? Try them on. So much has been written about the psychology of color when designing your brand image and identity. As you know, various colors evoke specific emotions. For example, green signifies health, serenity, and tranquility. It denotes nature and alleviates depression. The human eye is able to designate the most shades of green. It represents new growth. In marketing, it is used in stores to create a relaxed feeling. Think Whole Foods and Starbucks logos. Take the time to really dive into color psychology when choosing the ones for your business.

All visual elements should be clean and neat. Just as sloppy, wrinkled clothing has no place in your closet or on your body, none of your printed marketing collateral or online marketing presence should look scattered, cluttered or unorganized (unless it is a specific look that has a structured design element involved)

Your website and marketing materials should communicate accurately What do you want your best dressed day to say about you? What is the predominate attitude and emotion of your business? Fun and exciting? Warm and comforting? Intelligent and sophisticated? Creative and daring? Your graphic design should always communicate accurately and unmistakenly your company message.

If you find yourself apologizing (even inwardly) about how you are representing your business, it may be time to hire a talented graphic designer, web developer, or brand identity specialist. Like the great quality outfit that fits you perfectly, you will never regret spending a bit more to look and feel your best.