DIY Branding ④
✧ 7 min read ✦
People who ☯︎ “do the work” ☯︎ when it comes to their branding reap the benefits (read: sales, traffic, generally being inspiring). Worst case? You don’t do it yourself, but you at least understand wtf your hired design help is talking about.
Ok ⏤ Let’s do this ✓
This is where the time and money saving gets really serious. I’ll bet you didn’t realise a lot of these things even existed ⏤ thank me later ☻ you’re welcome.
① Do I need to know Photoshop?
Well, ✧ never! ✧ If you’re hardline about doing every facet of your branding and you don’t know any Photoshop, you’re just going to reduce your options a bit. Creative Market has a tonne of templates available to use on Canva and Powerpoint, for example.
Simply teaching yourself the Color Overlay' technique on Photoshop 🔗 →, however, might mean that you can figure out how to change the colour of any elements you’ve purchased. At least stuff like that is easy, promise!
On the whole, Photoshop is a beast and takes time to practice and learn. To maintain your sanity, if you’re not confident in design or despise learning new apps, then ❤︎ be conscious ❤︎ about when it’s time to take your hands off the wheel and give the task to someone who can do it fast and efficient.
Clever business owners think of their time as money, so delegating ~may~ actually save you a lot more. Go with your intuition, here.
② Instant social media content and infographics
No doubt scrolling on any social channel, you’ve had design envy for some brands’ posts and infographics. Newsflash: not everyone is paying designers to reinvent the wheel for them each post.
Lucky for you, there’s designers out there selling premade Photoshop and Canva designs for you to drop in your own colours and fonts. Cool, huh?
✦ Bonus ✦ once your own branding is applied, it’s practically impossible to tell it’s a template.
Wanna keep it even simpler?
I’m a huge fan of Squarespace’s app called Unfold+ → if you want to design on your phone only and create story designs, plan your content and make a pretty bio site. You’ll notice I use their borders a lot on all my website designs to make images look more integrated on the page. I don’t get $$ for saying that, I really just dig it!
③ Website templates
I operate primarily in two worlds: Squarespace and Shopify.
When it comes to being online as a small business, they are the Macs and Wordpress, Magento and the rest, to me, are PC. Their stability, out-of-the-box design, mobile-friendliness are ❤︎ unmatched ❤︎ and as a web designer, mean I don’t have a panic attack when I ‘hand over the keys’ to the new website owner ☻ ☻
Literally my aim when I began designing Squarespace templates this year, was exactly that. There were so many boring, overly simple templates on Creative Market and Etsy, I wanted to make something that packed in more fun features that I know people want.
Just because you’re using a platform designed for newbies, doesn’t mean your website has to look newbie. Right???
Shopify has always had a marketplace of premium themes →, of which my ✧ faves ✧ to work with are ones by Archetype themes → because they’re made by developers who are *actually* design-literate (lol) and come jam-packed with all the cool features you see on lots of agency made websites. Read: ☞ saves you lots of $$ money $$ tacking them on later.
Hot Tip ☟
Shopify is a bit of a beast, but it’s hard to ‘break’ which is why I love it. Invest in a premium theme like ‘Streamline →’, play with all the settings and get it as pretty as you can on your own.
Hit a wall?
④ Scene creators instead of photoshoots
”I’m sorry what?? I don’t need a photoshoot or even a camera to get cute still life content???????” I know, I know. WILD.
If you have some ✦ high quality product images ✦ with a transparent background like this → you can basically pop them into any ‘scene’ image. Sure, this will require *some level* of design know-how, mostly just to add some shadow to your images so they look like they have a little depth. If you want to change the colour of the backgrounds and props, then you’ll also need to know how to do that.
Even if you’re handing this off to your go-to designer, it’s probably still going to be $$ cheaper $$ and easier than a photoshoot.
Where do I start?
¹ Play with my favourite scene creator on Creative Market →
² MOYO Studio → have great scene creators for designers
³ Adobe Stock → and Freepik → have tonnes of flat images
☞ On the flip side, if you’re into photography and want to create scenes like this, the props and courses on Moodelier → are INTENSELY inspiring and show that DIY is v v achievable! ☻
☞ If you’re really stuck, then you can always call me →, try Soona Studios → or someone like Helen Koker →
⑤ See the Pinterest boards
The ‘Social & Infographics’ → and ‘Collage & Scenes’ → boards are the best ones to get you on your way. Many of them link directly to the products to buy ☻
Last one is next! So proud of u. It’s all about articulating who you are as a person or brand (nbd!)
S.O.S: Help me, Katie
If you’re feeling out of your depth when it comes to branding, your website, or bringing it all together, my 1:1 options may help: