Think of your brand identity as the queen bee of a colony.
She is consulted before anything gets built, moved, or changed, and nearly everything in the hive revolves around her.
Your brand identity should inform every page of your Shopify site and the total online experience you present to consumers.
Here’s how to instill your brand identity into your Shopify site and beautifully communicate your brand.
What defines a brand identity?
Photo by Brett Jordan on unplash.com
Brand identity encompasses all of your brand’s visual elements. It’s the look and feel of your brand and includes your logo, personality, design, typography, colors, messaging, graphics, icons, and illustrations.
A consistent, intentional brand identity will boost your brand’s recognition, project a uniform image to customers, build greater trust, and result in more sales.
When designing your brand identity, consider what industry you operate in, what your products and services are, and what your brand values and believes in.
Much of the brand identity comes down to your brand’s personality. Would dark, sleek colors and a sharp, hard-edged better suit the personality? Or would softer, lighter colors and a playful, curvy font fit better?
Once you have created your brand identity, you will then want to translate it into a brand style guide.
Creating a brand style guide
We like Bynder’s definition of a style guide, which they define as “a digital rulebook that specifies every aspect of the look and feel of your brand. Apart from being used internally, a brand style guide is shared with partners, media, and agencies to brief them on how to communicate your brand properly and consistently.”
Your brand style guide should filter all the elements of your brand identity into easy-to-follow rules and guidelines for how to implement these visual elements.
A brand style guide dictates exactly which colors and fonts can be used to communicate your brand and other specific rules and guidelines. For example, you might always want your brand name to be capitalized when written out, etc.
Designing a Theme on Shopify
Screenshot from w&p.com
Shopify offers 70+ free and premium themes to choose from with dramatically different looks and feels. Referencing your style guide and brand identity, you can peruse their list to see if one of these templates matches your brand identity, then make strategic changes to it to fit even better.
You also have the option of custom building a theme. Custom builds are a better option for brands that want to stand out and have more control of their online shop. A custom build out enables you to design freely and place elements exactly where you want them on the page.
At Simplistic, we’ve built custom themes for online brands in a range of industries. If you want help creating a custom design that wholly captures your brand identity, we would be happy to work with you.
Dissecting a brand identity on Shopify
Screenshot from homecourt.co
Founded by Courteney Cox, Homecourt is a luxury “beauty brand for the home” creating skincare-inspired home products such as steeped rose surface cleaner, cipres mint dish soap, and neroli leaf hand wash.
Working with the Homecourt team in anticipation for the brand’s launch, we built a swift, elegant Shopify site that captures Homecourt’s brand identity and favors seamless UX design.
The site is dominated by highly-stylized, surreal images of flowers, leaves, vines, and other elements of the natural world growing into the home. These professional images capture the natural ingredients and fragrances used in Homecourt’s products and elevate the brand’s look and feel compared to standard cleaning companies.
Screenshot from homecourt.co
To accent these large images and keep the site looking and feeling fresh and clean, we used white space, soft tones, and Homecourt’s approved typography across the site, which itself is clean, direct, and readable.
On the homepage, “homecare” is promptly redefined as a pleasurable act that transforms the home, as opposed to merely cleaning it.
Like the rest of the site, the main navigation remains uncluttered with only two drop-down tabs and “sign in” and “cart” buttons.
Every image, color, button, and piece of copy on the site works together to convey an elevated homecare brand making products you haven’t quite seen before.
If your brand identity is properly communicated, everything should be consistent and seamless.
Design, iterate, repeat
Photo by Norwood Themes on unsplash.com
Your brand identity is delicate. Changing one color, font, or graphic can alter how consumers visually perceive your brand.
Begin by studying best-in-class Shopify sites and analyzing how these brands have designed their homepage and other pages. How many fonts did they use? How many colors? How did they organize the elements on each page, and what looked the best to you? Where did they place their logo, chunks of copy, and calls-to-action? Does the page feel cluttered or easy on your eyes?
Our homepage features a rotating gallery of some of our best work along with a header, a short description of who we are, and two buttons that take you to our services page and our work page.
When you land on a design that fully captures your brand identity, you will know it, and more importantly, your target customers will see it, feel it, and resonate with it.