Recently I found myself stuck with a web design project and couldn’t quite work out why.

I often find creativity to be the sharpest double-edged sword known to man. If I am in the flow with a job and feel inwardly proud of the ideas I’m having, all is right in the world. I’m walking on sunshine.

However, if this flow state eludes me for too long, it can affect me quite deeply (perhaps due to my tendency towards perfectionism).

While stuck on this design, I got thinking about why the job wasn’t feeling right. Why was it so difficult? I looked back at some similar jobs that I had completed, searching for the magic that made them fall into place in the hope it would answer my question of why this job was so hard to pin down.

The answer was… (drum roll please…) Brand Theming. Or lack there-of.

Brand theming: your brand’s wardrobe

When I talk “brand theming”, I’m referring to the supporting graphics of a brand, the carefully designed wardrobe of elements that communicate a consistent brand message across all platforms. Each brand has specific ingredients that work harmoniously to tell its own unique story.

A strong brand always has well thought out theming, ideally comprising of some, all or a combination of elements such as: colour palette, fonts, shapes, patterns, illustrations, photographic styles/treatments, design rules, tone of voice, niches, materials, audio and even smell.

Your brand’s star player? Brand theming.

The jobs that often struggle to get the “x-factor” are the ones with little-to-no theming. It’s easy to think that the logo is the most integral part of a brand, but the more work I do, the more I realise the star player is the theming.

Don’t get me wrong, I know from personal experience the mountain of work involved to create a strong logo or rebrand. During the early stages of a website design, the logo casually wanders to the corner of the page, plonks itself down and gets comfortable.

Its work is done. It can relax with feet in the air and mojito in hand watching on as the theming works tirelessly to ensure the brand message is felt across every pixel.

Brand theming: soul, story, personality and feeling

Bringing things back to the job I was struggling with, the client had a logo, but nothing to draw upon theme-wise. Knowing the amount of work that goes into creating a strong brand theme, it makes total sense that the job was not feeling right without it. It had no soul, no story, no personality, no feeling.

In the world of web design, essentials are reduced to only those required to serve the user’s needs. Brand theming is absolutely vital to do this. With effective designs being devoid of clutter, the elements included have a great responsibility on their shoulders. If you take out all the “fluff”, the user has a greater experience and there is more impact from the elements you choose to include.

From great theming, comes great design

A brand has a tiny window of time to communicate. With limits on time and attention span, a brand without strong theming can be forgotten in a blink of an eye (literally).

I’ve noticed if a design isn’t reaching that game-changing level of impact or feeling, it could be because:

a) my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet

b) I’ve had too many coffees and they are all kicking in, or

c) There is most likely a lack of theming.

Are you ready to chat about your brand? Interested in knowing more? Contact us today!

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David Metcalf - Director
David Metcalf
Director Let's Talk
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