What do you think of when someone mentions the Blue Cat Co. brand? Maybe you think, “Never heard of it.” Or maybe a step further: “What does the word "brand" mean?”
Well let’s try something more wide-spread: Disney (not including all of the companies it’s bought!). What is Disney all about?
Family friendly entertainment, often cartoons, that Disney princess face shape, cheesy made for TV movies, the Mickey Mouse mascot and/or the ears. We mentally associate all of these things with Disney.
Back to Blue Cat Co. Things that have been said when viewing the content I release include:
· Makes you want to sit and read more
· Feels like a big world waiting to be explored
None of this is accidental. So how do you make it happen?
Let’s say you want to center your brand around… Libraries. Okay. Let’s get specific.
Values – What do you champion? For Blue Cat Co., you will never see foul language, gore, explicit content, and we do not tolerate the putting down of others. Blue Cat Co. stands for light-hearted stories that encourage both internal and external exploration. All content will be geared toward those values.
Visual Feel – What feeling do you want to invoke when people see your site, your booth, read your books, even meet your employees (aka you).
Back to that library example, what kind of library is it? Do you want that cozy large arm chair deep in the confines of the naval historical fiction section next to a big open window overlooking a courtyard feeling? Or the imposing, large maze-like feeling of endless stacks (library shelving)?
Color – There are a handful of colors associated with each brand, if you look carefully. Blue Cat Co. uses white space. It’s always a pure white if the platform allows for it. The logo is always the exact same shade of light blue that was carefully selected (or sort of carefully. If I was really thinking about it, I would have chosen a Pantone color so it would always be exactly the same). There is a dark blue, a red and even a rarely used green tone, but they always use the same color code.
Going along with the cozy old library feel, what colors would make that happen? Maybe burgundy? Gold? Hunter green? You’d stick with a warmer, richer palette. Here’s some color psychology for you.
Font – It matters. If you want that formal library feel? You want an older, more established font. Probably a serif font family, but possibly not. For Blue Cat Co. It’s a specific sanserif, though there is a serif font for other uses.
I’m not a graphic design pro, but there here's a fun chart as a starting point.
UX – User experience of your website, but I also extend this to my books. It’s important to think about how you’d like people to interact with you and your products. Blue Cat Co. is very personal and up front. I’m the creator, here’s my email address, contact me any time. Maybe you want to extend that grand library formality feeling by having an official comment form to fill out. Maybe it’s styled like a card catalog. I’m just sayin’ there’s cool ways to leave the impression you intend to leave.
Logo - Again, I'm not a graphic designer. There are resources galore on how to properly design a logo. What I can say is that you want your logo to work well with all of the elements you've already chosen. It should embody the look, feel and values that represent your brand.
My logo happens to be a shade of blue that appears differently in RGB colorspace than it does in CMYK. How your colors appear in different places is something to keep in mind. I'll go more into colorspaces later on in the month!
So that’s branding. Think of the feel you want to show off, bake that feeling into every element of everything that you do.
Tomorrow's topic: The legalities of being your own business
Until then, are there any topics you'd like to cover? Questions about publishing you want answered? Let me know in the comments!