I have been working with my two boys to blaze a trail through the woods in our backyard to connect with a friend who lives one street over. Prior to beginning our trail we had to decide where we should begin the trail going into the woods. We began with a plan to cut down brush and rake the leaves to create a path. There were many obstacles including many pricker brushes as we continued to blaze our trail. There were decisions to make as to the direction we should continue going through the woods which changed based on what we might have to clear out of the way including fallen trees, etc. We have worked on our trail now a total of 7 hours and we have not connected with the friend’s trail yet. I was also thinking that after the trail is complete we will need to up keep our trail by removing the leaves which are currently falling and as spring approaches the brush that tries to grow back.
Why am I writing about trail blazing? Since I am a graphic designer shouldn’t I be writing about graphic design. I was thinking as I blazed the trail with my boys in the woods how small to medium size businesses need to also Blaze a Trail with their brand by marketing a consistent identity both online and in print which will be an ongoing process for their brand.
Here are some tips to help you Blaze A Trail for your business you may need:
1. DEFINE YOUR BRAND or REDEFINE YOUR BRAND
You need to begin with a clear vision or purpose and the value your business is looking to convey. I am going to quote Steve Jobs since he made a good point about creating your identity. Steve Jobs said “To me, marketing is about values.” Understanding the unique values that shape a business are important in designing an identity. The values of your business should not change even if the people, market and products change.
What is your unique selling Proposition (USP)? What makes your product or service different or better than that of your competition. Entrepreneur has a great article on USP it can be viewed at
There are many factors to consider when developing your businesses marketing strategy. Take, for example, someone going into business as an architect. It's pretty easy to define their brand a person who designs buildings, right? But to build a brand around his firm, a architect needs to determine specifically what kind of architecture he will focus on and what kind of client he is targeting before any marketing can begin. That means thinking through locations, type of architectural design, style of service and other skills he can offer.
2. DEVELOP or REDESIGN A LOGO
A professional graphic designer should be hired to design or redesign your logo. A Logo identifies a business by use of a designed graphic which uses type or symbols to identify a company or group. Logos may need to be updated extensively or at times can be done with a simple font change or an addition of a graphic symbol.
3. CORE IDENTITY
The core identity is the visible elements of a brand (such as name, colors, design, fonts, graphic) that together identify and distinguish the brand in the consumers' mind. It’s important to always maintain consistency in the design, look and tone of your identity to establish credibility.
For example, if a coffee house wants to attract a young, professional audience, the messages, fonts and artwork should be inviting and contemporary. In contrast, a CPA or investment company needs to have a bit more conservative approach in order to portray an image of trust.
A unified visual image should be conveyed by integrating the logo into all business communication elements, including mailers, brochures, advertising, newsletters, the website and social media, is an important part of building brand identity. The brand marketing material should include an ACTION for the audience to contact, buy, attend or call depending on what you would like them to do.
Be true to your brand by delivering on your brand’s value and promise!
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