How to define your brand’s design aesthetic

In this article, you will find valuable tools to help you understand what you like aesthetically so you can have: Better websites, easy communication with your graphic designer, higher sales, and cohesive branding. 

Understanding how to communicate what you want to a graphic/website designer can be a challenge. Art and artistic style is subjective, and people’s tastes vary dramatically. 

You may have a sense of what you like and don’t like when it comes to imagery and design. Still, when you try to put it into words, your mind goes blank – or even worse – you tell a designer what you want, and they come up with the exact opposite! 

Getting a hold of your specific aesthetic is essential when developing a strong brand. 

  • First, you want to identify how YOU want your brand’s aesthetic to look. 
  • Next, you need to make sure it’s one that your TARGET AUDIENCE (potential buyer) will like. 

If you are designing your own website, it’s even more critical to establish a strong visual aesthetic early on. 

When you understand how you want things to look aesthetically, you:

  • Can better communicate that to your whole team
  • Enjoy the process of collaboration with graphic designers because things come out looking right
  • Save yourself from endless revisions on your website
  • Develop a strong, recognizable brand that appeals to your target audience

Determining your artistic style

Step number one in getting more precise about your artistic style is honing in on what you like (and don’t like) visually. 

Websites like Behance and Pinterest are great places to start. 

Look through different illustrations and graphic designs:

  1. Make a folder of all the designs you like
  2. Then make another folder of all the designs you don’t like

You can also do this with full websites and brands: 

  1. Pick one of your favorite brands and look at their website. Begin dissecting their color pallette choice, fonts, and overall style and take notes about what you like about it.
  2. Now find a website that you don’t like (it can be helpful if this site is in a similar industry and yours). Pull apart what you don’t like about it and try to put it in exact words. 

When I work with clients on branding, one of the first steps I take in creating the brand guidelines is just this. I have clients point to websites that they like and websites that they don’t like. When working ‘one on one’ with me, I help clients to articulate and understand what it is that they do or don’t like about any given website.

As a designer and marketer, it is so crucial for me to understand what a client’s specific aesthetic is, along with what will appeal to their target audience. 

If you have yet to find a designer to work with, or have decided to do it yourself, having these guidelines in place will save you countless headaches. By knowing precisely what you want aesthetically from the get-go, you set yourself up for success in the long run. 

My personal aesthetic and the importance of cohesion

Take a look at the various pages of my personal website, you can probably notice that a collage style aesthetic is one I enjoy. I’ve developed this unique style over many years, and it continues to evolve with each illustration I do. 

What I mainly want you to notice is the cohesion that this creates. Having a cohesive brand aesthetic establishes trust whin clients. They see that your brand is strong, not scattered, and this also leads to easy brand recognition. 

For my other company, Reflective Brands, I focus on a slightly different aesthetic. As a creative agency that specializes in marketing through cutting edge technologies – our brand aesthetic is geared towards the minimalistic, technological aesthetic.

Observation Exercise: 

  1. As you review these two websites, make it an exercise to analyze the two different aesthetics. 
  2. See if you can identify the color palette and image choice.
  3. Put in your own words how you would classify each aesthetic and what type of person (target persona) you think it appeals to. 

By doing this small study, you are building your design vocabulary so that you can better communicate in the language of design to others. 

Trust me, you’ll be sounding like a pro in no time!


This is just the beginning of refining and creating your own personal design aesthetic, but its a great place to start! As you develop a more precise idea of your design preferences, you will find success across all your marketing platforms. 

As you establish a strong brand aesthetic, you can showcase it on social media posts, blogs, digital ads, and your website. By having a cohesive image, your potential buyers will begin to trust your brand on a deeper level. 

Great Resources:

  1. If you need more inspiration and direction on popular design trends, check out this recent post
  2. Also, make sure to follow me on Pinterest. I have a specific board dedicated to website design that you will find super helpful!
  3. And if you want to take an even deeper dive into DIY branding and marketing, make sure to let me know you are interested in my upcoming online course. You can sign up for notifications below. 
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Here is to a creative aesthetic that is uniquely you!