What items should we consider when building our brand?
When creating a brand for a voice actor, I consider the following:
1. Think about the qualities of your voice. Is it bright and breezy, authoritative, laid-back, or quirky? Seek advice on this from fellow actors, classmates, tutors, agents who represent you, and people who have hired you. Be prepared for the answer, the natural voice quality you think you have might be quite different from what others hear!
2. What kind of energy do you typically bring to a read? Are you a spokesperson, a trusted neighbor, or are you high energy and bouncing off the walls?
3. What sort of clients would be drawn to your particular style of voice? Would it be luxury goods stores, car-makers, grocery stores, or documentary filmmakers? Think about which categories of work your voice is likely to be useful for, and write them down.
4. Pick out colors, textures, and images that appeal to you — for whatever reason. It can be useful to create a mood board for yourself or a graphic designer. Tear out pages from magazines showing elements that you like, or assemble a collection of favorite objects.
5. Repeat this exercise with items that you find unappealing.
All of this will create a background to inform the look of your brand.
How will actors use their brand?
Outputs for a brand may include business cards and other stationery, websites, and marketing or promotional materials. In terms of how much control you have over your brand, you should end up with something that you feel is a true reflection of you as an actor, leaves a good and accurate impression of you, and is a useful reminder of your talents.
How do you know when it’s right?
When working through visuals towards a final design, I always tell my clients that if it looks or feels wrong in any way, then it is wrong. Don’t be bamboozled by design-
speak or feel that the person who’s creating your look is an expert and must therefore know best. Never forget that it’s your brand and you must feel confident in how it works for you and be proud of how it looks.
What’s good and what’s bad branding?
It’s a useful exercise when we’re developing our own brands as voice-over artists to think about what sort of imagery and icons the most well-know brands have adopted. Generally the most successful will not have taken the most obvious route and there is an element of surprise or fun in their approach. It’s a good idea to avoid well- known visual clichés. While there’s no particular reason not to use a microphone or a clapperboard, do keep in mind that these are often the first things that everyone thinks of when creating a brand in this business. They can be made to work, but why limit yourself by using images that nearly everyone else in the business has already thought of? The idea is for your marketing to stand out, so why not surprise them with your brand?