We all like to get creative when it comes to our wedding planning, or home interiors and lifestyle planning, whether it be on Pinterest or looking through magazines and websites for inspiration. But, have you considered putting together a brand board before you start creating your brand identity, and before employing a brand mentor or graphic designer to help you achieve and develop your ideas?

Start with a bit of research

A brand is so much more than a logo on it’s own. It’s about bringing out your personality, it’s telling a story, it’s about combining your identity with your business values. It’s getting the right balance to enable you to create the right elements that can be used throughout your branding, online as well as offline. For example, your colour palette, typeface and imagery to give your brand a unique visual impact and identity.

Illustrations and infographics are great for giving your brand personality. It’s more visually pleasing and creative. Simple, clean illustrations and patterns can be created and used as a background for your blogs or on panels for your exhibitions and tradeshows. Infographics are great if you have an umbrella brand and you have various services or messages underneath that can be identified instantly with a graphic rather than a boring sub heading! Thus creating a more unique look!

shutterstock_183164918 (web)

Get Ready

Ask yourself, what is the key value you want to be known for and how you want to be perceived in your target market? What inspires you? What attracts you to products or services that you use? Is it the colour that catches your eye or is it a quirky bit of copyrighting that makes you smile? Or is it a thought provoking image that makes you think? If there is something that has really grabbed your attention, take a picture, tear it out of a magazine, write notes over your Brand Board. It will give you clarity and the mindset you need to understand your passion for your business.

When walking through the high street, like in the above paragraph, how does a particular billboard campaign or promotional advertising make you feel? What attracts you to look at it? Ask yourself WHY has it inspired you? Is it the colour palette, the simplicity of the advert or the catchy one line? How can you implement this and use it in to your own vision and identity?

Get thinking

Whether starting from scratch or re-branding, this will define clarity for your business at the earliest stage and reduce your outgoing costs in the long run, we have all been there, calling your graphic designer or brand mentor every 5 minutes with more ideas or a change of direction!

Ask yourself what 3-4 words describe your business? This will give you the clarity and focus you need to brief your designer and maintain your vision in the long run when creating your unique brand identity. It’s may even become part of your strap line.

Get Steady

Grab a scrap book and a folder and start collecting! It will soon mount up. Everything and anything that catches your eye, collect paint charts to look at colour and see what works well together. It could be anywhere you get stimulation from, DIY shops with wallpaper samples and colour charts, material swatches, visiting friend’s houses, different cities and culture and influences from people around you. What style are you, sleek and modern, shabby chic, modern with a traditional twist? You will certainly know the answer once you start creating your brand board!

Grab yourself an A3 or A2 piece of mount board and some tape and PVA. Start layering up what you have collected, see what works well together, write notes about what you like the most about something and your thoughts behind it. Group things together, fonts you like, imagery that has inspired you, colours that sit well together. This is the exciting part when you see everything come together and this should stimulate ideas that will enhance your brand. Ideas such as textures in an abstract image you have seen, your tone of voice, bold or subtle colours.

This should give you a bit of direction and thought process towards what font style you are – are you a san serif or a serif, a handwritten or something more serious? Colour – are you pastel shades or have you collected strong, bold colours or a mixture? What textures and patterns inspire you to give your brand the edge? All this can be incorporated in to your brand identity. It is the thought process that you go through that makes all the difference in creating a brand identity that is authentic to you!

I want to see your brand boards Send me pictures, or let’s get connected on Pintrest @bell8268!

This WILL be on your office wall or your desktop as a gentle reminder each day of your thoughts behind your brand and its story! It’s your purpose and the vision you have created!

Go build your dream brand, it’s a journey!

So, hopefully you are now feeling excited and inspired about your business venture and building up this Brand Board has given you some clarity and understanding of your brand vision you have set yourself and can reference at any time.

Now you need to decide, do you need to invest in an brand mentor and graphic designer to help you achieve your branding goal and bring your inspirational thoughts and idea’s to reality? Sometimes my clients would come to me wanting a new logo, but what they really needed was a shake up with all the supporting elements of the business such as:

  • Colour Palette
  • Fonts
  • Imagery
  • Illustrations
  • Website

Your logo is a very small part of your brand identity, so this gave them a new look and continuity without changing everything about their existing business.

People buy people and it’s your personal brand that’s tells them what they get when they buy you.

Jennifer Holloway

You will find the right brand mentor and graphic designer will be as passionate as you are about your business idea’s and in the long run will become a big part of your support network in promoting your business, it’s doesn’t stop once the brand is created, it’s a journey!