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Building an authentic brand: telling your story with design

Updated: May 13

Are you feeling held back by your current branding, packaging, or website design? Trust me, you're not alone.

We know that as successful, innovative, and creative entrepreneurs, you strive to create a sustainable and thriving business which embodies your values and allows you freedom to make your business work around your lifestyle. But if your branding isn't reflecting your true story and purpose, you may be missing out on genuine connections and growth opportunities.

At Octarine Design, I understand the importance of connecting authentically with your audience through effective visual communication. In this article, we'll dive into the power of storytelling in brand design and show you how to craft a compelling brand narrative that resonates with your target market. I'll guide you through actionable steps to help you build an authentic brand that showcases who you truly are and connects deeply with your audience. Together, we'll explore the art of developing a compelling brand narrative, incorporating your personal values, and creating a consistent brand experience across various touchpoints.

By infusing your designs with authenticity and purpose, you'll establish yourself as an expert in your industry while forging genuine connections with your customers.

Ready to take your brand to the next level? Let's explore how you can captivate your audience, inspire trust, and grow your business by authentically telling your story through design. Here's a little look at the topics we'll be covering:

Remember, your brand deserves to shine, and we're here to support you every step of the way. So, grab a cup of tea, find a cozy spot, and let's dive in!

Developing a Compelling Brand Narrative:

When you think of some of the most successful businesses or your personal favourite brands - the ones you can't live without - they all share something in common. They are all lead by a purpose, for a desire to make change and create a lasting impact in their world. It is this initial purpose that guided and helped them build a strong brand narrative. A narrative that dives into the reason their business exists.

By establishing this powerful narrative - this purpose and reasoning behind your business, you start to build a strong and clear foundation for your brand. One that will help influence and shape the design and identity of your brand, creating an authentic and appealing experience that will captivate your audience.

But where to begin?

How can I identify the key elements of my brand story?

Take a moment to reflect on the path that led you to where you are today. What inspired you to start your business? When we think of this question, it's important to keep asking why until we get to the core reasoning behind your decisions. I can be pretty confident that, when asked the question, 'why did you start your own business?' the majority of people will answer, 'to be my own boss'. And whilst, of course that is the case, that answer doesn't help to build a brand narrative - it doesn't tell us the purpose behind your business. Once we've dug deeper we can then consider how these elements shape your brand's story.

Crafting a compelling brand story involves understanding your target audience intimately. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what they desire, what pain points they have, and how your business can provide solutions. Your brand story should evoke emotions and show how your products or services can enrich their lives. Whether it's promoting sustainability, innovation, or creativity, tailor your narrative to align with the values and aspirations of your ideal customers. This will create a powerful connection that goes beyond a mere transaction.

Once we have the purpose established, its also important to think about where you see your business heading - how do you want the story to continue? Think about the challenges you've overcome, the lessons you've learned, and the impact you want to make. Let's be aspirational here and think about the big picture. In an ideal world, how will you want your business to help shape and influence your industry? These insights will help you craft a brand story that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition.

Now that we've identified the key elements that make up your brand story, it's time for you to create your own...

Start by jotting down the significant moments in your business journey, the values that drive you, and the unique aspects of your products or services. Use these points as a guide to craft a cohesive brand narrative that will resonate with your target audience. Remember, your story is an integral part of your brand's identity, and by sharing it authentically, you'll attract customers who resonate with your values and purpose.

Incorporating Personal Values:

The values you create for your business help to establish the type of business you are looking to build. They are how you want the world to perceive you and should be used as guidelines for every decision that you make within your business. Your brand values are one of the many aspects that will set you apart from your competitors and help you to carve your own unique path in your industry.

When creating the list of values that you want your business to stand for, it can be helpful to think upon your personal values and why they're important to you as, chances are, they will also help influence the decisions you make for your business. For example, if you are an advocate for living a sustainable lifestyle, this is something that will be important for you to integrate into your business. From the type of materials you using for packaging or printed collateral, to the environmental procedures you put in place in your office, this value will help shape and influence the way in which you run your business.

What are some effective strategies for incorporating personal values into my brand's design?

Ensuring that your business values align with your personal ones allows you to create authenticity within your brand. This is also another way to build connection and trust with your audience - after all you want to be attracting people who share your values.

a tablet showing the free guide: how to create your brand values

When it comes to writing down the values you want for your business, it is crucial to not just think about why that value is important to you, but also how you are going to ensure it is implemented in the day to day running of your business. Without a plan of how your values can help shape your business, they can lose their authenticity by simply becoming a list of well meaning words with no actual purpose.

If you're looking for some more guidance on how to create a set of meaningful brand values, I have a free workbook for you. Click here to download 'How to Create your Brand Values: a guide to help you create a set of values for your business to live by.'

Infusing Designs with Authenticity, Purpose and Personality:

Authentic design has the remarkable ability to create a genuine emotional connection with your target audience. When your designs align with your brand's values and purpose, they become a powerful tool to capture attention and build trust. By infusing your designs with authenticity, you can evoke emotions that resonate with your customers on a deeper level. This emotional connection serves as the foundation for building long-lasting relationships with your audience.

To create designs that truly resonate, it's crucial to understand your audience's desires and pain points. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what motivates and inspires them. By gaining insights into their needs and aspirations, you can tailor your design elements to address their specific challenges and aspirations. Authentic design goes beyond aesthetics; it communicates empathy and understanding, showing your audience that you genuinely care about their well-being.

How can sustainable and eco-conscious design choices enhance the authenticity of my brand?

Sustainable and purpose-driven design is a powerful way to enhance your brand's authenticity. By integrating eco-conscious choices into your design process, you demonstrate your commitment to a better future. Whether it's using recyclable materials for packaging or incorporating sustainable practices into your production, these choices showcase your brand's values and resonate with like-minded customers. Purpose-driven design, on the other hand, goes beyond aesthetics and focuses on how your products or services can positively impact people's lives. By highlighting the purpose behind your brand, you establish credibility and attract customers who align with your mission.

Now it's time to brainstorm design elements that reflect your brand's purpose and values. Consider the visual cues that can communicate your brand's authenticity, purpose, and personality. Think about colours, typography, imagery, and other visual elements that align with your brand's story and resonate with your target audience. It can be helpful to take a look at other brands (in various industries) that you admire and that share a similar purpose and values as you. See what design elements they have used and whether there are aspects of those that you could incorporate into your own branding.

Remember though, that the goal here is to create branding that stands out and that is memorable for your audience so ensure that you are adding your own personal touch and not just copying what others have done. Take the time to experiment and explore different options. By infusing your designs with intention and meaning, you'll create a visual language that captivates your audience and sets your brand apart.

Creating a Consistent Brand Experience:

Once you have taken the time and effort of building an authentic and purpose-driven brand, that truly resonates with your audience - it's important that you remain consistent.

What roles do typography, colour palette, and imagery play in conveying authenticity through design?

Consistency across different touchpoints is crucial in building a strong and recognizable brand. When your audience interacts with your brand across various platforms and channels, maintaining a consistent brand experience is essential to establish trust and establishing brand recognition. Consistency ensures that your audience can easily recognize and connect with your brand, regardless of whether they encounter it on your website, social media, or through your packaging. It builds familiarity, which in turn leads to a stronger brand recall and a lasting impression.

To maintain a cohesive brand experience, it is important to pay attention to typography, colour palette, and imagery.


An important point to start with is that the font used for your logo should not be used anywhere else in your branding. Your logo should be completely unique and is going to be one of the key elements in building a memorable brand. If you then start using the same font in other areas of your branding - for

example on social media posts or in the copy for your website - your logo will no longer stand out and won't be as memorable or recognisable to your audience.

Instead select fonts that align with your brand's personality and complement the font used in your logo. Then make sure you use them consistently across all touchpoints. I would recommend keeping to between two to four fonts as a general rule. The more fonts you include in your branding - the more confused it can become.

Colour palette

Similarly, a consistent colour palette reinforces your brand's visual identity. It can be quite tempting to select your brand palette based on your favourite colours. Instead, focus on how you want your audience to feel when interacting with your brand, then select colours that help to evoke those emotions. Then use them consistently across your branding, packaging, and website design.


Brand imagery is quite often forgotten about when crafting a brand identity. However, it can have a profound impact in how your brand is perceived by your audience. If you are able to, investing in professional photography, shot specifically for your brand, will be an invaluable investment for your business. However, this isn't always a possibility and we are lucky now that there are several websites that specialise in providing stunning free stock imagery and video for you to use. (Unsplash and Pexels are two of my favourites.) When selecting imagery to use across your branding, try to ensure that the images are all consistent in style, tone, and quality to the rest of your brand to help create a cohesive visual experience.

An ideal way to help you remain consistent with your branding is by creating a brand guidelines document or style sheet that details exactly what fonts, colours and style of imagery to use. If you have this kept handy, you can refer to it any time you need to.

How can I assess the effectiveness of my current brand design and identify areas for improvement?

Conducting regular brand audits is a great way to ensure consistency across all your brand touchpoints. Take a comprehensive look at your website, social media profiles, packaging, and any other touchpoints where your audience interacts with your brand. Evaluate whether the typography, colour palette, and imagery align with your brand's identity and if they convey a consistent message. Make note of any inconsistencies or areas that need improvement. This audit will provide valuable insights and help you identify opportunities to enhance the cohesiveness and quality of your brand experience.

In conclusion, building an authentic brand through design is the key to unlocking meaningful connections with your target audience. By crafting a compelling brand narrative that aligns with your values, incorporating your personal touch, and creating a consistent brand experience, you can set yourself apart as an expert in your industry.

Throughout this article, we've explored the power of storytelling in brand design and how it can foster emotional connections with your audience. We've emphasized the importance of reflecting your personal values and infusing them into your visual identity, as well as maintaining consistency across all touchpoints. By doing so, you'll create a cohesive brand experience that resonates with your customers.

Remember, authenticity and purpose go hand in hand. By embracing sustainable and eco-conscious design choices, you can elevate your brand's authenticity even further.

Now it's your turn to take action. Conduct a brand audit, reflect on your story and values, and identify opportunities for improvement. If you're ready to embark on a transformational journey, please book a discovery call with Octarine Design. Together we can help bring your authentic brand vision to life and create a lasting impact in your industry. Remember, your story matters, and your brand deserves to shine brightly. Together, let's captivate, inspire, and thrive through the power of authentic design.

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