Creating a Successful Brand Identity - Finale
We’re wrapping up our mini series on creating a successful brand identity this week! Did you follow along with parts one and two? The foundation is laid and this week is really about going over the fun stuff and final pieces.
Developing the “look” of your brand would be pretty hard to sum up in one post, but we want to provide some pointers to help guide you through what goes in to creating a logo and the accompanying pieces like your font, colors and creative support elements like photography and illustration. Consider this your master checklist of items to discuss with the design professional(s) you decide to work with.
In the last post we covered naming your business. We can’t stress enough that having a story and strong concept is what will take you far and will make the final steps in creating your identity even stronger (Fast Company sums things up great here).
Developing a logo and brand identity takes time and ideally is best left in the hands of a professional. We can attest to the fact that knowing the basics of working with a designer will help in the long run for a successful collaboration and help to communicate all the research and hard work that you’ve put in so far. We like this article for the basics of working with a graphic designer.
Your brand will more than likely have 2-3 fonts. One will be your primary font (used in the logo and possibly headlines or titles), one will be your supporting (used for body copy) and possibly one decorative font (used for headlines or more creative pieces). The basic rule of thumb is to choose one serif font to be paired with one sans serif font (don’t worry, we’ve provided an article below for an intro to typography). There’s no shortage of suggestions with a quick Pinterest search of “font pairings” if you need reference on what fonts generally work best together. Whenever possible, keep it classic and put your own spin on it. Popular fonts of the moment won’t be your friend in 2 years (back to that gold foil calligraphy we talked about in post one). We can definitely endorse this Non-Designers Guide to Pairing Fonts.
We all know the power of colour. Red can evoke passion or anger. White can represent purity. What do you want your colour choices to say about your business? Keep in mind that when you’re developing your branding it’s not necessarily about what your favourite colour is, but what tells the story of your brand. You will more than likely have 1-2 “lead” colors and then a smaller supporting palette that will be carried through your branding. It’s important to have a mix of neutral colors and bolder accent colors to work with. Get inspired here.
Establishing the complimentary photography and illustration style is important in the beginning stages. Creating a mood board with your colour palette, examples of typography, photography that you feel seems right, etc. Beginning to put together these mood boards will ultimately help you define your visuals and establish the direction of your branding.
- Have your basic guidelines for your brand all in one place. Your designer should assemble a go-to guide that covers your colour palette, typography guidelines, logo treatment and more.
- Nothing is set in stone. Expect your branding to evolve and change. As your brand grows your branding may need to as well to support, but laying a strong foundation will minimize the amount of change.
- Trust a professional (like us!). When working with any professional they should help you walk through all of these pieces, but it’s always good to do your homework ahead of time to come prepared with the right questions, which we’ve hopefully helped you with through the last three posts! Our goal in this series was to give basic education to help you successfully collaborate with a designer so you can get the best possible outcome for your brand that will last you for years to come.
Your last homework assignment - Schedule a coffee date with us by dropping an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk through your vision and get advice. Happy branding!