brand adjectives

List 3-5 adjectives that describe your brand, and include a few sentences that discuss how these adjectives will set the tone for design and writing in your BSG. Optionally, you can also list some adjectives that your brand is not. (Just a note that you can certainly change your brand adjectives and style as you continue working on the BSG; this is just a non-binding sort of exercise to get you started.)

25 Replies to “brand adjectives”

  1. As I was brainstorming what adjectives to use, I immediately came to an impasse. I realized that the way that I present myself visually and the way that I like things to look is almost a complete opposite to my identity or personality. Visually, I like things to feel simple, familiar, and natural. I don’t like flashy designs or too many bold colors or prints. I prefer visual elements to almost be unnoticeable because they work so well together, rather than looking good but also sticking out in contrast to their surroundings. Yet, this brand style guide is about me, and if I were to describe the inside of my mind I would use the adjectives jittery and intense. I am an anxious person who thinks a million things at once, is always fidgeting, and always takes life a bit too seriously. Therefore, trying to find a visual overlap between these two components will likely set the tone for my design as I begin to brainstorm, even if this overlap ends up being how the visual elements wrestle with one another. The attempt to grapple at why the busyness of my mind coexists with preferences for a simple and calm exterior is the point where I will start my writing. Although this seems complex, I figure that if these components can fit cohesively within me, then I should be able to find some way to marry them in my brand style guide.

  2. Optimistic, Hopeful, Dreamy, Radiant

    I participate in a lot of wishful thinking: I make a wish at 11:11 everyday, pick dandelions when I take walks, and blow on stray eyelashes whenever I get the chance. However, in a less literal sense, I am the type of person who looks to the future with hope and approaches situations with optimism as much as possible. I would like for my brand style guide to reflect these feelings and elicit the same emotions in readers. Some images that I envision are dandelions, clouds, and sunlight.

  3. Innovative, Authentic, Versatile, Unconventional

    I’ve noticed a common theme in my life that has manifested itself in both literal and metaphorical contexts: waves. From the beaches in Santa Barbara to riding the ups and downs of life, waves represent my desire to be innovative and forward-thinking but down-to-earth and authentic. Since I’m attempting to break into the UX design industry, I want my brand to reflect my love for innovation and growth while maintaining a sense of authenticity and humanity. Just like the rising and falling of waves, while I appreciate routine and stability, I often find myself seeking something new and exciting to take on. This led me to use the adjectives “versatile” and “unconventional,” reflecting my ability to adapt and my desire to be unique.

  4. Growing up, fun was always my favorite word. As the youngest cousin, I have vivid memories of my cousins teasing me for “not being any fun”, and for some reason, it really bothered me. As I got older, I decided to take control over the word by telling myself that I knew I was fun. So that is the main word for my brand. I used it in high yearbook quote, my college essays, and my presidential address at graduation.

    Other adjectives for my brand might be personal, playful, and bright.

    I would not use adjectives such as elegant or historic. I like clean and simple design – nothing too fancy. I plan to use a mix of traditional colors and fun/bright colors, a simple logo, readable (yet playful) fonts, etc.

  5. Inspiring, passionate, authentic

    Growing up, I’ve felt as if I was always being pushed by external factors to meet a degree of success in a conventional way. Ultimately, I found that these conventional degrees of success didn’t align with my aspirations in life. Because these ideas of success always felt enforced by other factors, I never had the chance to explore what I wanted in life. This made it hard for me to truly express myself in the ways that I wanted.

    Lately, I have had the time to align myself with my aspirations. I found that I had goals of success that go beyond the conventional. Some might call my goals so imaginative that it is unattainable. I want to inspire those who resonate with my brand ideals that as long as their goals come from a sense of authenticity and passion, their goals will never be too big for their imagination.

  6. Nostalgic, authentic, free

    I have always loved reminiscing and the bitter-sweet feeling of nostalgia. This shines through in my style, love for taking pictures, and approach I take on life. I think nostalgia will set the tone for my design with warm colors and vintage imagery. As for writing, nostalgia feels very caring and sweet to me. The writing could be high-hearted, not too serious.

    Authenticity is something that defines my brand. This will be showing this through design by bold colors and designs that are unapologetically me. Writing will show authenticity by using semi-humorous language when story-telling.

    I plan to show “free-ness” through design by using unique page layouts and placements of graphics. As well as images that evoke free feelings. In writing, I plan to express being free by being light hearted and easy-going.

  7. bold, urban, retro, feminine

    Initial thoughts of what I want my brand to reflect encompass the words above. I thought of all the things I love, which include big cities, funky green sweaters, Valentines Day, birthdays, Dolly Parton, and margaritas… I don’t think any of these things scream dainty, quiet or conservative. With design, initially I think of using bold, cohesive colors, and fun and quirky visuals/graphics/illustrations throughout.

  8. Genuine, Classic, Growth, Polished

    Not: Disorganized, Brash, Ostentatious

    When I think of my BSG, I want it to truly reflect how I feel and how I aspire to be. One of the best compliments I’ve received (and I can specifically recall the two times I have received the compliment) was that I was genuine. I strive to put forth my most authentic, genuine self as I feel like that is truly the only way to live. I want my BSG to come across as completely me, not some facade that would crumble with a slight push. I thought of classic as it reminds me of the idea of retro. I’ve always loved things that look older and tend to gravitate toward that type of style whenever possible. Growth was another no-brainer for me as my time in college has really centered my focus on growing and learning how to be okay with that. In fact, my plan for the BSG is to have my distinctive feature focus on growth (plants and references to growth throughout). Polished because I am someone that thrives on organization and structured, essentially a polished look because I work hard to maintain my life that way. Yet, not brash or ostentatious because I don’t like to attract attention in that way. In my day-to-day life I wear few patterns and have little to no bright colors in my wardrobe, preferring pastels or muted colors paired together. Ultimately, I’m excited to dive further into my BSG and work from these adjectives.

  9. Upbeat, cheerful, detailed, creative

    I have always thought of myself as a very upbeat and cheerful person. I am always open to having fun and am trying to stay positive and energetic. I think that this part of my personality and self-image will play a major role in my brand, such as in the color palette and illustrations.

    I have also always been extremely detail-oriented. Whenever I am working on a project, whether for school or work, I always pay attention to small details and like to ensure that everything is exactly how I want it to be. I think that this will really influence how I develop my brand style guide and design the layout.

    Another word that I think describes my brand is creative. I have discovered this through not only my school work and internships but also in my own personal hobbies and projects. I enjoy having the freedom to add my own creativity and artistic skills into my work an am always able to come up with random, fun ideas along the way as they pop into my head.

  10. 1. Inviting: I view myself as a very inviting person both in my social life and work life, whether that’s reaching out to friends or journalist/editor. I also think the most important aspect of any writing/design is making the audience feel welcomed and comfortable with the piece. This will help them engage and want to learn more.

    2. Vibrant: I am a vibrant, cheerful person and perhaps the use of a stand-out vibrant color in my BSG will help embody this characteristic.

    3. Authentic: I want my BSG to be true to myself and the things I like and enjoy.

    4. Impactful: I hope my BSG makes an impact on my audience. I one day would like to start my own company and leave an impact on this world, and I hope this vision is consistent throughout my BSG.

    5. Adaptive: Throughout my life I have adapted to new environments and stages of life while, at the same time, learn how to deal with adversity. I want to embody this trait by trying something new in terms of design (whatever that may be) and not just sticking with what I know or what I am familiar with.

  11. Nostalgic, simple and authentic is how I would describe my brand. I lean toward more muted, natural tones and simple, readable text. I love retro aesthetics, especially fashion and design from the ’70s. I take a lot of inspiration from the ’70s, from the way I dress to how I decorate my personal spaces. As for keeping things simple, I’ve found that simplicity has helped me cope with anxiety and how busy I can get. When things are more simple and there are less moving parts, it’s easier for me to preserve my peace and process things. Lastly, I would describe my brand as authentic because authenticity is one of the qualities I value most as an individual. I think being authentic is a huge key to maintaining your happiness and making meaningful connections with other people.

  12. Unconventional- I had an unconventional upbringing. My family moved around a lot and I lived in various different countries. I think this shaped my values and personal style to be open-minded. I think this will be reflected in my BSG through my somewhat eclectic writing and design style.

    Vibrant- I have always been drawn to unique and quirky design styles. I think this would reflect in my BSG through bold and bright colors.

    Refined- Although artistically I am drawn to an eclectic design style, I am very structured in my everyday life. I am a perfectionist and detail-oriented and I think this will reflect in my BSG.

  13. Three adjectives that describe my personal brand are: tasteful, dynamic, and detailed.

    My upbringing with my parents is a huge influencing factor in how I’ve cultivated a distinct palate and taste for food, fashion, music, and art throughout the years. As someone who is concerned with aesthetic in all things, I see my brand as tasteful in a way that can appeal universally. This is characterized by what I like to call sophisticated simplicity, which is emulated by the juxtaposition of clean presentation and understated graphics mixed with popping color and bold font. It catches the eye but does not overwhelm. I also find myself to be dynamic in the sense that I am constantly playing with new ideas, bringing zest and energy to my life, and building progress through growth and trying new things. I think I can represent this within my brand and guide by incorporating elements of style and graphic that I am unfamiliar with, and learning to write about new topics in a way that still represents who I am at the core. Lastly, I am someone who is highly detail-oriented, as I pay attention to how the “little things” impact the larger-scale aspects of a project or visual entity. Detail plays into my brand in many ways as I strive to capture the smaller and pleasurable nuances of life through sensory storytelling and visuals. I hope to incorporate aspects of this into my brand whether it be through design subtleties or written portions of my guide.

  14. simple: as I’ve gone through life I have come to realize I love finding the simplicity in everyday life. I tend to get overwhelmed easily and I find that there is no reason to overcomplicate aspects of my life that are perfectly fine in their simple form. While others may not feel the same way, I find that sticking to simple daily routines makes me unusually happy since I already overthink and stress over everything else in life. Using a simple and clean cut approach to my brand without complicated or overwhelming colors, images, etc is what I think will fit my personality and personal aesthetic the most. I gravitate towards buying clothes, decor, etc that are monochrome in color and simple in style. I appreciate when things aren’t overcomplicated and have a minimalist feel to them.
    soft: I would describe myself as an introverted person that finds joy in things that are subtle but not boring. Bright colors is definitely not something I gravitate towards so I think my brand will utilize softer shades and other elements that are not as bold or flashy. I don’t think that things have to be over the top in order to be appreciated. Like I mentioned, as someone who is anxious and easily overwhelmed, things that take a soft approach are what I find myself drawn to.
    comforting: I enjoy anything that can bring me comfort and help me feel at ease in any way shape or form. I’m the type of person that can watch a comfort movie/tv show over and over and never get tired of it because of the familiar feeling it brings me. I also do this with many other things such as the coffee I order or even the music I listen to. I find comfort in things that I know I have enjoyed a million times before and I especially find comfort in familiarity. I hope I am able to make my brand give off a comforting vibe/feeling with the colors, fonts, and images created.

  15. I seek to express my brand by being: Daring, humble, confident, genuine, and alive. My brand will be daring as it experiments with bold typography and vivid colors. My brand proves to be humble as I share my upbringing and how it contributed to my self-expression. I am confident in my ideas, produced work, and who I am as a person. I am truly and undoubtedly myself and I am excited to express my vivacious energy in my BSG.

    My brand and I are not: Cautious. Pompous. Simple. OR Ashamed.
    I am not cautious, I do not stray away from risks, I run directly toward them. I am proud of where I came from and who I have become, but I am/will never be pompous. I am lively, colorful, creative, and unique, never simple. I am never ashamed of who I am or how I choose to express myself.

  16. Energetic, Lively, Cheerful, Stylish

    These adjectives will set the tone for design and writing in my BSG because I want to portray my brand identity as bold and lively with a lot of colors. With this, I want to create a BSG that is enticing to look at and shows off my bubbly personality, but I also want it to look aesthetically pleasing and not too overwhelming. I think that I will have to be very careful with the colors that I choose so as not to overstimulate the audience while still maintaining a playful and radiant brand identity. With these adjectives in mind, I want to avoid being conservative, dry or too business-like because I have a very go-with-the-flow and upbeat personality that I really want to shine through to my audience.

  17. I hope to present my brand as bold yet refined, zestful, alluring, and sleek.

    I am constantly saving images that reflect the lifestyle that I want, motivating me to push my boundaries of creativity and artistic exploration through style, photography, writing, and more. Most of the images I end up saving are because they resonate with a feeling, capturing the exciting blur of an unpredictable night out, or peaceful stillness of a sun-baked afternoon. I hope to capture feeling through my BSG, at once bold and somewhat playful, yet sophisticated and sleek. I want to play with both darks and lights, inspired by the vibrant contrasts found in film photography. My BSG should be unapologetically bold, yet not overly flashy. I’m hoping it will symbolize the exploration of a more bold, independent self who I aspire to be, free from fear of judgement and unconcerned with the opinion of others. As a person who thrives under busy conditions and deteriorates under slowness, I’m hoping my BSG will present the exciting, thrilling, and playful conditions under which I hope to live. Oftentimes, I have felt afraid to explore more bold and unexpected options in my style and decisions – as I go further in life my goal is to dismiss this preoccupations. Accordingly, my BSG should at once be bold and zestful, representing a fast-paced young city lifestyle, yet alluring and sleek, capturing the still moments of reflection and thoughtfulness in between.

  18. I would describe my brand as simple and classic, yet bold and fashionable. I live by the simple is best rule. I’m not the biggest fan of patterns, fads, or flashy designs. I like that simplicity is easy, classic, and versatile. It can sometimes be subtle, and at other times bold. I tend to lean into neutral tones like white, beige, light blue, grey, and black. But my favorite color has always been purple, and I definitely enjoy my pops of color. I would love my brand to reflect this theme of simple and classic mixed with bold and fashionable. I hope to be able to communicate this style as an extension of my identity which has strong roots but has also been shaped by various unique cultural experiences, having lived in 4 very different countries.

  19. The adjectives I’d use to best describe myself and my brand are independent, caring/careful, and organized.

    I have always been an independent spirit, desiring my own decision-making and life path. While I don’t see myself as someone who goes off the beaten path, an identifying characteristic of mine is my fierce and strong-willed drive to do what I think is best or what I want for myself. I make my own way through life by pulling aspects together to make myself my own unique being. I am both caring and careful–always looking for ways to be of service and protect the ones I love. I’m constantly thinking of the possibilities that could arise and how best to prepare for them. Lastly, I am organized in a variety of senses. I thrive best when my surroundings are organized as I deem they should be, and I find order in everything to attempt to harness some control over the rollercoaster of life. These qualities combine to create a force that is prepared to achieve success in a unique yet orderly fashion.

  20. I would say that some adjectives that I want my BSG to encapsulate are bright, colorful, whimsical, inviting, and romantic. These are just a few to start with because I’m very indecisive in nature, but I think starting with these adjectives will help me with my word choice and design. For example, since I want my BSG to be more lively and exuberant, I will choose a more vibrant color scheme and some creative design elements that will appear throughout my BSG. I don’t want it to feel muted or seem like I take myself too seriously, so I imagine that the design would err on the side of abstract rather than having a lot of simplicity and straight lines. Additionally, my word choice should also not be overly sophisticated/serious; I want to have an inviting tone with a lot of creative word choice involving figurative language.

  21. Retro, vibrant, professional, thoughtful, progressive

    I selected the adjectives above because my favorite creative projects embrace such qualities. Naturally, because I want my BSG to reflect my design practice, I plan to incorporate these characteristics throughout the guide. Visually, I strive to balance vibrant, retro styles with elements that still feel somewhat modern. In my work I try my best to avoid the minimal, undeveloped, sans serif identity (if it even is an identity) that has seemed to homogenize so many new brands. I feel as though the growing fusion of graphic design with commercial advertising regularly misses opportunities to showcase the creative potential that design holds, and I want my BSG to advocate this sentiment as well. Of course, I highly value professionalism in my work. While I love embracing color and whimsy, I never want all sophistication to fly out the window. Attention to detail, and elevated language in my BSG will help to maintain a professional tone. Finally, in accordance with a thoughtful language choice, the words I use will be inclusive and progressive, for example, using gender neutral forms of address.

  22. I really struggled in my writing of this discussion post, typing out adjectives, sentences, and paragraphs, only to delete, rephrase, rewrite, and delete them all over again. I found that as I came up with adjectives, some new ones seemed to juxtapose ones already written, and I struggled to conceptualize how I would emulate not only the adjectives themselves, but then these juxtapositions as well, through the elements of my BSG. So, I decided that would be a problem for me to deal with a bit later down the line:). Here are some of my adjectives that didn’t cause those issues: simple, sophisticated, timeless, bold, determined

  23. 1. Understated: I am very intentional about most of the things I do and the ways I choose to spend my time or express myself. However, a lot of those decisions and the thought behind them come across in subtle ways and flow seamlessly into the way that I live my life. In terms of design, I think my Brand Style Guide will involve a lot of intentional movements and will be put together with a lot of thought and care, but it may not be immediately obvious to my audience.
    2. Multi-dimensional: Playing off of my understated nature, I have a lot going on under the surface. I have a vast amount of interests and am intrigued by a plethora of different ways of expressing my creativity. In my BSG I will have to find a way to make those different interests and styles come across in a cohesive way while still being reflective of who I am.
    3. Spirited: As a child, my parents often described me as spunky. While I’m not sure I would use that word to describe myself now, the spunky child I used to be definitely has its place in who I am now as a 22-year-old adult. I still look at life in the same way, albeit with a better understanding of what the word “responsibility” means, but in a lot of ways, I am just as bright-eyed as I was then. I think the BSG will provide me with an opportunity to really engage with the youthful and spirited side of myself and the way I express creativity.

  24. Creative, modern, and timeless

    These are just a few adjectives that I automatically think of when I think of my BSG. I feel like I would want my brand to express creativity and draw people in by how unique it is. I also want it to have elements that are slightly modern so add a twist to it. In addition I want the brand to feel timeless so that it never goes out of style. However, I definitely feel like I will add more adjectives in the future to make it pop a little more.

  25. I would say adjectives that describe me are adorable, wild, serious. If I can add another adjective, I would add professional as well to describe my brand.

    A lot of people say I’m a very energetic person and so, that’s why I chose the adjective wild. It’s also the reason why I chose the word adorable because people say I’m very kind, supportive, and helpful to anybody.

    I’m also a very serious person because I care very much about the work that I do and I want to work really hard to achieve my goals and dreams. This is also the reason why I put the word professional because I take my work seriously and professionally and everything that I do, I want it to be perfect!

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