"How do I create a Brand Identity?... How does it work?"
Updated: Jun 18
Often, when people first approach me asking for help with their branding, they’re not exactly sure where to start and what to expect.
So I’ve broken down an example of a typical Brand Presentation into sections to explain my process and hopefully answer a few of those questions…
1. Brand Discovery Meeting
Really, this is just a chat! An opportunity for you to tell me all about your business so I can understand its journey, ethos and core values and what’s most important for me to communicate to your customers.
Prior to our chat, it can help to pin-point the following things for us to discuss:
3 words that sum up the voice behind your brand
Your target audience
Your key competitors
Any images that you like or reflect the design direction you might like the project to take
Which channels you’ll be using to communicate with your audience (e.g. Social Media, Business Website, Etsy etc)
2. Competitor Analysis
Once I’ve got a good understanding of your business’ direction, I’ll then complete a competitor analysis. This helps to identify where we can create your point of difference in the market.
This is where the fun starts! From our discussions and the competitor research I’ll pull together images that reflect a strategic direction that I believe your branding should take. The mood board will be unique to your project and could include anything from existing product branding to textures or photography styles - our discussions will guide the direction of the mood board.
Carefully selected to support the ethos of your brand, these colours will really start to communicate the vibe of your new branding. There’s no set number of colours that will be included in the brand presentation document, again this will be determined by our discussions and research in the initial stages of the process.
5: Logo Concept
Now your new or updated branding will start to emerge! It will be a visual representation of all the research from the previous stages. You’ll see an example of how your logo works in full, but also as a sub mark or brand mark. These are an alternative representation of your logo that will allow it to be used at a small scale whilst still coherently communicating your brand.
I follow the one concept design approach, which means I’ll supply one logo concept as part of your presentation. There’s been a lot of research into this approach and I whole heartedly support the thinking behind it.
Radim Malinic author of ‘Book of Branding’ supports this approach in his book and writes, “…you can focus on the one great idea that maximises time and energy on both sides.” Which I feel neatly sums up the philosophy. As a client, you’re paying me as your designer to make the design decisions for you, so with this approach the work that you receive has undergone several more refinements, to create a higher quality and more strategic solution to your branding needs. The key to success with this strategy is to ensure there’s a thorough discussion in the brand discovery stage and a strong line of communication between us throughout the process… that way I can be sure we’ve developed the right direction so you’ll love the end result!
Whilst your logo may be created using a unique or bespoke font, I always choose a web safe font for your main body-copy font choices. This ensures that when you transfer your branding to your website (or choose to in the future) it will remain consistent with the rest of your branding. It also means they are readily available for you to use without worrying about licensing issues.
7: Brand Patterns or Illustrations
I love to include these in your brand presentation. Patterns, illustrations, icons or infographics are all perfect opportunities to add further personality and depth to your brand. A pattern may reuse your brand mark in a creative way to subtly reinforce that brand awareness for your customers, or a set of illustrations could represent a key offering of your business that you can utilise for different content requirements. You can then use them across all your communication channels to really lift your visuals and help to create that all important coherent look and feel.
Whilst I don’t provide a photography service, I like to include a page on photography in the proposal document if I feel it will become a key part of the branding. I’ll find examples of a style that will support the rest of your branding, you can then choose to use similar stock imagery or invest in a professional photographer when the time is right for your business.
9: Mock Ups
Mock-ups are invaluable for helping to visualise how your branding will look when it’s applied to a product, stationery or digital platform. This is the stage that really brings it to life! (And my favourite part of the process!!) I’ll select one or two to create for you that’s appropriate for your brand. That will largely be determined by whether you’re a product or service based business. And of course, if you have any specific requests I will include them here too.
10: Social Media Feed
Social Media has the potential be a huge customer base for your business, so it’s crucial that this strongly reflects the style of the rest of your branding elements. Every business is unique and utilises different platforms at different levels, so I’ll reflect this in the template designs which I create for you. I usually aim to provide a mix of text only and pattern/graphic templates so that you can play around with them to create the perfect balance in your feed amongst your core product or service offerings.
Once these sections are all complete, I’ll send this over to you as a PDF document for you to review. Then we can talk feedback and amends until everything is perfect for your new branding launch!
So there you have it… that’s an overview of what your Brand Presentation document could include. Hopefully that helps to answer a few questions you may have had, and please just drop me a message if you’d like to know any more.
If you’re in a position to start the process of creating your new branding and you think that sounds like it will work for you … please get in touch and we can set up your Brand Discovery meeting and get started!
FYI … I’m working on putting visual examples together for each stage for this soon too, so I’ll add a link on here as soon as that is available. You can also sign up to these posts (see the box right at the top!) if you’d like to receive the future posts and downloads via email.