Finding your style preferences is crucial before you start to work with your brand & website designer. It helps you and your designer work smoothly and it increases the chances that you’ll be happy with the end results. Providing your style preferences helps your designer create a brand and website that you had envisioned in your mind.
Today, we’ll talk about the 10 ways to find your style preferences before hiring a brand & website designer, but first, you might think “isn’t finding my design style, designer’s job?” and my answer is yes and no.
YES, because designer will help you narrow down your style preferences, determine whether the images with your style preferences fits your target audience and if they would work for your business type.
Basically, once you provide your designer with images that visually reflect the direction that you would like to take your brand & website, the designer will go through the images (usually on the Pinterest board) look for the similarities between the images.
The designer will take the images under consideration, by looking at other information about your business (like target audience, brand keywords etc.) and also add their own spin on it (so, please DON’T ask your designer to replicate someone else’s design 1:1).
Sometimes, some of your style preferences, might not work well with your business type, so the designer will come up with something more suitable, yet along the lines of your style. For example, sometimes my clients choose images with too bright/too pale colours which might not work well with their brand collaterals or logo, so I choose slightly different shades of the colours, which are more practical e.g. if I choose too pale colours, the text might be unreadable on social media graphics.
NO, because first off all, unless your designer is your friend – you’re a complete stranger to the designer so you need to show your style preferences as clear as possible to literally help your designer “meet you”, show them what you like and what is your business like.
I always send out my brand & website design questionnaire to my clients (or brand design questionnaire for brand design clients) to not only learn more about their brand (target audience, goals, competitors etc.) but also to learn about their style preferences, by creating a secret Pinterest board with inspirational images and answering questions about logo types, font types and so on.
Also, I’m not creating moodboards for my clients and you can read more about why I don’t do that in the blog post: Why I Don’t Design Moodboards for My Branding Clients and What I Do Instead
All right, so I’ve been talking about how your designer will help you narrow down your style preferences and helps you design brand & website that attracts your ideal audience and that feel like you. But let’s take a step back and talk about the 10 ways to find your style preferences before hiring a brand & website designer.
PS. This blog post is especially geared towards solopreneurs, small business owners and creative businesses that want to have some of the personal branding aspects of their brand & website.
10 WAYS TO FIND YOUR STYLE PREFERENCES BEFORE HIRING A BRAND & WEBSITE DESIGNER
1. LOOK AROUND YOUR HOUSE & CLOSET
Everything around you at your house/apartment can be helpful to figure out your style preferences. It’ll help you determined what kind of colours do you like – by looking at your walls, furniture, home décor, office supplies and so on. Your closet is also a great place to look at the colours in terms of vibrancy, textures, patterns or even typography if you wear t-shirts with quotes/words.
2. GO THROUGH THE IMAGES YOU LIKED/PINNED SO FAR
Take a look at the images you “liked” on Facebook or Instagram and think why you did like the image. Is it because of the colour, vibe, pattern or anything else? The same goes with Pinterest. If you’re using Pinterest for personal use or for business use if you already have a brand & website, but you’re going to rebrand, go through the pins you pinned and look for similarities, try to count how many times each colour, texture, pattern, vibe/mood comes up.
3. THINK OF THE THINGS YOU LIKE OFFLINE
Looking for the style inspiration online is awesome, but you can also think about the things you like offline. Aside from looking around your home and closet, think what you generally like, for example, you might be choosing food in the grocery store, based on the packing, what do you like about the packing?
When you walk in the park or go sightseeing, what elements of architecture do you like? What flowers? Or what is the most attractive to you which is nature or art related and why?
4. LOOK BACK AT THE BRANDS & WEBSITES YOU LIKE
If you plan to have a blog and website, you’re probably following along with other bloggers and business owners out there. There are some websites or social media profiles that you often visit and it might be because you like their brand identity and/or website design.
You can be attracted to their colours, photos, fonts or drawn to their non-visual (brand) part of their business, so their personality, the way they speak, the words they use and so on.
Try to sit down and think why you like and why you visit their websites and social media profiles. It’ll help you determine your style preferences for your own brand & website.
5. CONSIDER YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Looking at things that you like on Pinterest is great, but when you think of your brand & website style preferences, you need to have your target audience in mind. I’m all about transferring your personal style to your brand, but sometimes, what you like, might NOT be what your target audience would like (it works both ways)
Being proud of your brand & website and feeling that it represents you, is huge, but you’re creating them FOR your ideal clients, so they can see you as an expert, trust you and hire you.
What I mean by considering your target audience when you think of your style preferences is that your brand & website need to fit your business style (if you want to attract women, your colours should reflect that, not necessary by using gold and pink), the type of clients that you want to attract (the quality of your brand & website needs to fits your pricing, so it needs to be cohesive and credible).
6. THINK ABOUT THE GOALS FOR YOUR BRAND & WEBSITE
Using trendy fonts and colours isn’t the best way to design your brand & website. Your entire brand identity needs to be thought out, by looking at your business goals for the next year, or even five years. Sure, your branding & website might change a lot through the years, but the foundation of your business should be thought through before you hire brand & website designer.
7. HAVE YOUR COMPETITORS/OTHERS IN YOUR NICHE IN MIND
Going back to looking at the brands and websites that you’re following – they might be your competitors/peers from your niche. Be sure to NOT look too close at your competitors though, the goal to finding your style preferences, ISN’T to copy your competitor – it’s to give you the idea what you like/admire to have your own spin on it and help your designer create brand & website that will help you stand out from the crowd, not blend in. So again, use the others in your niche as inspiration for your own one-of-the-kind brand & website and DON’T copy their brand & websites
8. IF YOU HAVE A BRAND & WEBSITE, THINK WHAT YOU LIKE & DISLIKE ABOUT IT
When you already have a brand & website and you’re going to hire a designer to redesign them, you probably have some idea about your style preferences. If your brand & website were designed without any process, so you can just have them, you probably know what you dislike about them and what you’d like to change. There might be some things that you want to keep your brand, like a specific colour or any other element that your target audience associates you with – communicate that to your designer.
9. THINK OF THE ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE THE THINGS YOU LIKE AND/OR YOUR PERSONALITY
Thinking about the adjectives to describe the things you like, the vibe/mood you’re looking for and your personality are important components to help you figure out your style preferences.
As an example, here are my brand keywords/adjectives that describe my brand: helpful, personal, distinctive, inspiring, savvy, educational, transparent, creative, passionate, professional and empowering.
10. CREATE AN INSPIRATION BOARD ON PINTEREST
The brand keywords we just talked about, can help you create an inspiration board on Pinterest. That might be the words you type into the search box or you can use them as guide to come up with more specific keywords
Probably, the easiest way is to use keywords describing the colours, textures, fonts, logos and so on, so using the specific words and sentences like “mint”, “watercolours”, “pastels” etc.
IN CONCLUSION, THE 10 WAYS TO FIND YOUR STYLE PREFERENCES BEFORE HIRING A BRAND & WEBSITE DESIGNER
- Look around your house & closet
- Go through the images you liked/pinned so far
- Think of the things you like offline
- Look back at the brands & websites you like
- Consider your target audience
- Think about the goals for your brand & website
- Have your competitors/others in your niche in mind
- If you have a brand & website, think what you like & dislike about it
- Think of the adjectives to describe the things you like and/or your personality
- Create an inspiration board on Pinterest
If you already figure out all the things we talked about in this blog post, but you’d like to go further and have your brand & website designed, take a look at my services by clicking at the image below. I’d love to help you design brand & website that you can be proud of!