Friday, 15 January 2010

Branding Your Arts Business

Any good business knows how important branding is to a marketing strategy and we can even recognise some brands without seeing their name (Nike is a good example). Identifying your unique selling point can help you develop your brand and make your on-line arts business instantly recognisable.

Aleximo Croissant

One way to get noticed is to have a recognisable Banner or Heading displayed on your website or on-line "shop". You can also add an avatar to represent your business and reproduce it on all your marketing materials such as: business cards, compliments slips, letter heads, invoices, postcards and shipping labels.

But if, like me, you are clueless about computer design, help is at hand. Rather than displaying a badly designed, graphically messy banner, with blurry images and poor colour, you can now buy a banner or entire marketing package on-line.


What are you looking for in Branding Design? Well it all depends what you want. Retro? Vintage? Hand made? Slick? There's a design for everyone. It is cheaper to buy an off-the-peg design rather than custom made but, with custom made you can include images of your work. You can also go back to the designer and request changes until you are happy with the results.

Busy Bree

Working with a designer. If you are going to purchase a custom made design you should be clear about your requirements before you purchase. I usually approach the designer with a few questions before I buy such as, how long will it take to design? How many changes can I request? (3 is a reasonable number) and can I see examples of the designer's work?
It's quite difficult for a designer to visualise something that's in your head and you are describing with words. It's a good idea to send a link of your website and/or some images of your work. I also give a description of the kind of customer I am trying to attract which helps the designer pin-point exactly what you want from the design. Remember - a designer won't want to invest time and energy trying to create the perfect image just to have the customer renege on the deal.


Don't buy and complain afterwards. If you are not satisfied with the designer's work then walk away but don't mess them around - be honest. You get what you pay for - so if you are looking for the perfect marketing material don't expect miracles with an off-the-peg image. And finally ... copyright. The designer owns that design, even after purchase. You do not have the right to use the test or rejected designs that you did not purchase and you cannot credit the design as your own.

In this post I have shown the work of four designers. They are just my personal taste and not a representation of all graphic design that can be purchased on-line.


  1. totally agree with this - in fact i mentioned it as my top tip in an interview with nifty knits - i spent a long time working out my shop on paper and trying to define how I wanted people to percieve my shop - I went with a kawaii style, fun and bright and just candy colours, a really select palette, I then tried hard to make sure that this followed through in every design choice I make, whether it be stationary or stall design.

  2. Thanks for your input Haptree. I know your shop - it's very distincive.

  3. Advertising with the use of postcards, is very good strategy when your budget is not that big.