When creating a new brand identity, one of the most important components of your brand design process is your brand board. But just what exactly is a brand board?
A brand board is a visual representation of your brand that compiles all of your branding elements such as logos, fonts, colours, patterns, marks etc.
Okay, so why do I need a brand board?
Using a brand board is a great way to keep your branding on track making sure that your message stays consistent to your customers when they first visit your website, your social media page, or your business premises.
So how does it work, and what do I do with it?
Let’s break down each component of your brand board step by step, so you will feel confident in knowing exactly how to use each element of your new beautifully designed brand identity.
Your primary logo is the main, most recognizable logo for your brand. This is the design that will be used most often for your brand materials.
Your colour palette is essential because it sets the mood in your branding. To keep a consistent and recognisable brand, it is recommended that you use ONLY these colours in your branding.
The choice of colours to use for your brand will have come after you have accessed the emotion, feeling you want to convey during the brand definition exercise.
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Submarks + Watermarks
A submark (or icon) is a symbol that can act as a shorthand for your full logo. Submarks are particularly useful as social media profile images, where space is limited. They are also handy to have when you want to display your logo or mark your brand at a small size, such as on a social media graphic or a blog thumbnail image.
Submarks can also be used as a “watermark,” at the bottom or in the corner of a social media graphic or image.
Fonts + Typography
Just like a color palette, fonts are essential to setting the mood in your branding. Script fonts are often used for feminine brands, and chunky sans serif fonts are often used for modern brands. A good rule of thumb for mixing fonts is to use sans serif fonts for headers and serif fonts for body copy, or vice versa.
It is recommended that you use the same fonts across all mediums—your website, social media graphics, printed materials, etc. Consistency is key!
Patterns + Textures
Patterns and textures reinforce the mood or theme of your other brand elements, and are a fun way to add to the aesthetic of your brand.
Patterns are usually used on print materials, social media graphics and packaging.
Use them sparingly on your website as you want to keep your site clean, fresh and simple.
Depending on your designer or your branding package, your brand board may also include the following:
A favicon is a small, iconic image that represents your website. Favicons are most often found in the address bar of your web browser, but they can also be used in lists of bookmarks in web browsers.
These are graphics that can be used as elements on your website, on social media, or as design components on print materials.
These photos provide a glimpse of your brand look and feel, and help remind you and any designers working for you the “vibe” of your brand. Use these photos and graphics as inspiration for your own brand photography or social media images. We live in a visual era (think instagram!), and visual consistency is key for successful branding.
Making Brand Magic
When all of your brand elements work as a whole, that’s where the magic happens!
Remember to use your brand board every time you want to design a social media graphic, business card, website graphic, flyer, shopping bag, etc, and ask yourself it it flows with the rest of your board or recognizable as part of your brand identity?
If the answer is no, revisit your design and focus on how you can pull in the colours, fonts and patterns from your brand board to make it more cohesive with your brand identity.