Your website is the hub of your online presence and therefore needs to be the quintessential representation of your brand in sight, sound and symbol. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.
What does your website look like? What colors do you use? How are they used? Does your brand have a specific font associated with it? How is your website laid out? How does a visitor flow through your website?
These are all aspects of the “sight” aspect of your website and your brand. For example, take a look at the home page of CindyAshtonEntertainer.com.
I designed the look and feel of this site to communicate Cindy’s unique style of singing and entertaining. She tends to perform Broadway tunes and project a powerful and classy style. Therefore I chose a classic two-tone look for her website. Gold on black communicates class. Also, I used an image of her that really focused on her performance, which also supports her brand as a classy, upscale performer.
Now take a look at the home page for DDelgadoFineArt.com.
Dolores is a talented artist (and I’m not just saying this because she’s my Mom) and so the focus of the website really needed to be on the art … and not the artist. (By the way, that is not always the case with artists) I chose navigation that gives you a taste of the breadth of her work.
I also chose to break from what I usually recommend and gave it a black background. The dark background puts the focus on the images … pictures of her paintings … rather than the text.
Both these websites are very visually focused … in part because the brand demanded it.
What does your website sound like? This can be communicated through word choice, some visuals and, of course audio clips.
As a rule, I don’t recommend automatic audio on a website, but sometimes it is appropriate.
Your brand can be communicated through sound in several ways:
- Through music that is consistently used in your audio products, videos and podcasts.
- Through a signature tag line or phrase that you become know by.
For example, my tag line is “If you don’t inspire, you expire.” I’ve chosen this phrase because it is my deep belief that your work must inspire people emotionally, psychologically, or even spiritually if it is going to be remembered and live. This belief is an integral part of my brand.
The symbol aspect of your brand is in two parts … the copy on your website and the shapes you use to underscore the design of your website.
Here sight and sound become one. For example, when you see the image at the top of this post, what do you think of?
Did you say Target?
Target has very successfully used the symbol of a target to create a strong symbolic brand for their retail chain.
Another brand that uses circles to communicate its underlying brand message is Suzanne Evans and her Help More People brand.
She uses circles and soft colors to communicate the nurturing nature of what she does … and helps others to do.
So think about how your website is communicating your brand’s core values and message … and be sure that it is communicating what you want it to.