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Signature Style #3: Elegant & Feminine

Decorative design for stylish ladypreneurs

Women in many different industries choose to market themselves as Elegant & Feminine to greater reflect their own personal sense of style. They choose this brand design because it’s one of the most enjoyable to DIY – an entrepreneur’s main goal here is to express herself fully, in the hopes that she will attract clients whom identify with her as a person, not just as a service provider.

These brands want to appear as laid-back and approachable as possible. Using softer colors, eye-catching decorative elements, and elegant script fonts to appeal to women’s more engaged sense of personal style.

Options, options, and more options!

Flourishes, foils, and filigree – oh my! If there’s one thing this Signature Style does best, it’s using handmade design elements to create a friendly, engaging brand experience.

If you search for themes on Creative Market, it’s easy to be overloaded with options that specifically cater to this beautiful style. The same goes for styled stock photo repositories such as Haute Stock, which offer a never ending array of stylish backgrounds and filler photos to use on any Elegant & Feminine website.

Because there’s so many different options available for backgrounds, themes, fonts, and deco, it’s extremely important when you’re starting out to get a feel for what you want FIRST.

Spend at least 1 hour creating a Pinterest board that combines screenshots from your favorite websites, sales pages, social media banners, Instagram posts, and resource libraries.

Once you see your taste laid out in front of you, it will be easier to pinpoint key design elements that pop up repeatedly. Such as watercolor backgrounds, handmade script fonts, gold foil detailing, or marble desk photos. When you go to style your own website or promotional materials, you’ll be able to pick 2-3 of these elements to keep consistent in your marketing.

Here are some key traits that might mark a brand as Elegant & Feminine:

  1. Designed specifically with a female audience in mind
  2. Tend toward softer, cooler color palettes.
  3. Styled lifestyle photos with soft, elegant backgrounds
  4. Lots of fun decorative elements such as styled bullets, dividers, and photo borders
  5. From-above desk / environment stock photos are popular background elements on long sales pages
  6. Popular design elements for this style include gold foil overlays, watercolor patterns, and hand-drawn graphics
  7. Icons are often handmade in feel

What makes an Elegant & Feminine brand different from the other Signature Styles?

Elegant & Feminine brands…

  • … are more maximalist and target a female audience, compared with minimalist & more gender-neutral Clean & Professional brands
  • … have a softer color palettes than Bright & Bold brands
  • … use softer colors and more handmade elements than Royal & Luxe brands
  • … use fewer colors and patterns than Visual & Vintage brands

You might want to brand yourself as Elegant & Feminine if…

  • Your goal is to attract visitors and clients who share your interests and sense of style
  • You really love blogging, following popular blogs, and anything Pinterest
  • Your fashion style is to wear a lot of dresses, skirts, and stylish blouses
  • You place greater emphasis on style and love playing around with decorative design elements. You enjoy pinning patterns, backgrounds, stock photos – anything that inspires!

Audience preview

This Signature Style is obviously meant to attract a female audience, and is popular with industries that generate a lot of traffic from women, such as lifestyle & fashion bloggers, moms, coaches, and nutritionists.

What’s important in this brand isn’t to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, but rather to attract visitors & clients who they can most identify with. When a business owner chooses this style, her priority is to project her OWN sense of style. In the hopes that she will attract women who share similar interests, backgrounds, and goals.

Potential issues

Deco Overload

When you CAN use any decorative elements you want to compliment your elegant & feminine brand, the tendency is to use a lot of them without being discerning enough.

The main challenge is to be selective with the decorative elements. And only choose a few to compliment the style you’re going for. Overloading your audience visually is only going to take away from your brand experience. And cause your visitors to bounce before any good impression is made.

Mismatched photos

There’s SO many great stock images out there for Elegant & Feminine brands, but you have to remember to choose wisely.

You want to match any stock photos you use to your own promotional lifestyle photos. So that they look like they could have been taken in the same shoot. If you have very bright, light colored photos of yourself, you should only choose stock photos that are clean and well-lit. Likewise, if your promotional photos feel cozy and use a lot of warm, autumn tones, then your chosen stock photos should use a similar palette and feel cozy as well.

Qualities to keep an eye out for when comparing promotional and stock photos: light vs. dark, warm vs. cool, minimal vs. dense, plants vs. no plants, modern vs. vintage, etc.

Lack of actual design principals

Unfortunately, I’ve seen DIY brands that use this Signature Style ignore important design principals. Such as white space, consistency, and color matching. Rather than teach you those principals here, I will only recommend that if you DIY your brand design, you should have a trusted designer review your work and make suggestions before starting to market or promote your business. Fortunately, I created a Facebook Group specifically for that purpose, so I welcome you to join in on the fun and post your stuff for review ASAP!

Ideal fonts & colors

Have fun and feel free to be original with your color palette here! Pastel colors are always easy on the eye, as are purples mixed with gold, teal and/or fuchsia. Play around with colors using the Coolors color palette generator and be sure to choose colors that compliment each other and represent your personal sense of style.

There are also an infinite number of font combinations you could use to jazz up your Elegant & Feminine design theme. I recommend choosing a unique script font (tons of beautiful options available on Creative Market) and pairing with an elegant serif font (such as Fairplex Wide on Typekit or Merriweather on Google Webfonts). For your headlines, you’ll be set for success with a light, clean sans-serif font such as Montserrat or Barlow Light on Google Webfonts.

Brands to be inspired by

Elegant & Feminine brands exist in all kinds of industries that cater to women. These industries include (but obviously aren’t limited to): coaching, fashion, beauty & lifestyle, baby blogs, nutrition, fitness, retreats, and interior design.

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