Branding is super important to your business. But it's also one of the things that can hold you back from starting. It can be daunting figuring out how to create good branding from the start, especially when you're not a designer. And in the beginning (or always!), it's all about DIY.
Don't let branding hold you back from starting your business. It may not be your expertise, but there are many resources you can use to create a beautiful brand right from the start. Today we're going to talk about the top three things you need to do just that. Let's dig in!
1. One, preferably two, logos and a submark
The main logo of your business is called your primary logo. You need this from the very start, even if it's something super simple. You'll use your logo everywhere - your website, social channels, business cards if you have them, and anywhere else your brand will appear. A logo is how people will begin to recognize your business. Just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect - it's very common for logos to change throughout the life of a business.
An additional logo is called a secondary logo, and it's something I recommend having if possible. It won't be used as much as your primary logo, but you'll find that it's helpful to have. It's common for your secondary logo to look a lot like your primary logo, with just a few simple changes.
Here's a helpful tip - if your primary logo is more horizontal, make your secondary logo more vertical. This is helpful for branding purposes!
You'll also want to make sure you have a submark for your brand. When you can't fit your logo, you'll use your submark instead. If you have a physical product, your submark might even be stamped on it. A submark can be super simple - an initial or two is super common to see.
2. Brand fonts, color and images
The most important thing about good branding is consistency. You want to make it easy for people to recognize your brand. That's why it's important to have brand fonts and colors. You want your audience to look at something and know instantly that it's yours. But don't worry - this takes some time to achieve!
It's helpful to have 2 or 3 brand fonts. I recommend using the fonts in your logo, unless they really don't work in other purposes. You'll want to ensure you have a header font - something powerful. Perhaps all caps, bold or used only in large sizes. Then you'll want to have a body font - something that's easy to read and looks good everywhere, as this is the font you'll probably end up using most often. If you choose to have a third font, an accent font is fun to have here - something you don't use all the time but that really steps your branding game up a bit. I love a good script font as an accent font!
When choosing a color palette, stick with 5-6 colors. Start with a color or two you know you want to incorporate and then find others that work with them. You don't need to start from scratch here - in fact, you can find numerous color palettes on Pinterest and even Instagram. I love a neutral color palette with one or two pops of color, but use whatever you prefer!
Brand images are important as well. These do not (and usually aren't) have to be photos that you take. Instead, you want to look for images that embody your brand. Maybe it's nature images, flat lay desk images, coffee images, etc, etc, etc. You can again look on Pinterest or Instagram for ideas. Just remember, if you're going to use your brand images publicly, you have to credit the owner of the image.
3. A brand board that puts it all together
You can have your logos, fonts, colors and images, but if they don't work together then it's not good branding! That's why a brand board is so important. It not only allows you to see everything in one place, but it really pulls it all together to develop a brand. A good brand board will have everything - primary logo, secondary logo, submark, brand fonts, brand colors and brand images. It might even show how your logos or submark work with the images or colors.
A brand board is something you'll always refer back to when creating something for your business.
Branding can (and will) of course go deeper as your brand evolves, but the three things above will put you off to an amazing start. And the best part is that you don't have to do it from scratch - there are tons of resources out there to help you DIY your branding.