I’ve said it before, & you’ve probably heard 10 other designs say it too: your logo is not your brand identity.
Your brand identity is so much more than that (or at least, it should be)! When someone wants to work with you, I promise you it’s not because you have the prettiest logo. It’s because they think you’re awesome (girl, you are!), they align with your values, and they think you can help them solve a problem.
And that, my friends, is why good branding, and the strategy behind it, will elevate your business: your branding can reflect your heart and your expertise back to your potential clients from the second they stumble across your business.
Allow me to teach you how??
The 5 Key Pieces You Need to Include in Your Brand Identity
01. A Clear Vision
How do you want to show up as the CEO of your business? Your branding needs to reflect your answers to these questions:
- What do you care about?
- Who is your audience? What matters to them? What problem do they have that you can solve for them?
- How does your offer help your clients?
- How do you want to make your audience feel when they interact with you?
02. Creative Direction
All design, whether that’s graphic design, interior design, traditional artwork, etc., makes people feel something. Your branding will communicate to your audience, and you always want to make sure it’s communicating the ideas that you want to communicate.
How do you want to make your audience feel? Does your brand reflect that?
These two brands had very different creative directions:
03. A Set Color Palette & Font Selection
Your color palette and your fonts are what make your brand identify recognizable and memorable. They also play a huge role in the mood/vibe of your brand, so choose wisely!
Your color palette should be made up of 4-6 colors total: 2-3 neutrals that are used most often, and 1-2 pops of color to highlight important things like buttons and announcements.
Your type suite should definitely include 3 fonts, and sometimes 4:
04. A Flexible Logo
You will be using your logo in so many different layouts, so I recommend having at least 2 variations. Your logo variations should be designed in the same style as your main logo so that your brand is still consistent and recognizable.
- Primary logo: This logo should include your full business name and is the logo that you will use the most often. Use this in your website header, on your business cards, etc.
- Secondary logo: Your secondary logo should be in the opposite orientation as your primary logo so that you have both a horizontal and vertical logo. A secondary logo is typically used as a watermark, in an email signature, as a profile picture, etc.
Use your branding consistently. When I finish up a branding project, I always create a custom brand guidelines presentation where I lay out the “rules” of using their new branding correctly. Consistency is what creates brand recognition, and having the rules laid out clearly means that all of you team members (even if that’s just you right now!) will be on the same page.
- Which of your brand colors will be used as background colors?
- What color(s) will each font be used in?
- What size should each font be? Do you have any special spacing between the letters?
- Which logos should be used where?
- The more specific and consistent you can get with this, the more upscale and high-end your branding will look.
Good design can truly make a positive impact on your business through true engagement and strong connections with your audience. But when you’re new to business, you don’t necessarily need to overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything, so these are just the basics that I would recommend focusing on. Taking the time to do it right will pay off, I promise!