Starting a new business is like embarking on an exciting adventure filled with endless possibilities. But just like any adventure, you need a well-prepared map to guide you along the way. And in the world of business, your brand serves as that crucial map. It’s the beacon that attracts customers, communicates your values, and sets you apart in a sea of competitors. So, let’s dive into the essentials you’ll need to craft a strong brand that resonates with your audience and sets you up for success.
1. Logo Suite
Primary Logo – First, start with your primary logo design. This is what people will associate with your business instantly. Make sure it captures the essence of your brand and is easily recognizable. It’s the visual cue that triggers recognition. Whether it’s sleek and modern or warm and friendly, your logo should be a reflection of your brand’s values and personality.
Logo Variation – Additionally, we recommend having at least one logo variation that adapts to different mediums and sizes without losing its impact. Typically, a typography-only logo is excellent for this purpose because it uses only font styling from your primary logo and doesn’t have any brand marks incorporated. This can be a great logo to add to your website or to use for smaller instances where you may not have space for your full primary logo.
Brand Mark – Think of the brand mark or icon as your logo’s flexible little sibling. It’s a simplified version of your primary logo, perfect for tight spaces or social media profiles. It retains the essence of your brand, acting as a visual shorthand that ensures your brand is recognized even without the full logo.
Quick Tip: To further explain, for example, Target has a bullseye circle mark as their brand icon that symbolizes a stand-alone, recognizable element to represent their company to their audience.
2. Fonts: Speaking Volumes Without Words
For your brand, you will want to incorporate a font system, which should consist of 2-3 fonts that will be used throughout all of your collateral materials and website design. Typically, this is a branch from your logo suite and utilizes fonts found within those designs; however, sometimes, you may choose to add additional fonts if needed.
For your font system, you will need a font for headings. We like to use the primary logo font for headings and titles. For body paragraphs, you will need a complimentary font to the heading font, and then you may choose to have an additional font for accent or website buttons.
If you choose not to pull a third font, another possible option would be to use a different styling of one of your other fonts chosen. For example, you could use your paragraph font and make it all capitalized with a slightly thicker font weight (bolding the font). That way, your website buttons will stick out from the paragraph text and the title. Allowing you to highlight important parts of your content.
If you need further help selecting fonts that will convey your brand tone to your audience, we have an additional blog post called “How to Choose the Perfect Fonts for Your Brand,” where we break down the different types of fonts and the emotions they convey.
3. Color Palette + Application
Now, let’s dive into colors! They’re not just for making things look pretty. Colors have the power to evoke emotions and shape perceptions. Select a color palette that not only resonates with your brand’s message but also appeals to your target audience. Be mindful of how these colors will be used across different platforms, from your website to your marketing materials. Consistent color application creates a cohesive brand experience that leaves a lasting impression. Here are a few tips when creating your own brand palette.
1.) First, you’ll want to start with selecting around 4-6 colors for your brand so you can keep brand consistency but also have some variety in your marketing.
2.) Make sure to consider your background colors. Include at least 1-3 colors for backgrounds. Typically, we like to include a lighter background option, a darker background option, and an accent color background option. Keep in mind with lighter backgrounds, you will need darker or bold text, whereas with darker background options, you will need lighter text to keep legibility.
3.) Use colors that align with your target audience. Research your target audience before choosing colors. Most of the time, you will not be your ideal customer, so consider what they would want to see versus what you would want to see. With our clients, we always like to find a harmonious balance between colors the client prefers and colors the ideal customer prefers.
After selecting the colors for your brand, put them all together to see how the color palette looks as a whole. Canva is a great tool for visualizing and adjusting your color palette. Sometimes, it can take some time, but don’t stress. If you are struggling to create your own custom brand color palette, feel free to check out our DIY Branding Course, where we walk you through the entire process of creating your own brand from start to finish. Check it out here.
4. Overview + Other Elements to Consider
Now, let’s do a quick rundown of the key elements essential for establishing a unique brand identity that you will need for your own business:
- Primary logo
- Logo variation
- Brand mark/icon
- Color palette
- Styling guidelines for your color palette application
- Font system encompassing headers, body text, and accents.
Once you have this all set into place, you can dive into additional elements to fortify your brand’s identity and consistency.
- Crafting a Comprehensive Brand Style Guide: Create a detailed brand style guide that meticulously outlines the application of your logo suite, font system, and color palette across all platforms. This comprehensive guide will serve as your go-to resource, ensuring consistent and cohesive visual representation across all touch points. If you need help with this element, you can download our freebie, a Simple Brand Style Guide.
- Formulating a Digital Branding Strategy: Devise a comprehensive digital branding strategy that encompasses your website, social media platforms, and other online channels. Maintaining uniform branding across these digital mediums will establish a strong online presence and foster heightened brand recognition among your digital audience.
- Elevating Customer Experience and Brand Interaction: Pay meticulous attention to how your brand engages with customers at every touchpoint. Ensure that each interaction reflects your brand’s values and leaves a lasting positive impression. Consistent branding in customer interactions nurtures trust and loyalty, fostering a strong bond between your brand and your audience.
Wrapping it All Up
In the world of branding, every little detail can make a difference, with each element coming together to create a cohesive brand experience. From there, brand consistency is your best friend. Remember, your brand is more than just a logo; it’s the emotional connection you build with your audience. So, take the time to nurture and develop it, and watch it flourish into something truly remarkable.
Now that you have a great idea of what your brand should include, check out our freebie, “A Simple Brand Style Guide,” which will help you to keep your color codes, font names, and your overall styling in one organized document. It is a helpful tool for keeping up with your brand consistency, especially when bringing on new team members.
If you are struggling with your own company’s branding, feel free to follow along on social media, where we share advice and tips from our own experience as expert brand and website designers. Follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.
Looking for a custom project? We’d love to chat further with you. Fill out our client intake form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you within 1-2 business days.