As many of you know one of the main parts of my graphic design business is the development of a brand and thus, brand identity. I use branding (the design, development, and creation of a brand) to create a brand identity for each one of my clients. Before we begin it's important to know that brand identity is NOT your brand. There are many aspects to a brand including tone, voice and attitude but of course, brand identity (the visual aspects of a brand) play an important role.
Brand identity is the first thing that anyone see's when they view your website, product or service. It's the visuals that get them hooked on your brand and YOU! Today I'm going to be sharing each important element of brand identity so that you can create the perfect brand identity for your own business or blog.
Every brand or website design that I do starts with the creation of a moodboard. I take the clients ideas and emotions into account and I search through hundreds of images on Pinterest to create a collection that suits each other well and reflects their vision. Once there is a moodboard in place this gives me a great sense of where the rest of the brand identity should go. Everything from the color scheme to the logo's that I design reflects the overall aesthetic of the moodboard.
It's important to remember when you are creating your moodboard and have your finished design that everything after that should not be a copy of the moodboard. Moodboards are put in place for inspiration and to help you and your designer get a feeling of what your brand will represent once it's completed.
Creating a color scheme can be a lot harder than you think. Not only do you have to pick colors that you enjoy but you should also be picking colors that will emotionally connect with those viewing your brand. Each color has it's very own meaning and you can find these meanings by searching Google or Pinterest. Colors are what make ultimately make a brand stand out. Choosing pastel colors and placing them on a white background isn't going to pop on the screen. Whereas the color scheme for my branding has pops of color and really stands off the page. You want to create a color scheme that:
- you love
- your readers love
- will be timeless
- won't be overwhelming
- will attract new clients/readers
There are hundreds of font's out there to choose from and there are countless ways to combine a variety of fonts. I don't like to focus on the technical side of fonts, where you should only pair certain font types with others. I like to choose two fonts that I believe complement each other well and that work for the brand that I'm creating. For my brand, I decided to mix a very bold graphic font with something that was more fun and combined more of a script style.
When pairing your fonts try to choose fonts that are unique. With all of the options out there why are so many bloggers and business owners choosing the same font that twenty other websites are using. Using unique fonts and pairing them in unique ways are going to make your brand more recognizable. And if there is one pet peeve I have when it comes to font choices is that so many people are using fonts that just can't be read. If I can't read it what's the point to have it as part of your branding.
And finally, one of the most important parts of any brand identity development is the creation of a logo. Logo's are huge parts of any brand because they are completely unique and they can be placed in various different areas to help with your business or blog promotion. For my brand identity, this was the one area that I really spent days perfecting. I wanted something completely unique that no one else had and I also wanted the logos to be unique with a fun design that reflected my personality.
For any designer (or individual who is DIY'ing their brand identity) logos are the one place you can show off your creativity. When you think of Nike, McDonalds or Coca Cola chances are the first thing you think of is the logos of each of those brands. That's because each one has created a unique logo that fits the rest of their brand identity. Having a recognizable logo is the key element in any brand identity!
And while all of the elements I just talked about are key things that you should work to design and develop there are also lots of other collateral designs that can show off your brand. These items can include:
- social media icons
- stock images/blog post images
- media kit
- business cards
- and more!
Are you ready to get back to Photoshop, Canva, or Picmonkey and start designing? Well, you don't have to start from complete scratch! To go along with this post and help you out on your branding journey to create the perfect brand identity I've decided to share with you some moodboard templates and of course, a checklist of all the items to include in your brand identity. This list will ensure you don't miss any of the important steps to develop your brand identity successfully.