Brand Minimally for Maximum Impact

Too used to writing novels, authors often overcomplicate their public persona, thinking if only they squeeze in a few more details, they’ll finally be understood. But in truth, the most evocative and memorable brands are often the cleanest. Think of the Twitter bird. Always the same shape; always the same sky blue. How many eyes does the Twitter bird have? How many legs? Clarity is the essence of communication.

Just as you wouldn’t plant signs in the ground before you knew which direction to point, you shouldn’t pick brand elements before you know what they describe. And even then, you need to make sure those signposts are clear in their directions. Does your headshot, logo font, and brand color all make the same promise to potential readers? Do your tagline, bio, and pen name all say so specifically?

When in doubt, think of the Nike swoosh, the Target target, the Apple apple. Ask why. As in, why is the swoosh so smooth? Why is the apple always silver? What does every detail promise about that brand? Then go back to your own elements and revise. Crop everything down to the essentials, until all that’s left is a single promise: What do you specifically offer readers that no one else does?

Let your brand do the talking… so that you can do the writing.