Branding dates back hundreds of years. It's what farmers used to mark their livestock as their own so as to identify the owner. Branding is, "The action of marking with a branding iron". The goal of branding today is not so different. 'Branding' your business into the minds of your audience is what creating eye catching marketing material is all about. The goal is for your target audience to think of you when they need the solution that your business provides.
How does all this work? It starts with a recognizable logo. The best way to build brand recognition is to find lots of creative places to use your logo. A lot of designers, like myself will provide an entire branding package. A basic branding package includes the main logo, alternate logos, submarks, and a color palette. The alternate logos and submarks are smaller versions of the main logo, but still represent your brand overall. After a branding package is completed, you receive single files of each design created, usually this includes multiple files of the same element, but in different color variations, as well as a branding board.
What is a Branding Board?
A branding board gives you an at-a-glance look at your logos, alternate logos, submarks, color palette, and fonts that make up your brand's aesthetic and visual style. A branding board allows you to see all of this at a glance! It's a great resource to keep near your workspace to use when creating marketing material. Whether that be printed items or online marketing or promotional material, keeping your content on brand, consistent, and cohesive will build brand recognition.
*Tip: If you work with other designers make sure to send them your branding board. This helps them know exactly how to keep the visual content they create for you, on brand. Using your logo, brand fonts, and color palette consistently is what helps people remember you and your business! Do your best to avoid using a lot of different fonts and different colors when creating posts, email campaigns, and any other marketing material. This simply makes it harder for people to remember you in the future.
What should be included in a Branding Board?
Main logo, alternate logos and submarks are basic elements that should be included in any branding project. Generally, the alternate logos and submarks represent the main logo, but are re-arranged a bit. You've probably seen these elements in other brands and not even realized it. The Chick-Fil-A logo is a great example. They have a few variations, one is typed out on one line with the first letter, their C with the chicken design. You'll also notice just the C by itself in other areas the entire logo main not fit. Having multiple elements like this allows you to showcase your brand in more versatile and creative ways.
Why do you need a branding board?
Branding helps your clients/customers remember you. When people know what you offer and they start seeing your logo pop up in different areas, you'll start to become top of mind. As soon as they need what you have to offer, they will think of you first. Branding isn't about having the prettiest logo, or the trendiest colors, it's about creating a cohesive look that stands the test of time. Something you can use continuously use to 'brand' your business into the minds of your audience.
When I first started my business I was all over social media. I stay consistent in the way I presented myself and even though some of my friends and family didn't need my services, they referred me to their friends and family because they consistently saw me putting out information on the services I offer. That information just happened to be curated in a way that was consistent each time I posted. Brand recognition happens when you're using your branding consistently throughout social media, email marketing, business cards, flyers, emails, the list goes on!
Branding Board Examples
Here are a few branding board examples to spark some creative inspiration! A logo is simply one piece of the puzzle. As you can see in these branding board examples, the logo is the main element of your branding, the alternate logos, submarks, and a color palette truly give the rest of the brand so much life. Alternate logos and submarks still represent your company, but allow you to have variety of ways to showcase it. Having all of these options allows you to continue to build brand recognition in a more subtle way than always using the main logo everywhere.
What are the numbers and letters underneath the colors?
Those are the color codes or if you want to get really technical, they're called Web Safe RBG Color Codes. This means if you're creating marketing material that's going to go on the web you can type in that code to get your exact branding color. I encourage a lot of my clients to use Canva an amazing resource for creating marketing material. The codes underneath the photos work in Canva, so you can choose a template to work with, swap out their fonts for your branded fonts, swap out the colors and BAM that template now looks perfectly on brand!