Your brand style, or brand aesthetic, is the overall vibe or personality of your brand.
It often describes how your clients or customers feel when they interact with your business.
Do you want to come off as a laid-back friend? Or a sophisticated authority?
There’s no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is that your audience sees you the way you intend them to.
All the visuals you create for your brand will use your brand style in order to communicate your brand’s personality to your audience.
So, how do you do it?
We’re going to walk through the process in just three easy steps!
This process is a whole lot easier with a template. Grab our free Brand Style Workbook before you dive in!
Free Brand Style Workbook
Worksheets, exercises and idea starters you can use to quickly & easily nail down your brand style.
When it comes to visuals, it’s super helpful to put things into words first. It helps you be more intentional with the direction you take your brand style.
A lot of people skip this step, and then they get to the visual part and get frustrated.
It feels like… shouldn’t this be easier? How do I decide between all these things I like?
Coming up with your adjectives before diving in will make it WAY easier!
In the Brand Style Workbook, you’ll find space for brainstorming & a list of prompts and idea starters to get the juices flowing.
If you’re a fitness brand targeting millennials, your brand adjectives might include energetic, motivating, and authentic.
And if you’re a luxury hair salon that provides a high-end experience, your brand adjectives could be something like upscale, sophisticated, and poised.
If you get stuck, it can help to think of words that do not describe your brand, and use them to identify the opposite traits.
Once you’re done brainstorming, narrow down to the 5 words that resonate the most.
These are your brand adjectives!
Use them as a guide when creating visual elements for your brand, such as color schemes, typography, and imagery.
One very important thing we must address before we dive in:
A Pinterest board is not a moodboard.
Think of Pinterest like a toolbox — a place to collect, get inspired, and gather reference.
Your moodboard, on the other hand, is a carefully curated subset of images used to represent your brand aesthetic.
In essence, you’ll brainstorm using Pinterest, and then narrow to create your moodboard.
You want to look for images that have a color scheme, type treatments, or overall vibe that matches the way you want your brand to feel.
Your brand adjectives can come in handy here to help you find images that match the vibe you’re going for! Try combining your brand adjectives with the search terms in your Brand Style Workbook to find new, creative results.
And you definitely don’t have to stay on Pinterest! You can search hashtags on Instagram, grab screenshots from your phone, or visit sites like Unsplash or Creative Market.
Just make sure you’re pinning things from around the web back to your Pinterest board so it’s all in one place. (Pro Tip: You can add the Pinterest Save Button extension to Chrome & easily pin images from any site to your Pinterest board!)
This exercise will probably take you about an hour, and you’ll want to aim for about 40-50 images on your board.
Having a variety will help you in the next step!
Once you’re done collecting inspiration, it’s time to curate your moodboard.
A moodboard is a visual representation of your brand aesthetic that can help you define and communicate your brand style.
Your goal for this step is to combine 5-10 images from your Pinterest board into one cohesive moodboard that captures the way you want your brand to look & feel.
We created a set of free Canva Moodboard Templates to make this process easier!
Multiple moodboard layouts to explore & nail down your brand style.
First up, add your brand adjectives to the moodboard template. Having them handy while you work on this step will help you stay focused.
Choose a few images from your Pinterest board that feel like they best represent your brand and match your adjectives. (You can right click on each image in Pinterest, select “Copy,” and simply paste it into Canva.)
Feel free to adjust your adjectives if needed as you refine your brand style.
Try to make sure your moodboard includes a mix of colors, textures, patterns, typography, and photos.
Since you’ll be using this to choose the rest of your branding visuals, having these inputs will be super helpful moving forward.
We’ve pulled together a few moodboard examples, along with the brand adjectives they convey, so you can get a better idea of what yours might look like.
Brand Adjectives: Minimal, Clean, Nurturing, Inviting Brand
Brand Adjectives: Fun, Elevated, Authentic, Reliable
Brand Adjectives: Elegant, Confident, Edgy, Sophisticated, Classic
Make sure to congratulate yourself for taking the time to nail down your brand style!
Building out the rest of your brand identity is going to be so much easier because you did this important step!
The next step after you’ve identified your brand style is to build out the rest of your brand identity. That means your logo, fonts, color palette, and graphics.
We have a step-by-step course called Oh Hey, New Brand that walks you through each step of the process.
It includes ALL the guidance, tools, and templates needed to create a polished brand in just a few weeks — even if you have zero design skills.