Week 3 of the Brand Audit Series is here! If you’re new here be sure to build your brand foundation first and then find out if your logo is working. Once you’ve done those two things you’re ready for the next step: completing your branding. So what else do you need besides a logo? Read on!
Even if you’re on a tight budget there are two things that are non-negotiable in your branding. Those are a color palette and typography. There is no way to avoid using colors and fonts in your brand. You will use them on your website, marketing materials, and even on social media.
If you don’t have these nailed down as part of your branding you might make the mistake of using different fonts and colors everywhere, making your brand look unprofessional and inconsistent.
Nail these two things down and not only will your brand look better, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of headaches by having some brand guidelines in place.
Nice to Have
Ideally, we’d take your brand identity a step further with some elements that will really make your brand look complete and professional. This would include adding secondary marks, patterns/textures, and photography.
Secondary marks, or submarks, are additional brand marks that compliment your logo, but as the name implies, they always remain secondary to it. They add a lot of personality to a brand. Some of my favorite uses for them include on business cards, in the footer of your website, and on social media graphics. Here’s an example of a fun secondary mark on the back of business cards for You Are Her Co.
Patterns & Textures
Patterns and textures add a lot of depth and visual interest to a brand. Even brands with very simple logos can stand out and look unique with the addition of patterns and textures. They are great to use on your website, stationery, and social media graphics. Below is a custom pattern I designed on the back of a letterhead for Morgan Tap + Basin.
Finally having photography guidelines is the cherry on top of a beautiful brand identity. It’s great if you can afford to get professional brand photos. This will ensure that you’re photography is one of a kind and fits your brand style, but even if you’re using stock photos, it’s important to stick to a cohesive style. This will not only make your branding more cohesive, but it will make it easier for you to choose photos.
Should your brand photos be light and airy, or dark and moody? If you use photos with people, what age, gender, and ethnicity should they be? All of these things are going to play a role in creating a successful (or not so successful) brand identity.
I hired a professional photographer for my brand photos. If you do hire a photographer, it’s really important to identify the style and the types of shots you want ahead of time. I wanted my brand photos to feel moody, creative, and modern in order to accurately represent my brand. Thanks to the help of Lisa V. Lupo, that’s exactly what I got and these photos go a long way in furthering my brand identity.
Now you know all of the elements that go into a creating a visual brand identity. Meet me back here next week to find out how to put all of these elements together in a consistent way. AND…I’ll also be offering some free one-on-one time with me, only available to my email subscribers. If you could use some professional help, sign up now!