When first opening a business, or when going through a facelift on your brand later on, it can become easy to get lost in a world of design, color and font. Questions like, “What kind of logo should I create?,” “Is this blue too dark?” or “Do I even like this at all anymore?,” will come up constantly.

Kyle Dyer, the creative director for Peake Media, sat down with Mindful Studio to share his wealth of knowledge on all things branding and design.

Mindful Studio: When first opening a business or trying to create a brand’s look and feel, what are some key points to keep in mind?

Kyle Dyer: I think it’s really essential to have a good understanding of what you want your brand to stand for, especially in the beginning. And, not just visually, but what’s the personality you want to convey to the public? Do you want customers to view your business as funky, eclectic and humorous, or do you lean more toward sleek, calming and aspirational? I would suggest that if you’re creating a brand for a company, really nail down the personality traits and adjectives that would describe your ideal brand. Then, use those descriptions as a guide for every step of the process. Look back and ask yourself if the decisions you’re making match the aesthetic values of your brand.

MS: When it comes to colors, are there any specifics to keep in mind for what colors work well together or how you should determine which represent your brand?

KD: Colors have so many associations with viewers consciously and subconsciously. Once you know the qualities and personality you want your brand to have, do some research into colors that have a connection to those qualities. Blues can be seen as calming, corporate and trustworthy, while oranges can represent activity, urgency or danger. There are so many hidden meanings behind color, but it’s also good to think about the practical side, too. What do your competitors use? How can you stand apart from others in your community? Are there local or regional color associations that you want to steer clear of? Then once you’ve made a decision, look back and see if it matches the personality you’re hoping to create.

MS: In terms of logo design, are there any tips or advice you could give on what makes a good logo?

KD: Logos are successful when they are simple, clear, unique and memorable. Those are your targets. You want customers to be able to differentiate your brand from your competitors, and you want it to be immediately recognizable. I would suggest some self-restraint when developing a logo. It doesn’t need to encapsulate anything and everything about your business—there are so many other places you can tell that story. It just needs to a symbol of your business that matches your brand aesthetics. And, really, an even more important aspect is how you use your logo. Consistency is key.

MS: What are some tips to convey your brand through social media and marketing?

KD: Social media and marketing are where you can really let your voice shine through type, photography and the actual language you use. Use photos that would appeal to your customer base and reflect the demographics you are trying to reach. Be consistent in the use of your logo, colors and fonts. Less is more in most cases.