Having a defined aesthetic is a popular topic across industries. Everyone from website designers to branding experts to copywriters say how important having a defined aesthetic is for your business. And it’s true- whether you’re a multimillion-dollar stationery company or a new calligrapher looking to break into the market, a defined aesthetic is going to make the difference between inconsistent sales and ho-hum clients, or a flourishing business with staying power.
There is so much advice out there on how to define your brand’s aesthetic, so if you’ve tried before and gotten lost in a sea of beautiful Pinterest boards, know that it’s not your fault, you’re not alone, and you can do this!
Creating your brand’s aesthetic is one part knowing yourself, and one part knowing your audience. If we do it right, you are your audience which makes staying consistent, knowing what to post, and knowing what to design 100 times easier.
How to Define Your Brand’s Aesthetic
- What’s your favorite season?
- What’s in your closet?
- Where do you like to spend your time?
#1 What’s Your Favorite Season?
Defining your brand’s aesthetic is all about your personal preferences and choosing a color palette can be one of the most challenging pieces, so I like to flip that question on its head and ask instead – what’s your favorite season?
Every season comes with its own color pallet, textures, sights, sounds, and smells (yes, even smell can be a factor in your aesthetic, but more on that another time!).
- Write down the first 3-5 colors that come to mind when you think of your favorite season.
- What textures or patterns are associated with your favorite season? (For example, spring might be silky petals and smooth eggshells, summer could be crisp white linen and waves, fall might be crunchy dried leaves, denim and leather, winter could be things like fluffy snow and wooly mittens).
- What sights are associate with your favorite season? Maybe new growth, crashing waves, falling leaves, or shimmering snow
- What sounds are present in your favorite season? Raindrops on a tin roof, a breeze through ruffling trees, birds singing, vendors calling out cool treats, or is all quiet and still?
- What does your favorite season smell like?
#2 What’s in Your Closet?
Choosing brand colors that you love (like actually, really love) makes it so much easier to design, post, and draw inspiration from a palette than forcing yourself to be something your not.
When in doubt, look in your own closet and around your home. Is your wardrobe full of rainbow hues, brightly colored patterns, and bold prints? Are you always in black, very simply styled? Or do you lean toward muted hues and minimalist clothing?
Revisit your favorite season and the colors that first came to mind; is that palette aligned with your wardrobe? Could a few tweaks make it feel cohesive? Remember, this is an exercise meant to bring out what you truly love and what feels most like “you”.
#3 Where Do You Like to Spend Your Time?
Where you like to spend your time can be a huge source of inspiration. Maybe you adore traveling across Europe and all things French or perhaps you’re more of a beach bum spending time on the Carolina shores. Travel not your thing? Maybe you like going to colorful parties, Saturday mornings at the farmers market, or cozying up in your own living room with a cup of coffee.
With each of these places comes a distinct feeling, set of colors, and mood. Incorporate those elements into your brand colors and design style for an aesthetic that is distinctly “you”.
Defining your brand aesthetic is going to have an impact on all aspects of your business, from ease of design and creating a cohesive social media presence to curating a recognizable portfolio that is unlike anyone else in the market.
For more inspiration, I’ve put together a few Season Inspired Pinterest boards that you can checkout here:
Questions about defining your aesthetic? Drop them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org