The 7 Elements Your Brand Needs

The ultimate list of elements your brand needs including a step-by-step process. Click through to learn more!

Your brand is so much more than just a pretty logo.

It's super important to dig deep into your brand and business goals to make sure are conveying the proper tone and voice otherwise, you might be putting off the wrong vibe without even knowing it.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when building their brand is they go straight to the visuals. The problem with this is you are missing out on discovering some of the most important things about your brand which could ultimately decide on how you design your visuals.

Think of it this way...

your brand speaks for your business when you aren't around to do so. 

Keeping that in the back of your mind will keep you on your toes for creating content that works for your brand. After all, The last thing you want is a confused audience that doesn't understand why your brand.

So let's dig into the 7 elements, shall we?

1. Brand discovery.

Brand discovery plays such a huge part in building your brand, especially if you are just starting out. I suggest taking your time in this stage and digging deep into your business and brand. 

Some things to consider are:

1. Your brand's tone of voice
2. Important brand keywords for example, handmade, organic, natural, earthy, etc.
3. Your businesses values and beliefs
4. And goals you might have for your business

Answering these questions open and honestly will help you understand what your business stands for. It will also help you when it comes time to design your visuals because you will know the vibe you are after.


2. Figuring out who your target market is

This step might be tough, but it's so important in order for you to make sure you're creating the right content. Take a piece of paper and start writing out a character description of who your ideal custom/reader is.

Include things like:

1. How old they are
2. What they like to do for fun
3. What their job is
4. What their income is, etc.

Narrowing down your target market will help you immensely when it comes time to create content so get as detailed as possible!


3. Finding inspiration

After you've figured out the behind-the-scenes you can then move forward to the visual elements.

 Here are a few places I like to find design inspiration:

  • Pinterest - this is an obvious one. Pinterest is a great place to find images and inspiration. It's also a great place to create a secret board where you can keep your moodboard images. I will go into this more later. 
  • Dribbble - Dribbble is a place where designers upload snippets of their work in progress. Other designers can comment on them and give suggestions, and praise. By using Dribbbles search bar you can look for inspiring images to add to your moodboard.
  • Designspiration - this is another great place to source images, you can search by keyword and even by colour.
  • Behance - Behance is an online portfolio site for designers. It's a great place to find other branding projects that inspire you.

Sometimes stepping away from the computer to find inspiration is a good idea. Magazines, books, sketching, people watching can all lead to inspirational moments.

Once you have all of your inspiration collected it's a good idea to create a moodboard for your brand.

 
4. Typography and Fonts

When it comes time to pick out fonts for your brand you might go with what you think is the nicest looking or the cheapest/free, which makes total sense if you don't know much about fonts and the power they hold. The problem with picking any old font is that you could be conveying a tone for your brand that you don't want without even realizing. 

Below are a few tips for picking out fonts for your brand:

  1. Sans-serif fonts work better for web copy
  2. Serif fonts work better for printed copy
  3. Make sure your fonts are readable. Avoid super light fonts, script fonts, and fonts that are too heavy
  4. Add contrast to your font palette. A good starting point is choosing one serif font and one sans-serif font that pair well together. 

If you would like to learn more I've written a whole post on typography.

You can check it out below...

http://www.forthandcreate.com/blog/how-to-choose-t...


5. Colour Palette

Colours can evoke strong feelings and emotions so you want to make sure you're using colours that work for your brand. I suggest reading this article about colour emotions:

http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/12-colours-...

Below are a few tips on creating a colour palette for your brand:

  1. Create a board on Pinterest and pin colours and colour palettes you like. Don't go overboard, having a board with 100+ pins will only add stress, instead pin around 20 images and start weeding out the ones you like least. 
  2. Pick four or five colours for your palette, then you can add your black and white if necessary. 
  3. Once you have your palette created stick with it. It's tempting to want to change colours here and there but that's when you start losing track of your brand. 
  4. Use these colours across your branding items and blog graphics. Again, this will create brand recognition for your readers and potential readers when they see your graphics on social media.


6. Logo Design

Now it's time to design your logo! Eeep, it's not as stressful as it sounds. It's important to take your time during this stage. Don't go with your first idea. Sketch, create, brainstorm, and sketch some more. Once you're happy with your logo sketches you can then bring them into Illustrator or Canva and start digitally creating them.

Below are some tips to help you create your logo:

  1. Keep it simple. Don't overcrowd your logo with extra words or graphics that you just don't need. 
  2. If you are using an icon make sure it doesn't overpower the words in your logo. 
  3. If you are using colours keep it to a minimum. 1-2 is plenty.
  4. Make sure your icon or graphic is original and a vector. Refrain from using PNGs or JPGS as they will not scale well at different sizes.
  5. Use type that is easy to read and isn't oversaturated by everyone else using it. 
  6. Use a mix of fonts to create contrast and emotion but make sure they complement each other and work for you. I recommend using no more than 3 fonts, I like to keep it at 2. 


7. Style Guide

And finally, it's a good idea to create a style guide once you have all of your branding elements complete. A style guide keeps everything in one place and it's easy to reference anytime you need to. If you don't have Illustrator there are a few other options for creating your brand guide. I recently came across frontify.com. After playing around with it I found it to be easy to use and they have a free plan if you don't want to pay.

Check out my post below on what to include in your style guide...

http://www.forthandcreate.com/blog/how-to-create-a...

Phew, that was a lot, but creating a brand takes a lot of work and I want to help you as much as I can and that's why I put together the Create Your Brand ebook and workbook. it will give you the right tools and actions to help you build your brand from start to finish. This book will not only help you build your brand but you will also learn important branding elements along the way so you're not left in the dark. 

Click the image to find out more and to get your copy!

 

As I mentioned above I have something awesome coming your way next week so stay tuned.

Meagen