The design of your website should be consistent with the rest of your brand identity and marketing materials, so that it can extend your brand identity into the online forum. Be sure to include, at the very least:

  • Your Logo: This should tell the story of who you are, what you do, and what makes you different. And, it needs to appear on every page of your website – ideally, it should be a part of the graphic “frame” of your website and appear in the same place on every page.

I also recommend using the full logo in its’ intended design on the website. If you have a combination logo that includes your company name and an icon, don’t move the name, scale either the name or the icon independently, or remove the name for use on your site.

Also, make sure that your logo has enough white space around it to be clear and legible – don’t put it on a complex background, which can make it hard to read or see well. The logo is the superstar of your brnad, and it should be highlighted as such!

  • Your Visual Vocabulary: This is all of the visual elements, in addition to your logo, that make up your business's look and feel. This includes the fonts, color schemes, photography, shapes, backgrounds, and other elements that you use.
  • The two main jobs of a Visual Vocabulary is for it to be both consistent across all of your designed materials to make sure that your company’s instantly recognizable and flexible enough for you to avoid being bored with your materials, or creating designs that look appropriate across different applications.

    Using similar elements throughout all of your materials will result in

    Planning for flexibility in your Visual Vocabulary allows you to mix things up a bit while still remaining mostly consistent with your other materials. That will help you to design your materials in different ways, but with similar features that will still tie them all together.

    Also, flexibility allows your designs to be adapted for different sizes, orientations and types of media. For example, a design for a vertical letterhead or trifold brochure cover may not translate well to the web because websites tend to be more horizontally oriented. Or, if you’re using photos as a part of your Visual Vocabulary on your website, you don’t necessarily have to upgrade all of your printed materials to use photos as well, which can be expensive to print.

    If you include both of these design elements in your website design, you will create a site that matches the rest of your materials and creates an online extension of your brand.