It is time to learn how to create a brand board, so you can put your brand visuals together, creating a beautiful and cohesive brand board.
If you haven’t, then learn how to create a color palette and make a mood board.
If you’re at all familiar with the branding process, you’ve likely heard the term “brand board” before. You may have even seen examples of it floating around Pinterest, Instagram, and here on my website.
When creating a new brand identity, one of the most important components of your brand design process is your brand board. But what exactly are brand boards, and why are they important?
What is a brand board?
Brand boards show the client every element of their visual brand- all together in one neat document. A brand board, also known as a brand style guide, is a visual reference of your brand identity. In other words, it provides an at-a-glance summary of the look and feel of your brand. A typical brand board includes the brand’s logos, colors, fonts, and imagery, at brand together.
How having a brand board helps your business
Having a brand board for your business is essential for a few key reasons. For one, it works as a reference guide that helps create consistency for your brand. When you or your team are creating content for your website, social media channels, and marketing materials, it’s important to use consistent colors, fonts, and styles. Otherwise, your brand will look like a jumbled mess and confuse your audience.
Another benefit of a brand style guide is that it helps your brand attract the right audience if it was created strategically look from an external perspective. Get clear on who you are, what you do, your style and vibe and who you serve. Follow a process, and don’t skip steps just because it’s for yourself.
Brand boards are usually created by the graphic designer who helped a client with their logo and web design. An effective brand board will outline the visual designs necessary to attract your ideal client. They’re important because they help convey a brand’s values, attributes, and personality in one glance.
Brand guide for social media
A brand board section of styled imagery that includes different textures, patterns, and example stock photos can help your brand stay consistent — especially in your marketing materials and social media content. When you use the same style of images on your blog, or the same style of patterns in your social media and mail templates, you can increase brand awareness of your company.
When you’ve designed graphics, prints, or anything else for your business (or for your clients), it is helpful to look at the brand board and check that what you’ve designed is in line with the identity that is on the board – if you have used the same colors, fonts, photographic style.
The anatomy of a brand board
Distinctive and instantly recognizable. Variations of your logo are extremely important because nowadays we have so many different platforms and formats where a business logo can be implemented. Ideally, a logo should have a horizontal (rectangle) and vertical (square) version. A company should always have one primary logo that represents them, and a secondary logo that is a simplified version of the primary logo. This design may eliminate some text or rearrange the elements to improve readability in small sizes. Secondary logos are intended for online use or when you must resize your logo to small formats.
- Color palette.
Consists of colors that fully support your brand vision and
messages. Your color palette is essential because it sets the mood in your branding. To keep a consistent and recognizable brand, it is recommended that you use ONLY these colors in your branding. This includes logo variations, website, business card, social media graphics, marketing materials, etc.
Provide visual clarity and texture.
For headings, subheads, body copy, and accents. As few as possible. One of those fonts is the primary font used for stationery, flyers, and posters. The secondary font would go along with the primary font and would be used only for parts of text that need some accents.
- Patterns and illustrations.
Add texture and uniqueness to your brand and website. Add texture and uniqueness to your brand and website. Patterns and textures reinforce the mood or theme of your other brand elements and are a fun way to add to the aesthetic of your brand. Patterns are usually used on print materials, social media graphics or as elements on PDF designs. Use them sparingly on your website as you want to keep your site clean, fresh and simple.
- Brand photography.
Follow the four personality theory and you will gain a cohesive, strong visual branding.
Just like a color palette, fonts can make or break the brand vibe you’re trying to give off. Script fonts are often used for feminine brands, whilst chunky sans serif fonts could be used for modern brands. Whatever the font, make sure you include all font names and their uses in your client’s brand boards. Tell your client which fonts should be used for paragraph text and headers.
These elements make up a visual identity, but there’s also so much more you can add! Once you have the basics in place, you can use them in your website design, create social media branding, PDFs, print designs, course designs and more.
Fill in your own brand board from Creative Market.
How to create a brand board
If you’re working with a professional designer to create your brand identity, your designer will more likely than not create a brand board for you. Some designers also provide in-depth brand guidelines, which are multiple pages long and go into detail on how to actually apply your brand elements.
But if you’re DIYing your brand, you can easily create a brand board later on as your brand grows and evolves. The foundational elements you must clarify about your brand BEFORE you even consider making a mood board.
Organize these elements in a grid, with your logo in a featured spot. From there, you can add your font names and the hex codes for your brand colors. This way, it is easy to know what your select colors and fonts are at all times.
Tools for brand board creation
- Choose a design tool that you find easiest to use – Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or Canva.
- As a seasoned Illustrator user, you will surely find this tool to be the easiest for such simple projects.
- Photoshop is a bit clumsy solution, but also usable.
- Most people will probably find Canva as the tool to go to. You can choose to purchase a pre-made brand board template from Creative Market, or n build your board from the scratch.
- Logo Design Inspiration: Logo Design Love.
We live and breathe branding, and all mediums—your website, social media graphics, printed materials, etc. Consistency is key!
Using a brand board is a great way to keep your branding on track. Think of it as your brand bible—the resource you will always (always!) refer back to when creating any kind of graphics, visuals, or brand collateral. It’s an easy reference for all of your brand fonts, color codes, patterns, logos, and textures, to ensure that any visual element you create is cohesive with your brand identity.
You are now ready to start making a powerful brand statement with your visuals. You go for it. Yep!
Examples of brand boards
1. For a youthful, playful business
A playful looking brand board template from Creative Market by Katie Harp Creative. The sample image matches the spirit of a youthful, friendly business that welcomes basically everyone – young and old, men and women. Perfect for products like drinking water, ice cream, telecommunication, toys. Find great examples on this board here: Playful brand boards on Pinterest.
2. For an elegant, feminine business
This template is from Creative Market by Pretty Bloom Designs. The sample image reflects well a brand identity that is suitable for businesses that are somewhat formal, elegant, understated, feminine. Think wedding industry, classical art, flower shop, babies. Many examples on this board here: Elegant brand boards on Pinterest.
3. For earthy, nature-loving businesses
I chose this brand board template from Creative Market by AndrewPixel for businesses that are either fairtrade, organic, nature-related, community-friendly, or work with coffee, chocolate, veggies & fruits, or similar. Earthy brand boards on Pinterest.
I am sure there are a ton of free templates out there on the internet as well, do some research and find the one that suits your needs best.
4. Luxury, high-end, formal businesses
A template from Creative Market by William Hansen. The sample image has a minimalistic feel and certain coolness about it. It reflects perfectly the needs of a brand that goes for luxury and exclusivity. Many examples here: Edgy and luxury brand boards on Pinterest.
An Ultimate Brand Identity Style Guide
Everything about color psychology in branding and how to build a successful brand identity for your business.
Format: Ebook (Printable PDF file).
Colors For Creative Businesses is both a practical guide and an inspirational book that proposes a reflection on the universe of brand elements, color combinations, as well as the moods and atmospheres they evoke.
This colorful e-book explains the following:
- How to create a harmonious color palette that is right for your business
- How to make brand boards.
- Create an inspiration board.
- Which photo style is right for your business’ field and target group.
- Which font is best for your website and banners.
And, of course, there are plenty of other practical tips to help you create an amazing design EVERY DAY, both at work and home, and for social media.