Branding for artists can feel overwhelming. Once you’ve thought about your brand, established the general feeling behind your products and started to create a look and logo, you might be feeling a little swamped. When you sit down and look at branding elements like headers, labels, packaging, business cards, shop graphics, and advertising, you start to realize how many things there are to design!
Whether you plan on doing them yourself or farming them out to others to design for you, I think you’re ready to hear some mind blowing news that will make branding for artists easier: You do not have to design each individual piece from scratch. You do not have to write each individual item description or email from scratch. There are professional marketing shortcuts that will help you create and more importantly, maintain, your branding throughout all marketing materials. I’m talking about style guides and copy decks.
Let’s tackle the concept of a style guide first. Style guides are marketing shortcuts that contain all of the style components that you will use throughout your brand. This is your brand bible. A style guide will contain fonts, colors, pattern swatches, frames, images, etc. that make up your entire brand. This is not an inspiration board, but rather an example board filled with only the final versions of personal branding for artists. The style guide can be organized any way you like, but it should be kept very organized so that you or your designer can easily access what’s needed. I do about half of all design work for my business so I keep my style guide loose so that I can mix and match items from the guide, and still maintain a uniform look.
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If you are doing your own design work, this document can be physical or electronic. It should be kept accessible for whoever needs it, and it should be maintained and updated regularly. This means tossing out old looks into the trash, or backing them up in storage for later reference. If you use a designer, they might want to create their own style guides for your business. In this case, you may want to present them with your style guide, or an inspiration board as a reference point to start with. Once the design work is complete, you should have access to the style guide for your future use.
What is a copy deck? It’s a document that contains all the text that will be placed in your shop, on tags, in emails, anywhere that text is needed. This is specific to your shop, and is a big part of branding for artists. Some of the most important writing that will happen in your shop will be product descriptions and customer communication, so keeping things organized, consistent, and easily accessible is key.
Copy Decks for Product Descriptions
Copy and Paste will become your new best friends and are great marketing shortcuts. Copy decks for product descriptions are fantastic because they’ll already have all the information you need when you post a new product. Write one document with a basic product description as a template, and then you can make versions for each specific product without having to start from scratch every time. Now, this doesn’t mean that every single item has to have the same exact description. But you may want to include some of the same information in every single listing, such as shipping notes, product care, color options, links, etc.
To get you started on these marketing shortcuts, here’s some information you may want to include in your copy deck:
-Product Code (SKU)
-Misc. info such as links, care, etc.
-Variations for multiple shops, if you have them
Here’s a sample of what a copy deck might look like:
With your new knowledge of copy decks and style guides there’s no limit to the amount of control you have over your own brand! Now you can start playing, exploring, and branding with these marketing shortcuts!