Creating a Brand Identity

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A branding and design package usually consists of  logos,  the style guide,  business cards and the brand website.

In this post we will cover all of these areas and show you which tools and sites you can use to help you.

So to begin with when working with a client you would usually start with an initial conversation that would allow you to create a work brief and proposal outlining exactly the process that I’m going to share with you here below.

Things you will need to either ask yourself or a client when first putting together the strategy would be things like:

  • What is the vision for the company?

  • What is the desired aesthetic?

  • Questions that would allow you to create a customer profile (see below)

  • Questions that would allow you to create simple competitor analysis (see below)

  • A range of examples

At this point you would create the brief that is essentially the initially gathered information put together with either your or your client’s goals and any specifics or expectations.

Now that you have a foundation, it’s time to create the brand identity! A brand identity consists of the visible elements of a brand (like colors, design, logotype, name, symbols etc) that all together identify and distinguish the brand from others.

So let’s get on with the first part which is defining the aesthetic.

To define the aesthetic, try creating a mood board that captures not only words but also textures and images of what you want.

Brand Mood Board

Brand Mood Board

To build a mood board  start by selecting a color palette, then you can use a secret board on Pinterest and just start pinning things to it that feel right for your brand. From there you would cull it down to be more precise and inline with your vision.

Once you have your mood board you can proceed with creating a logo for your brand. Usually this part consists of sketching out different styles and getting feedback. Once you‘ve narrowed it down to a few top contenders then you will want to use a program such as illustrator if you have the ability or hire someone to do this step for you or you can use tools like Canva which makes designing easy for anyone.

Now on to the Style Guide consists of your palette, selected fonts, your primary logo, secondary logo (smaller usually known as a logo mark) and a horizontal logo as well as any symbols and elements that you want to represent your brand.

Here is an example:

Style Guide Example

Style Guide Example

Next let’s get those business cards designed! For this you can use a business card service provider like Staples, Moo or Vista for example.  Since you have your logo, colors, fonts and elements this step should be easy!

Last but not least it’s time to design the website!

To start with you need a domain, hosting  and a platform although with Squarespace you can select all three in one step. I personally suggest that you buy your domain separate from the platform you are building your site with since it’s a bit easier to change platforms at a later time if chose too.

There are links below that you can use for hosting (highly recommend Siteground as I’ve been using them for myself and clients for over 10 years now) and for purchasing a domain or for Squarespace.

If you aren’t very confident in building a website I suggest you go with Squarespace to save time and the learning curve otherwise go with Wordpress since you can host it yourself.

When designing the website keep in mind the main objective for the site (is it capture leads, make online sales or other?).

Then you will want to create a simple sitemap like this:

Sitemap Example

Sitemap Example

By doing this you will know what pages are needed and the general flow for the site. For sitemap creation you can simply draw it out on paper or use a tool like https://slickplan.com/ which allows you to put together a professional outline and if you are putting together a large site you will need to lay this all out for your web designer, client or your team anyways.

You should at this point know what content you will need. Make a list of what is needed per page and provide that for your copywriter or do it yourself if you have the time.

Part of content creation includes brand and/or product images. For this you will want to use professional photos, so use either stock images (check out the links for free stock images below) or hire a photographer and provide them your style guide so they know exactly what you are looking for aesthetic and style wise.

Lastly you will want to optimize your site for SEO and social media which you can do using a variety tools and plugins depending on your platform.

There you go, you’ve designed a complete brand identity!

If you have any questions or need help with any of these steps  just drop me a line below!

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