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How a dummy like me created a visual brand & marketing materials that pop

When we think about branding, we usually relate to what the customer sees. Once you have attracted people’s attention and combined with regular marketing communications, you will gradually stimulate how your customers feel.

The visual appeal of your brand will bring you a lot of value, which is an important process to ensure that you carry out consistent marketing activities.

"I am not a designer or brand marketer." So am I, and I am not a professional in this area. But I really like the process of building a brand, from visual to storytelling.

In this article, I will focus on the visual appeal of Virtual Mojito. Read it through and you will understand how I deal with naming, logos, color palettes, etc. And some examples of marketing materials. Here we go:

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Naming

It is a product that revolves around the virtual experience, from events to remote work to communities. "Virtual" is a major keyword that can link many different potential customers together.

Because I want to show an energetic, fresh and interesting impression. I immediately thought of food and drink. That's why I chose "Mojito" - fresh, sweet, and sour! And you know what? The .COM TLD is available, so I immediately purchased the domain name.

Secondly, I will make sure that most major social media handles are also available. In short, Namechk is a great tool to cross-check availability in one place. I think you would agree that Virtual Mojito is easy to remember and can associate brand names with interesting things.

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Logo

I like to create logos with geometric shapes and simple strokes. This is also a design approach to ensure that the visual impressions of all my products are consistent.

Whenever I make a new logo, I usually follow these 5 basic rules:

  • Is the design clear enough without explanation?
  • If I use other background or gradient colors, will the logo still be visible?
  • Does it fit circle, rectangular, and square frames?
  • Is it a good idea if I print a logo on a physical product?
  • How does it look when it paired with other logos?

Usually, I can make a final decision with less than 20 variations (sometimes 50 or more). Make sure your logo can be used for multiple purposes. Please also consider the functionality and the capabilities of the logo. Ideally, it should be available on all devices, digital channels, and marketing materials.

A nice logo is not only designed for look and feel. It is also a visual asset that helps your customers understand the characteristics of your business.

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Color

Name 3 brands with green as the primary color. You have 3 seconds. 3, 2, 1... Perhaps Starbucks, Subway, and Spotify? That's the thing! Choose your brand color wisely, there will be many psychological effects embedded in the human brain.

Just like how I choose a brand name. I also want to use color to visually show a vibrant impression. Because green often relates to freshness, I have decided to go for green as the primary color, and it can be associated with Mojito as well.

Pairing with high contrast secondary colors is very important. These colors will be used to enrich the visual hierarchy and UI design. Think about the buttons on your website; the text on marketing materials, etc.

Coolors is an excellent tool to help you discover different color palettes, and you can easily play around with gradients and combinations. Don't choose a color palette, and let it go, try to apply it to your actual products and marketing materials to evaluate its feasibility.

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Font

It's a stupid idea to submit an assignment in Halloween theme fonts. You don't want to scare people away and make people confused.

Just like a palette. Different theme fonts also have their meanings. Take the time to check the theme font, size, boldness, color, pairing, etc.

You should also carefully review each set of A-Z and 0-9, integrate the theme fonts on your website and pair them up with the logo. Sometimes you may need to adjust its line spacing and kerning to get the correct pixels.

I usually do all font tests on Google Fonts, and then compare the differences using colors, boldness, background colors, sizes, etc.

Marketing materials

Differentiate your marketing communications by customizing materials. Ideally, you should always customize your marketing materials because you will also show your products to different audiences. Here are some examples:

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Social Media

  • Product of the month
    • I would handpick 8 to 10 products every month. I did this because I wanted to make the products listed on the platform more attractive. I usually post on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Performance metrics
    • Every few months, I will report key metrics publicly, because I want my audience to clearly understand that building projects based on Notion are fun and fully scalable.

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Content / Article

  • Article banner
    • It is designed to drive website traffic and is therefore eye-catching. I also applied a similar design structure for the social media cover as well.
  • Product screenshot
    • Since the first launch, I have made several updates to the website. I am the pride of Notion users and often reveal how I build a website. I am really happy to tell people which building blocks I used.

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Newsletter / Email

  • Meet-a-Mojito
    • This is part of the bi-weekly newsletter. I will introduce the founder of virtual experience products and their stories. Including who they're, the name of the product, and links.
  • Repurposing newsletter
    • Publishing newsletters is just the beginning of your email marketing strategy. I will make a short summary and repost it on social media, two days after the bi-weekly newsletter is published.

So that's it. I hope this helps build your first lean brand, and if you are rebranding visually, please consider applying some techniques here. See Virtual Mojito in action. I am excited to hear your feedback!

  1. 3

    thanks for this guide ! I am awful at design, so this helps :)

  2. 2

    hey Felix. This is brilliant. I found it hard to design anything. I keep changing and changing.... There is a reason why people go to school to learn graphic design. And then charge a lot of money for a tiny logo.

    1. 1

      Thank you @okaybuilder - that’s made my day

  3. 1

    Best guide for dummies I've ever read so far! Definitely give this a try soon. Thanks, Felix!

  4. 1

    This is great 👌 Thanks for sharing this @felix12777!

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