It is almost National Women’s Equality Day! To celebrate we wanted to share with you some tips we’ve figured out when designing for female driven branding projects.
We can’t help but notice (and roll our eyes a little) that when designers create a logo, website, brochure, etc. with women in mind, more often than not it is bright pink and more than a little cheesy.
You don’t need to douse everything with pink and pastels to make a brand “female-friendly.” Nor do you need scalloped borders, curly Victorian ornaments, youthful script fonts, clip art heels and martini glasses, or stock photography of women smiling while eating a salad. Far too many brands seem to yell, “Look at me! I’m relevant to women!” This approach is obvious, ineffective, and often quite alienating.
A subtler, more nuanced approach that makes an effort to engage with the individual is the better choice. You simply need good, authentic design. If you are true to your brand, your audience will know it. Often what works for one audience works because it uses good design. And good design appeals to all genders.
This doesn’t mean that we are condemning the color pink – if we have a client who says pink is their spirit-color then of course, we are going to use pink! The point is authenticity – helping women discover what individual and unique story they are telling through their brand and developing it into a package that others can grab a hold of.
Here are some tips in developing female driven branding:
- Part of what makes a company feel authentic is when they stay consistent, so start with a great branding guide that keeps you on track. If there is confusing messaging, marketing, and design, a brand can feel untrustworthy. Be in tune with your core values that have real meaning and impact on women, and find a design that shouts to them that you are steadfast in your mission and convictions.
- Use high quality imagery of REAL women doing things REAL women might actually do. Women can sniff out the lack of authenticity in a photo or ad in a split second. You might have a really great product and a really great mission, but messy imagery and overly-cheesy photos will feel like you have something you are trying up-sell.
- Skip the fluff. Use compelling copy that engages women on the ground level. If what you are saying would feel forced or fake face-to-face, then don’t expect that it would effectively invite them to engage with your brand. Picture yourself talking to your female audience over a cup of coffee – what would you ask them, how would you posture yourself towards them, and what would be the most meaningful thing you have to offer them?