Have you ever sat down and really thought about the branding for your business? I’m talking about the design aspects of it… what does your overall branding look like?
If you were to put all these pieces side by side would they all flow together visually – your business cards, website, promotion images, hangtags, postcards, logo, social media branding and so on and so on. Or are they all different and kinda scattered? The reason branding is so important is because it creates a cohesiveness for your audience. This makes you more memorable to them!
The perfect place to start with your branding is by creating a moodboard. Moodboards are like the cornerstone of your branding because they’re great for sorting those ideas in your head that don’t quite make sense yet. Whenever I’m starting a new branding concept I’m always a little unclear about the overall vision at first. Making a moodboard always fixes that problem for me. In fact, the moodboard above is the one I created for the design of this blog! I wanted to share it with you so you could see how it acts as my reference point for the overall design of madebyandi.com. And also that the point of the moodboard is not to copy straight out from it. It’s to create a “mood” from it, hence the name. You can see the results I ended up with for my own branding “mood” below. Here are the main colour accents I stick to, the fonts, and the overall vibe I’m kinda going for ;)
Whenever I start a new branding strategy, I set aside some time to brainstorm. Usually I’ll grab a cup of coffee somewhere and bring out a notepad to start scribbling down some ideas. Then I’ll head over to Pinterest to get some visual inspiration. And after that, I’ll create my final idea. Here are the steps I follow broken down in to easy tasks:
1. Ask yourself these 3 questions
- how would I describe my brand using personality traits? (ex. girlie, bohemian, modern, edgy etc.)
- who am I trying to target? What do my customers look like?
- what other brands would they buy from?
- how would I describe those brands using personality traits?
2. Head over to Pinterest and look through images that you like, paying attention to these things:
I like to create a new board on my own Pinterest specifically for this new branding I’m working on (if you don’t have a Pinterest account, you can easily grab these images and add them to a file on your computer for inspiration). When looking for images, you can use the top search bar to enter any keywords that relate. I also like to search through my favourite pinners and see if there’s anything there that catches my eye as well. Here’s what I look for with images…
- fonts: any images that have fonts that I like
- colours: any colour combos that I like and any punchy accent colours
- outfits: the style that my customer would wear so I can picture them in my head better
- style of photo: mood/feeling/emotion that the picture portrays
3. Create a collage of your top picks
Once I have a bunch of photos in a collection I start to narrow down to my top picks for inspiration sources. Then I create a photo collage! (You can easily do that in PicMonkey).
4. Look for similarities in the images
It’s pretty cool when you start looking at the photos you grabbed all together. You’ll start to notice similarities. What are they? Do you see a common colour that keeps showing up? What about a font style? How would you describe the overall mood/feeling you get from these photos?
5. Choose one accent colour
This almost ALWAYS tends to happen… is there a random photo that doesn’t really mix with the rest? Sometimes that’s the gamechanger… it’s perfect for using as an accent colour or pattern that makes everything truly unique! If you’re not familiar with what an “accent colour” is, take a look at the colour wheel image below. Choose a colour, now the one on the opposite side of that one is the accent colour (for example, the opposite of yellow is violet). So for my moodboard above, the main colour that I’m using is a green and I decided that the accent colour I’d use would be that super punchy red-violet-fuchsia coloured image! Fun right!?
6. Write down the colours, fonts, styles & stick to them
So now that we’ve got an overall visual, it’s time to figure out the logistics and write them down on a master list of branding ingredients. Here are the main questions for you to answer.
- what are the 2 – 3 specific fonts you’ll use for everything? (hint: you can even just choose them from PicMonkey that way you’ll always have access to them when making new promotions)
- what are the 1-2 main colours? what is your accent colour?
- how do you define your brand using personality traits?
7. USE your moodboard!
Now that you’ve got this awesome visual – use it! Now I don’t mean to copy the images, instead I mean as a reference point. And inspiration! You’ve figured out your overall branding (font styles, colours, personality traits) and now every time you make anything, and I mean ANYTHING that’s related to your brand – this includes business cards, promotion images online, instagram pics, hangtags, linesheets, coupons, stickers, etc. – USE Your Beautiful New Moodboard!
This technique does wonders for me everytime I do something new. It keeps me on track and it keeps me cohesive. I hope you will give it a try and see if you like it, I think you really will!
P.S. Have a wonderful day!
- xx, Andi
** All images sourced through Pinterest. Here are the full credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |