On a highly visual platform like Instagram, aesthetics are everything. When people land on your Instagram page, the aesthetic they see determines the first impression that they have of your brand. So it could be the single most important reason they choose to follow you or leave. And with millions of people creating eye-catching visual content, you need an Instagram aesthetic that stands out.
However, creating an Instagram aesthetic takes a bit of planning and effort. In this post, we guide you through the process of creating an attractive Instagram aesthetic that defines your brand and instantly catches the eye. Let’s get started.
How to Create an Instagram Aesthetic that Stands Out:
The Importance of an Instagram Aesthetic
Your Instagram aesthetic is the first thing that people notice when they land on your page. So the initial impression they have of your brand is often based on this. In other words, people judge your brand based on your Instagram aesthetic. That means you could either gain new followers or chase them away depending on how cohesive and attractive your aesthetic is.
When you have a visually pleasing aesthetic, people immediately want to get to know your brand better. Moreover, a consistent Instagram aesthetic could help you establish a strong visual identity for your brand. That means when your followers come across your content on their feed, they can instantly recognize it as coming from your brand.
Another way that having an established Instagram aesthetic helps is that it guides your content creation efforts. Since there’s a clear visual theme to follow, you’re likely to have a better sense of direction on how to develop your content.
Step 1: Define Your Brand Personality
Your Instagram aesthetic should be able to give people a sense of who you are even at first glance. That’s why it’s so important to start out by clearly defining your brand personality. Who are you as a brand? And what makes you different from the competition?
This step is much easier for content creators since it only involves defining your personal brand. Since you already know yourself well, it’s mostly about deciding how to present that in a visual format through your Instagram page.
For brands, it can be a bit challenging as the process involves taking a closer look at your core values and your target audience. In other words, your brand personality should align with the audience you want to reach and the values that you maintain.
For example, if your brand’s values are centered on reducing waste and maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, a peaceful and minimalist personality would complement you best. Alternatively, if you want to reach a bold and diverse group of women, your personality would likely be feisty and equally strong as the women you want to connect with.
Start by going back to basics and understanding exactly who you are as a brand. Then think of the adjectives that would best define your personality.
For example, BUXOM Cosmetic’s Instagram aesthetic clearly shows the brand’s big, bold, and sexy personality. Fun background colors, lip close-ups, and smoldering eye makeup photos help to showcase the brand’s identity.
Step 2: Connect the Personality to a Visual Identity
Next, it’s time to define the visuals that would best exude your brand personality. This doesn’t have to be a detailed process, but having a rough idea of the visual identity you want to maintain can guide you further down the line when creating your Instagram aesthetic.
For example, if your brand personality is elegant and subdued, you might align it with a clean, bright, and minimal visual identity. On the other hand, an elegant and exclusive brand personality might be better connected to a rich and dark visual identity. Similarly, a bright and bold visual identity may define a fun and creative brand personality. Meanwhile, you might better connect a muted and pleasant visual identity to a peaceful and down-to-earth brand personality.
Use these rough ideas to come up with a general description of the visual identity that would best suit your brand. This will then help you decide on the colors and other visual elements to use in your Instagram aesthetic. For example, Everlane maintains a clean and crisp visual identity to reflect the brand’s trustworthy and radically transparent personality.
Step 3: Choose Colors Wisely
One of the most important aspects of your Instagram aesthetic is the color combination you use. Just as the right colors help to define your brand, the right color combination can accurately represent your brand’s visual identity on Instagram. So it’s important to be strategic with your choice of colors.
Generally, brands may use the colors of their brand logo for their Instagram aesthetic. This is an easy option if your brand’s colors are already representative of your brand personality. For example, the orange and white colors of Whataburger are representative of the brand’s cheerful, lighthearted personality. And they’re prominently visible across the brand’s Instagram page.
However, some brands may not have logo colors that accurately represent their brand personality. For example, Drunk Elephant maintains a bright and fun personality. But their logo consists of minimal lines in black and white. So for brands such as these, it’s important to pick out colors that will be used to create their ideal Instagram aesthetic.
In the case of Drunk Elephant, bright neon colors form the brand’s Instagram aesthetic. In addition to their product packaging, they incorporate these colors into photo backgrounds and other visual elements to properly portray their brand personality.
Remember to be very specific with your color choice since different shades can create different moods. For example, pastel pink may give off a peaceful vibe whereas bright pink can be associated with a more fun and energetic vibe.
Additionally, the colors you choose should be complementary to each other. Otherwise, it will be difficult to create an aesthetic that’s pleasing to the eye and instantly associated with your brand.
Step 4: Develop a Style Guide and Stick to It
Now that you have your visual identity and colors defined, it’s time to put everything together into a style guide. Having a style guide is crucial if you want to maintain consistency with your visual branding efforts even outside of Instagram. Ideally, your Instagram brand style guide should define guidelines for the following:
Based on the colors you chose earlier, create the color palette that you should maintain for your Instagram aesthetic. The palette can include a maximum of six colors that would be used consistently when creating content for your Instagram Feed posts, Reels, or Stories. This applies to all content formats–from photos and videos to text posts.
It’s important that you incorporate at least one of these primary brand colors into your post to ensure visual consistency. This will help you to maintain a cohesive Instagram aesthetic throughout your page. You can use the Brand Kit from Canva to create a color palette that you should use for your Instagram content.
Next, think of the fonts that you want to use for your text posts, text overlays, and Instagram Stories. Like your color palette, your brand typography should accurately reflect your brand personality. And make sure to be specific about which fonts to use where. This means you should specify which fonts to use as headings and which ones to use in the body.
Having these fonts predefined will make it easier for your team to quickly create text-based content that aligns with your brand’s Instagram aesthetic. Moreover, it will allow you to maintain a consistent visual brand across your Instagram content. See how Grove Collaborative uses the same set of fonts for their Instagram text posts.
Using the same filter across your Instagram photos can further get you closer to a unified visual identity. Make sure your style guide clearly specifies the filter or preset to use for your Instagram posts. This should match the visual theme or overall vibe that you want to create for your Instagram aesthetic.
See how the following content creator uses the same preset to create a consistent aesthetic for her Instagram page. The preset helps to exude a natural and earthy vibe even from a single glance.
Another important element to map out in your Instagram style guide is the grid layout. Planning how your Instagram grid would look can help you maintain a consistent visual aesthetic that’s instantly visible to your page visitors. It creates a cohesive look that keeps your posts organized and in alignment with your brand’s visual identity.
There are plenty of grid styles to choose from–whether you want a simple checkerboard style or something more complicated such as a puzzle layout. Find something that works for your brand and then specify it in your style guide.
For example, xwallcolors uses a row-by-row grid layout. This involves designing each row to showcase a specific wallpaper pattern in different designs and spaces. It helps to create an organized look overall while allowing each row to tell a story about each wallpaper pattern.
Other style elements
In addition to the main style elements above, make sure to outline any other specific elements that your team should consider when creating content for your Instagram. This may include any other brand-specific details such as backgrounds, borders, frames, and graphics that might need to be incorporated into the content.
For example, your style guide may specify that your team only uses three specific colors as backgrounds for Instagram Stories and text posts. It may also specify that the backgrounds should be clean and devoid of patterns. Or it may instruct designers to include graphical elements from your brand’s design kit. Basically, the style guide should specify all the rules that must be followed to help you create your desired Instagram aesthetic.
Step 5: Create Templates for Design Consistency
Even with a proper brand style guide in place, it may be challenging to follow all the guidelines to a tee. And deviations from your brand’s style can lead to inconsistencies in your Instagram aesthetic. This is why it helps to have a template that you can easily follow and customize to ensure better design consistency.
Ideally, you should have templates in place for all your Instagram Stories and text-based posts. This will allow you to easily create original graphics and text posts that are consistent throughout your Instagram page and Stories.
Step 6: Look beyond Your Feed
While your main Feed may be the most prominently visible, it’s not the only factor that determines your Instagram aesthetic. Your aesthetic should go beyond your Feed and extend to your profile picture, your Stories, and even your Highlights. While templates should have you covered in terms of your Instagram Stories, don’t miss the chance to create Highlight covers that seamlessly align with your brand aesthetics.
You may have different Highlights to categorize your Stories. Make sure each category has a cover that’s visually consistent with the rest. For example, Revolve Active creates Highlight covers using the same brand logo but on different background colors. Each background color is in a shade that fits the brand’s color palette so the branding remains consistent and still easily identifiable.
It’s easier to create visually similar Highlight covers by using icon templates from sites like Canva. You can select an icon package and customize it to match your brand’s Instagram aesthetic. Then include the package in your brand style guide for easy reference.
Bringing Your Instagram Aesthetic to Life
Creating an Instagram aesthetic isn’t easy. What’s even more challenging is maintaining it consistently. Make sure you plan out your content calendar and invest in the right content creation tools to bring your aesthetic to life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make my Instagram aesthetically pleasing?
You can make your Instagram aesthetically pleasing by sticking to a consistent color scheme and mood as well as maintaining a specific grid layout.
How do I make an aesthetic Instagram bio?
You can create an aesthetic Instagram bio by using aesthetic text fonts that align with your brand voice and personality.
How do I improve my Instagram aesthetic?
You can improve your Instagram aesthetic by consistently maintaining the same theme and showcasing your visual identity.
What are the best Instagram aesthetic apps?
VSCO, Adobe Lightroom CC, and Instasize are some of the best apps to help you maintain your Instagram aesthetic.
How do I make my Instagram aesthetic for business?
You can create an Instagram aesthetic for your business by creating a color palette and a brand style guide to consistently maintain across your Instagram posts.