Making sure that your brand design is cohesive is one of the most important parts of branding your blog & business. Having a cohesive brand means that you have a set of brand elements (logos, colours, fonts, design elements, brand collaterals) that you constantly use over and over again across your website and social media profiles.
Today I wanted to talk about a great and popular tool that can help you achieve that – brand board. We’ll discuss, what is a brand board, why do you need one, what’s on a brand board and how you can use these elements on your website and social media. Let’s dive in, shall we?!
Below, you can see a video that will walk you through all of the points mentioned in this post. I also showed you the examples of how I used the elements from brand boards for my clients.
By the way – this is my first video – EVER!
WHAT IS A BRAND BOARD
+ THE ANATOMY OF A BRAND BOARD
WHAT IS A BRAND BOARD?
In the shortest way possible – the brand board is like a cheat sheet of all of your brand elements.
The brand boards that I design for my brand design or brand & web design clients include: main logo, alternative logos, submark logos, colour palette, font combinations and design elements (sometimes I include one of the brand collateral like website icons on the bottom too).
The term brand board is often confused (even by graphic designers!) with the brand style guide – which is somewhat similar yet more complex.
I won’t go into much detail since this post is about the brand board, not a brand style guide, but the brand style guide as its name indicates includes guidelines on how to use and not to use the brand elements (e.g. some brands only use their logo in only one colour from the colour palette). It also has non-visual (brand) elements written out there like target audience, brand values, brand voice etc.
WHY DO YOU NEED A BRAND BOARD?
The brand board helps you visualize all of the brand elements on one page – it’s like a reference. Having a brand board saves you a lot of time because you know exactly what elements, colours or fonts to use. This way, all of your graphics either on your website or social media accounts will be cohesive – which is an important thing about branding.
THE ANATOMY OF A BRAND BOARD
As I mentioned above, what’s included in the brand board depends on a designer. Below you can see the anatomy of a brand board, so what it includes when I design it for my brand design or brand & web design clients:
This is the primary logo of a business. It’s probably the brand element that you’ll use the most. All of the other elements are created based on the logo, so it’s the most important part of brand design.
The alternative logo is simply a shorter version of your main logo. Alternative logos are the variations of your main logo and it can be for example logo without the tagline, a stacked version, icon, badge and so on. I usually create 2-4 alternative logos for my clients.
Submarks are usually in geometric shapes and they contain a symbol or illustration that represents your brand. Submarks can be used in situations where your main logo might not fit well for example on profile image on social media or on blog post graphics.
Colour palette is a set of colours that represent your brand & business. The colours are usually picked out based on inspirational images and target audience. I usually create colour palettes that contain 5-7 colours. To make sure your brand is cohesive, you need to use the same colours over and over again on all of your graphics and on your website.
I also include two font recommendation so my clients know which fonts to use for social media and on their website. The font combination usually features two fonts – one main font and second an accent font or font for headers/brand collaterals. Same as with the colour palette, you need to use the same fonts on your website and graphics.
Sometimes I also include brand collaterals like website buttons or icons on the brand board.
Here are examples of some of the brand boards I’ve designed for my clients:
I hope this post showed you how your business can benefit from having a brand board. Whenever you create new graphics for your website or social media, have your brand board ready, to make sure all of the designs are cohesive and streamlined.