This is the first in a new monthly blog post where we get real mums in business to review some of the best business book out there.
We wanted to start with a book that’s been around a little while and inspired lots of you on your business journey. So we picked ‘How to Style your Brand’ by branding expert Fiona Humberstone. The book was first published in 2015 and promises to include everything you need to know to create a distinctive brand identity.
Coming up with the right brand identity is important on social media, so we were interested to find out what you thought of the book.
First up we got the opinion of an expert, brand strategist and stylist Gitte Louise of Presence Brand Management.
There is no doubt that Fiona Humberstone knows how to write for her audience (primarily female and relatively young). She speaks directly to the reader and walks her through how to style a brand. She works with the idea that a brand has a seasonal personality and each element that make up the style of a brand is based on a season; so, your colours, fonts, images/photography and textures/patterns/illustrations.
For me as a brand strategist, I really wanted to learn more about colour use, and this book goes into great detail about how you can build palettes using the seasons as inspiration. I also picked up a lot about the importance of building mood boards which I immediately implemented as part of the brand styling side of my own business. I would recommend the book for inspiration on the use of colours and how you can use other elements to set the tone of your brand (i.e. it’s not just a logo). Getting the colours right for your brand is in Fiona’s words a gamechanger and the examples in the book show how confident use of colour, fonts, images, patterns and illustrations really helps set the mood for your brand.
Next up, we found out what business coach, Lucy Green thought of the book. Lucy helps women who are creative, ambitious and independent to build successful businesses that have a heart and soul and she read the book when she wanted to refresh her brand.
As you’d anticipate from a book focused on branding; it’s both beautifully written and laid out, with gorgeous photography. The images perfectly illustrate the design concepts explained in the book, creating a visually inspiring, as well as informative, read.
It was a really useful book for me, which I’d chosen when I wanted to refresh my brand after changing my business name recently. How to Style Your Brand took me back to basics; asking questions about brand mission, vision and values, before moving on to how to communicate those ideas visually though images, typography and design.
It helped me to focus on what mattered; laying clear foundations for my business branding by getting my bigger vision clear first, before diving into design ideas. It also helped me tweak the imagery and colours I was using, to bring them into alignment with the overall look and feel I wanted to achieve.
I’d read blogs from Fiona’s Brand Stylist website before, so I was familiar with her writing style and the book is very similar; clear, concise and easy to follow. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to DIY their branding when starting out, wants a brand refresh, or to gain a better understanding of the brand design process before commissioning a logo or full branding project.
This book stays right by my desk and has hundreds of post-it notes sticking out because I just love it! It’s straightforward, jargon-free and explains concepts so clearly, such as the values of your brand and colour psychology. It’s easy to use a quick reference book as different topics are clearly signposted, with chapters on the basics, planning, creating your logo, styling up your brand and more. Throughout the book there are tons of examples too, giving lots of inspiration for typography, colour palettes, vision boards and more.
‘How to Style your Brand’ helped to focus me when rebranding and introduced aspects I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. It is full of actionable ideas to get you thinking and DOING. For those without a design background, it’s the perfect start to generating professional and sleek branding, streamlining your vision for the business. I’d definitely recommend it to other mums wanting to create a really distinctive brand presence for their businesses. In fact, I found it so useful that I’m re-reading lots of it to help with setting up my new venture!
Book lover Laura Barlow who is an independent Usbourne organiser loved how she could pick the book up and put it down at her leisure. Read on to find out how it helped her feel proud of the business she’d created.
As a small business owner, understanding your brand and how to make it work for you is key, so when I spotted How to style your brand by Fiona Humerstone, it instantly made its way on to my must read list.
The first thing to note about this book is how beautiful the photos are! There has been some serious work gone into this and it shines through, they are colourful and inviting while offering insights into the topics in the book.
The book is split into chapters offering a variety of different branding topics to think about, starting from the basics of understanding and planning your brand and creating your vision to the intricate ideas of logos, typography and using photos.
What I love about this book, is the chapters are short and sweet rather than long and waffly meaning you can pick the book up and put it down at your leisure, handy if like me you’re a mum with a small toddler and have to find your pockets of time. I also love that not only does it contain all the information you could want from this book, it also has extracts from small business owners giving you first hand experiences on how using the techniques in the book can help your business.
Since reading this book, I have completely reworked my business brand and it has gone from feeling like a small on the side business to one I feel is professional and proud to showcase. If your looking for a book to completely recharge your business, definitely get this book on your reading list.
And finally Jennie Moore who bought the book to support her with the branding for her new business as a freelance pattern designer & Illustrator.
This book was exactly what I needed! I found it to be clear, well written and full of inspiring examples and beautiful photographs to guide you towards creating the right look for your brand. I am new to the business side of things and I wanted to tackle the branding myself for my new creative business. This book gave me the confidence to do so and as it is broken down into sections, I found it manageable to work on areas such as colour and logo designs by dipping back into each chapter when I was ready.
I would 100% recommend this book; as a Mum to two young children, I have been able to work on my business by taking clear steps outlined in the book rather than becoming overwhelmed. The free resources available to support the book are also useful. I am excited to reveal my new brand in the near future and turn my passion into a business!
Well, we can safely say all the incredible business owners that reviewed this book found it not only beautiful to look at but incredibly useful, and a book you can keep coming back to for many years. It’s getting 5 stars from the Social Mums Team ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This month we’re encouraging you to read Hashtag Authentic by Instagram coach and influencer Sara Tasker. It promises to provide readers with tips, advice and guidance on how to turn their personal Instagram account into a profitable creative outlet.
If you’ve read this book and would like to write a review for us, you can find out more about what we need here. We’ll then feature some of the best reviews in our blog post at the end of the month.