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Exploring the summer brand personality

Aug 11, 2022 | Brand personality, Visual Brand

Explore the characteristics of the summer brand personality and learn how to effectively inject elements of the summer personality into your brand experience. [affiliate links may be used, at no additional cost to you. thank you for supporting witt and company!]


When I first started learning about brand and branding, the question of ‘how’ always came bubbling up to the top.

“But how did they create such a kickass brand?”

“But how did she get to that point of raving fans?”

“But how does the brand look and feel so effortless?”

And then.

And then I stumbled upon a podcast episode featuring Fiona Humberstone and the ‘how’ started to take shape.

She talked about how every brand identified with a certain season and that season had a specific set of guidelines based on its desired experience. She used this concept in her own branding agency when working with clients and talked about how it was so easy to implement because it gave clients an understanding of their decisions. It became a common language she could use with both her employees and the brands they worked with.

As soon as I finished the podcast episode, I jumped online and purchased her two books, her Colour for Creatives course and downloaded all her free content. I read up on seasonal psychology and color psychology, taking in all the knowledge.

And then I started implementing these ideas with my client work; four years later, seasonal brand theory is still a staple in our client process.

Which brings me to today – we’re doing a deep dive into the summer brand season; not only characteristics and traits, but also guidelines on how to effectively implement said characteristics and traits into your own brand.

The goal is that when you utilize the guidelines of your most-aligned brand season (Not sure which one is right for you? Check out this post.), you enhance your brand’s personality. And because seasonal brand theory is rooted in color psychology and seasonal theory, they have purpose and intent behind them. I.e., Rather than picking a color palette just because it looks good, you end up making a decision with intention – and I believe, that’s the how in creating a strong brand.

Quick note/disclaimer: This isn’t an all-or-nothing perspective. Implementing your aligned brand season is not about checking all the boxes to ensure your brand aligns perfectly with the outlined traits and recommendations. But rather, viewing the seasonal traits as more of guidelines that you can utilize as a starting point and/or baseline for your brand strategy and identity.

Last note. Your brand’s season is about how your brand is experienced. It’s not necessarily how YOU feel as a human but rather, how you want your brand to be perceived and experienced by others.

Okay, let’s talk summer.
 

IN THIS ARTICLE

>> What is seasonal brand theory?
>> High level, what is the summer brand season?
>> Aligned brand archetypes
>> Summer brand season: voice and communication style
>> Summer brand season: colors
>> Summer brand season: typography
>> Summer brand season: graphics and textures
>> Summer brand season: photography style
>> Implementing the summer brand personality
>> Additional brand resources.

 

What is seasonal brand theory?

Seasonal brand theory is a framework for brand personality creation. The basic idea is: once you determine how you want your brand to be experienced, you will identify with a particular season, and that season has a set of unique characteristics and traits that enhance your desired brand experience. From the words on a website to the photography styling to the color palette, each season has a set of guidelines that embody and evoke emotions based on color psychology and seasonal theory.

Now, to reiterate what was said above: these aren’t hard and fast rules. But rather, erasable boundary lines to help you stay on track.

 

High level, what is the summer brand season?

The summer brand is refined, aspirational and elegant. They’re focused on detail and organization.

Summer brands focus on quality and have a commitment to luxury and style. They appreciate creative problem solving and leave no stone left unturned. Detail is of the utmost importance and they tend to have a strong sense of responsibility. They are more reserved and tend to hold back their thoughts, unless directly asked.

You may most align with the summer brand if your desired brand experience is: Elegant, refined, high quality, balance, calm, serious, supportive, responsible, delicate, simple, romantic

When using a framework like seasonal brand theory, I also find it helpful to identify a spectrum or pendulum of characteristics, to help identify what it leans towards and what it leans away from.

Summer personality pendulum: More organized and efficient, less chaos; more structure and professionalism, less whimsy and casual; more delicate and quaint, less loud and exuberant.
 

Aligned brand archetypes

Quick reminder, brand archetypes are characterizations of a brand’s personality based on their behaviors, patterns and images, and are derived from Jung’s original set of personality archetypes.

Before we dive into the aligned archetypes, let’s first dig into why. Why use brand archetypes with brand seasons; why not just one or the other?

At a micro level, these two frameworks provide different areas of support and information as you build out the brand personality. Archetypes mostly focus on behaviors and drivers (internal work) while seasons mostly focus on visuals (external work). Meaning, end up pairing really well together. Again, the entire goal here is to give yourself even more opportunities to create a memorable and identifiable personality for your brand, which increases the likelihood that your audience will connect with you.

Okay, now that I have you convinced (right?!), here are the archetypes that align with the summer brand season:

The Caregiver: They want to make people feel safe. Their brand voice is warm, caring and compassionate.

The Lover: They inspire close relationships and connection. Their brand voice is empathetic, soothing and sensual.

The Ruler: They foster stability and trust by maintaining order and control. Their brand voice is articulate, orderly and straightforward.
 

Summer brand season: voice and communication style

Your brand’s voice and tone are what draw your audience in and make your brand recognizable. They play an active role in every single brand touch point. Which means, every brand has an opportunity to create a distinct, memorable and personality-driven brand voice and communication style. Seems a little daunting, right? But, here’s the good news – when you identify your right brand season, you give yourself some structure and boundaries on how to best define and bring to life your brand’s voice and tone.

Summer brand personality voice and communication style

The voice of a summer personality is measured, formal and polished.They communicate in a way that is more on the serious side, is free from spelling errors and always grammatically correct. This means using high quality language and speaking more intricately. The copy is detailed, controlled and graceful. They’re known for being sensible, mature and neat.

Summer personality pendulum: The voice is more careful and classic, less casual and energetic; more precise and deliberate, less edgy and serious; more reserved and aspirational, less fun and playful.
 

Summer brand season: colors

Because of color psychology, your brand colors have a lot of power to influence and enhance your brand’s perception and personality. No pressure, right?! But again, when you lean into your aligned brand season, you’re able to utilize color psychology for your benefit.

Summer brand personality colors

Summer personality colors are cool, muted and elegant. Think low saturation and blue undertones. The goal in using summer colors is to enhance the elegance and high quality that summer brands are known for. Looking for some more palette inspiration? Check out this post.

Summer personality pendulum: Colors are more cool with blue undertones, less warm with yellow undertones; more muted and pastel, less saturated and bright; more tint and light, less shade and dark.


 

Summer brand season: typography

Typography and font selection is an often-overlooked visual element when creating a consistent and cohesive brand experience. But as with every branding element, type can play a significant role in enhancing your brand’s personality.

Summer brand personality typography

Summer typography is elegant, delicate and refined. As you can see in the examples below, the font weight (how bold it is) is low, so think font weight as thin, light or regular. The script fonts are intricate, elegant and romantic-looking. Think serif and elegant script fonts.

Summer personality pendulum: Typography is more detailed and delicate, less strong and heavy; more structured and intricate, less bouncy and bubbly; more serif and elegant script, less sans serif and playful script.

 

Summer brand season: graphics and textures

Similar to font selection, graphics, textures and patterns are a great way to infuse personality into your brand that are often left out of the visual identity. Not necessarily on purpose, but rather, for lack of understanding. I.e., the most common question we get from clients is, “But how do we actually use the brand pattern?”

Side note: If that sounds familiar, check out this post.

All of that to say, brand patterns, graphics and textures can really enhance your desired brand experience.

Summer brand personality graphics, patterns and textures

Continuing on with this thread of elegance, it will come as no surprise that summer patterns are delicate, organized and graceful. They’re detailed with a timeless aesthetic. Graphics are classic and luxurious. Textures are high quality and clean.

In the examples below, you can see there is a plethora of detail and intricateness. Lines are precise and refined. Placement is organized and intentional. There isn’t a lot of business, but rather beautiful precision.

Summer personality pendulum: Graphics and patterns are more organized and detailed, less chaotic and haphazard; more clean and polished, less playful and busy; more intricate and refined, less bold and funky.


 

Summer brand season: photography style

I’m saving my most favorite for last – photography. When done with intention, photography is a wonderful way to enhance and accentuate the brand’s personality. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, no pressure. But, as with every other element we’re covering, photography style is an important element of creating a consistent and cohesive brand experience.

Summer brand personality photography style

Summer photos are all about quality and elegance. They’re calming, soft and have an air of stillness. Organization, structure and clean lines are core principles of the photo’s composition. Beautiful florals, vintage vases and luxurious linens are great styling additions.

Closing up with our personality pendulum: Photos are more structured and organized, less busy and cluttered; more creative and elegant, less bold and contemporary; more polished and formal, less playful and informal.


 

Implementing the summer brand personality

The most important piece to remember – your brand’s personality will develop, evolve and grow as long as you keep taking action.
So, what action is the right one to take?

It depends on your capacity but I’m going to assume you’re wanting quick, actionable ideas. In which case, I’d recommend starting with your brand’s voice and tone since that is usually the quickest and least time consuming to implement. Take a look at your social media captions or email sequence and see how you can inject more of the personality into those brand touch points. Test and experiment to see what resonates with your audience and what feels aligned for you as the business owner.

Once you feel good about the voice and communication style, audit your visual brand (logo, fonts, colors, graphics, etc.) and see where the disconnect is between your brand’s voice and how it’s being brought to life through your visual elements. While this can be open to interpretation, there usually are one or two areas that can be improved.

Last, but not least, please keep in mind that enhancing your brand’s personality doesn’t have to be an entire overhaul (although, if you’re wondering if that’s your next right step, read this post) and can be done in small, baby steps. But of course, if you’re looking for support and want to do everything in one sweep, schedule a call. We’d love to help bring your entire brand experience to life!

With that, happy (summer) branding!

 

All my best,

 

Additional Blog Resources

For even more visual examples and inspiration, check out my summer personality Pinterest board.

Want the full rundown on Seasonal Brand Theory and Color Psychology? Check out this post.

Not sure how to pick your brand’s season? This faux case study walks through the process.

Read more about the spring brand here, fall brand here and winter brand here.

Your brand’s personality can come to life by determining the season and archetype that most resonate with your desired brand traits.

Discover your brand archetype so you can create a solid framework around building your brand.

Identify your brand’s personality in 5 simple steps.

 

Additional Seasonal Color Theory and Color Psychology Resources

Color psychology resources from The Brand Stylist
Four season color analysis
Colour for Creatives course from The Brand Stylist
The hub for all things color psychology
Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone
How to Style your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson

 

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