Learn these four simple, yet tried-and-true, tips on how you can design an amazing first impression for your brand and beyond!
First impressions can make or break a brand in a matter of milliseconds. Milliseconds?
Yup, you read correctly. In a study conducted by Google way back when, they found it takes less than 50 milliseconds for a user to form a first impression—and that was about ten years ago.
With the onslaught of online competition saturating the market and social media titans like TikTok shortening our ever-so-already-short attention span, capturing and captivating a user in a matter of milliseconds is all the more crucial.
But, thankfully for you, although the above-mentioned factors have made this feat harder, it’s not impossible. And, better yet, you have complete control over how someone will perceive your brand the moment they first lay eyes on it via quality branding.
High-quality branding helps establish a brand’s trust and legitimacy. It’s what compels the user to scroll further within your site and later convert into a new customer. How so?
Well, a multitude of reasons, each of which points to design.
Let’s get right into it. . . .
It All Starts with Branding
Whether you’re a graphic, UX, or content designer, you know this. A brand’s chosen branding is pivotal, and it’s exactly what can make or break a brand.
We’ve all been in this scenario: You’re in need of a particular product or service, so you hop on Google. After typing your search, you click on the first link to appear on the search engine.
Upon being redirected to this unknown site, you’re immediately hit with a subtle taste of distrust. The images are dated and bland, with forgettable Arial font and colors . . . what were they?
What year is it? You think to yourself as you hastily check to ensure you just haven’t accidentally been transported back to the early 2000s.
Okay, dramatics aside, we’re all familiar with sites that evoke this notion. So, how do we avoid this?
Think about what it is you’re designing and who you’re designing for. I go into this much further in my piece 10 Tips to Optimize for the Perfect Landing Page but, for context, here’s the TLDR:
- Investigate your audience and how your product/service will alleviate their pains.
- Align your branding to appeal to your audience.
How Do You Apply This?
If you’re designing for a luxury product with a minimalist audience in mind, evoke this luxury aesthetic or mood within your design.
Use typefaces like Coldiac, New York, or Allenoire (just to name a few), color schemes like an off-white partnered with a warm brown, pastels, or cold blue, and imagery that’s bold yet minimal—or soft and minimal—to truly embody the look and feel of the product or service.
These elements alone truly solidify a good first impression. They’re your building blocks to a brand’s identity.
Look at similar brands for inspiration. You can also do a quick Google search or explore hashtags relevant to your brand on platforms like Instagram to point you in a direction.
Left image: License these images via Melissa.r, Bibadash, freedomnaruk, Alhovik, and Tendo. Right image: License these images via olgakimphoto, Xeniia X, Paper Wings, monochromeye, and Maksym Fesenko.
Extend the Intrigue with Quality Logo Design
Think Nike, Sephora, Apple, heck, even McDonalds. Each of these brands has one thing in common—logos that stand out and encapsulate their brands, as a whole.
Just as you would find inspiration for colors, typography, and imagery, do the same when honing in on your logo design. Look to similar brands or explore hashtags that are relevant to your brand and sort of marry these elements together.
What would stand out to the people you’re appealing to? What speaks to them visually?
Start with the name of the brand you’re working with, including its tagline.
- First, consider the above-mentioned elements, like placement and spacing, when playing around with the design.
- Next, play with your chosen typefaces (sizing, weight, and title cases included). How does everything come together? Is it looking a bit messy or simplistic in form?
- Lastly, consider color. Does your logo look nice with the current color scheme, or is the inverted palette more memorable?
Playing around with principles of design is essential here, but we’ll discuss that further down below. For now, keep in mind simplicity is the key to designing a quality logo.
Always Abide by the Principles of Design & UX/UI Design
Now, we won’t get into every principle. However, the principles below apply not only to logo design but also extend to web, app design, and visual marketing material.
For instance, regarding visual design, the seven principles to consider are:
- Balance: Gives structure to a design. Every element on a page or screen has weight and, therefore, balance should be considered within every design. It’s what establishes order and “cleanliness” in a design.
- Emphasis: Used to emphasize the focal point of an image or design. This can be done via contrasting colors or types and typefaces, as well as playing with spacing, size, whitespace, and so on.
- Contrast: Like emphasis, contrast is used to bring attention to an element within a design. Not only does contrast further the emphasis of an element, but it also establishes harmony and creates space within a design. Contrast typically applies to color palettes or differing typefaces within a design.
- Pattern: (Or repetition) is what can further the harmony and balance of a design. Pattern can function as a visual motif, furthering any incorporated narrative whilst unifying and strengthening a design.
- Movement: Guides the eye of an end-user from one place to the next. When employed appropriately, it can be used as a means to visually communicate a narrative to an end-user.
- Proportion: The placement, size, and weight of an element(s) of a design, extending to typeface and imagery.
- Whitespace: The empty space on a design. When employed correctly, it establishes hierarchy and organization within the psyche of an end-user.
Abiding by these principles in whatever it is that you design will ensure your project is a standout amongst competitors. Further, together they legitimize your brand in the eyes of your target audience.
Don’t Forget About Your Brand’s Copy
To wrap up our tried-and-true tips, we can’t forget about copy.
Copy is that added element that truly elevates a brand and solidifies that good first impression. Consider it the icing on your brand’s cake.
My forever go-to when advising others on how to write effective copy is:
- Know your audience.
- Use language that’s relevant to your audience.
- Be clear and concise (especially when designing for a website, landing page, app, or ad).
- When appropriate, evoke emotion (this is particularly important for ads, in-app onboarding screens, and landing pages, a.k.a your “points of lead conversion”).
Your copy is an extension of your branding. So, it should not only embody your chosen branding, but it should also bring life to your visuals.
It is also your opportunity to vocalize and relate to the problems, needs, and expectations of your audience, furthering your chances of solidifying a good first impression.
Your Stand-Out First Impression
So, there you have it. Our four tried-and-true tips on designing an amazing first impression for your brand.
If you’re finding yourself curious for more, check out our Creative Flow learning page. There, you’ll find insights and tips on design, marketing, social media, and more.
Now, spread those creative wings and fly, my friend. Happy learning!