It’s super frustrating. You’re doing all the things you know how to do, but your content still looks messy and off-brand. Your visual assets like logos, colours, and fonts are all over the place.
Plus you’re not really a designer, but you often have to ‘do’ design—and it takes you a ton of time and mental energy to create even a “simple” social media post. You sit in front of your laptop and rack your brain …
Everyone else’s social content looks thoughtful and beautiful, why can’t mine? How did my brand get so out of control? Maybe I’m using the wrong tools? Should I redesign my entire website? I’ve already tried that twice and it hasn’t really made a difference.
Bottom line: You need your brand to look good online. You need tools and systems. You need guidance.
Forge & Spark Creative Director Lara Kroeker has got your back. With Lara’s kind and knowledgeable help—along with her amazing templates and ‘bonus’ fast-track tools—you (yes, you!) will define your visual brand and actually create a Visual Style Guide for crafting killer, premium, and consistently on-brand visual content.
Get the expert guidance you need to take your visuals from ‘meh’ to amazing, so you can clean up your brand and fall back in love with your business. So long digital clutter, hello white space!
This two-hour course (to be completed at your own pace) will show you exactly how to rebuild consistency across all of your communication channels and platforms.
It will also supply you with the tools and templates (and a few bonus ‘cheats’) that you need to get started, with plenty of visual examples for reference and inspiration.
What your Style Guide will give you is what we call a Brand Visual Ecosystem: an interconnected and diverse network of visual elements meant to bring visual life to your brand, wherever you’re expressing it visually.
The biggest takeaway you’ll get from taking this course is a fully fleshed-out, infinitely useful Style Guide. We use our own agency Style Guide template as YOUR workbook, and you’ll fill it in as we guide you.
At the end of the course you’ll have an invaluable resource for you and/or your team PLUS a slew of bonus resources!
In the course itself, we’ll start with defining a few terms that may be a little fuzzy and letting you know WHY you need to create a visual strategy.
We then fast-track you through defining who you are as a brand (Mission, Values, Personality & Style) which will shape your visual identity, and how you visually express your brand (and we have a proven process that!).
Finally we get to the meat of the course and show you all the little secrets for creating your own assets.
We conclude the course by showing you how to organize your assets in Canva for use by you and/or your team, so that you can make your design life (yep, whether you’re a designer or not!) easy and beautiful!
Here’s exactly what the course will cover…
Before you can design for a brand, there must be clarity about what a brand is. And yes, this takes time to get right. But we show you a fast-track route to getting clear on your Brand Mission, Core Values, Brand personality, and Brand Style—so that you can get a start on creating Visual Design that effectively expresses what your brand truly is.Module 2
The first step in creating a strong brand is to understand where you are starting from. That's why the Style Guide begins with a brand audit, to give you a clear sense of what visual elements you have, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.Module 3
Your brand is so more than just your logo. This module breaks down other key elements in visual design, including your colour palette, photography, iconography, and more. Lara also offers some INVALUABLE tools and shortcuts for everything from designing your logo to choosing the right colour palette.Module 4
A graduate of Emily Carr University in communication design, Lara has worked as a designer, developer, and creative director. Lara is the Creative Director for Forge & Spark Media, a women-led, Certified B Corp based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
A Webby-award-winning designer, developer, and technologist, Lara has worked with brands around the world and across many industries, creating websites for products, films, and TV series; e-commerce sites for clothing designers, stores, and record labels; and social impact sites for climate change and human rights projects. As a designer she also has worked with nonprofits and environmental organizations such as Innovation Africa, The Environmental Youth Alliance and the Canadian Labour congress; with artists such as Douglas Coupland; with journalists including CBC News’ Neil Macdonald; and with broadcast TV, contributing to series such as Down2Earth on APTN and Green Heroes on TVO.
She’s a proud mama, a passionate musician, and a committed teacher.
This course is about design and helping your to create a clear and practical style guide so visuals look consistent and aligned.
It will save you time, and it will make your design more effective. Having a strong, visual strategy will give you—and anyone working on your content, marketing, or communications—clarity on what your brand needs to look like on all channels.
Even if you don’t work in marketing or content, it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of how you want to visually represent your brand to the world.
Honestly, there’s so much good information packed into this course, that we’re a little concerned we’ve given away too much of our secret sauce. Think of your time during this course as learning time AND working time: you’ll learn more about your brand and you’ll have actually created a very impressive brand style guide that you can use or share with your team to guide their marketing. It’s a win/win for everyone.
You’ll need access to reliable internet and a Thinkific Account (which you can sign up for very quickly and easily) to be able to take the course.
Most importantly you WILL need a CANVA account.
You’ll walk away with a a brand style guide that you can share with your team, supplier and contractors so that your brand stays consistent and beautiful.
Roughly 2 hours to watch and consume the course offerings, and to complete your own brand style guide. We delivered the course in 60 minutes. We’d recommend students of the course to then take at least another hour to flesh out those items and/or discuss with their teams.