So you have a business. Maybe just an idea for a business. Whether you’ve been around forever, or are brand new, good branding can make your brand stand out and get noticed. In a sea of same, your branding can show you and your business as more professional, high end, and create stronger earning potential. A cohesive brand is key, so if you want steps on branding yourself check THIS OUT FIRST, then come back here and I’ll show you how to knock out that brand board. To get an idea here is my brand board. My brand board is very simple. You can go simple like mine, or include all areas mentioned below for a more precise look.
I used photoshop to organize it on one image, but Canva works just fine too!
So you’re back? That means you scowled Pinterest for colors and images that stand out. You narrowed them down to the ones that really express your personal and/or business style. You are ready for the next step…a cool brand board!
But why do you need a brand board? Well, if you are hiring someone to create your website or branding collateral, this brand board will give them a clear picture of what you are after. There will be little to no back and forth if you’re brand board is exactly what you want. This is your brand aesthetic. They will take it and use it as a reference to make you happy.
First you’ll need a logo. You can either make one that’s super simple using a free front like one of these or you can spend some money and have someone make a logo for you. Try 99 Designs or Esty.com. Etsy is great is you have a small budget or found a single designer who’s work you always seem to love. However, if you got the cash, go with 99 Designs. I say this because I used them and it was a fun and great experience. You just give an idea of what you are looking for and wait. Then tons of designers submit their logo designs. You can give them feed back if you feel a few designers are close to, but not exactly at what you want. After some back and forth you get something not just unique and professional, but that is better than you could imagine. So I recommend them, but I still love Etsy if you’re on a budget and just want something to get started. Logos are important, but don’t waste tip on starting a business because you are trying to save up to get a fancy one. Just get one, make some money and you can always go back to it later.
Brand colors are the ones that you have decided to stick to. They won’t change much if ever. The color of your logo, accent color(s), background color or patterns, etc. You want to choose at least 3 colors, but it can be up to even 6 if you want that ombre or even a colorful look to your brand. Put your brand colors under your logo on your brand board and include the exact hex code. You want to know the exact shades of each color and stick with them.
If you are also using a pattern like for a background or accent put it under your brand colors.
So you’ll need a text font and an accent font. The accent font can be used for headers, titles, etc. You really only need two fonts and make sure they make sense together. A warning on font choices, find a free font, then make sure it is readable! Fancy script fonts are cute and may be fine for a logo, just not so good to read. Above all, function over style.
Here is where you lay down some inspiration images you found off Pinterest or shot yourself. These images have the look and feel you want your brand to have. They invoke an emotion that you want to give people when they visit your website, see your business card, etc.
There you have it, you’ve created your own brand board, saved some money and you’re ready to go! But if you’re sitting looking at what you made and your confused, hate it, don’t know how to put colors and fonts and style images together…well maybe you should hire outside help.
Have no fear! Here are some branding resources to help you find someone to create a brand you’ll be happy to call your own. Check them out for other more detailed example of brand boards to help inspire you.