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Designing your brand identity: A DIY guide for artists and makers

Brand Identity
min read
In this article

I love a good deep-dive into branding, but sometimes it can be good to get an overview of a process in a nutshell so you can see the whole picture. Today, I'm giving you a step-by-step guide to the brand identity design process, so you can see what it takes to make that big beautiful brand of yours come to life!

First and foremost, before you do any actual design work, make sure you have your brand strategy all worked out. That way, you can create your designs with intention and achieve all that magic that comes from strategic brand identity design. 

Once you’ve got your strategy sorted, it’s time to get designing! Whether you’re DIY-ing it or hiring someone to help, I want to give you the process to designing your brand identity.

1. Create a Mood Board

A mood board turns the intangible strategic direction of your brand into tangible design elements. If you get it right, it can save you a heck of a lot of time later on down the track. 

When you create a mood board that establishes the direction of your brand and aligns with your brand strategy, it will make it much easier for you to choose all your design elements later in the process. You’ll be able to check that your design decisions align with the brand strategy represented in your mood board. 

A well-made mood board can act like a guiding star and will keep you from flying blind as you start to design. 

2. Design Your Logo

Here’s the most important part about this step - design your logo in black and white. 

Why? There are two reasons: 

  1. It makes sure your logo is practical.
    Your logo needs to be able to work without colour, scale larger and smaller, and work on different backgrounds. Designing in black and white will make sure your logo can still be applied in these scenarios.

  2. It keeps you focused on the logo itself.
    If you design your logo using colour, it can be really easy to get distracted as your attention shifts to the colours instead of the logo itself. Keeping the design in black and white will help you focus on making sure the logo communicates what it needs to. 

3. Choose Your Colour Palette

Now it’s time to introduce colour to that black and white design you’ve created.  

Colour communicates so much and has so much meaning attached to it, so your colour palette is super important. Not only that, a clear colour palette can help increase the recognition of your brand by 80% - it’s pretty powerful stuff! 

When creating your colour palette, choose a palette that is flexible enough for you to change up your designs and use it effectively, but not so many colours that you don’t have a clear brand. 

Our recommended sweet spot is to have 1-2 core colours, 2 secondary colours, and 2 neutral colours. 

Then it’s time to take your colours and your logo, and put those babies together! 

4. Choose Your Fonts

Like colours, fonts also have so much meaning. You can communicate a lot through the typefaces that you choose, which is important to keep in mind when you’re deciding which fonts are right for your brand. 

Creating a font suite with 2-3 fonts will give you enough variety in your designs, but won’t be so many that your brand becomes diluted and confusing. Make sure these fonts contrast and highlight each other to create hierarchy. 

5. Choose and Design Your Brand Elements

That’s your core trio sorted - logo, colours and fonts. Now it’s time to decide on the other brand elements that you want to include to complete your brand identity design. 

This can include patterns, icons, illustrations, imagery and even music that you’ll use to form part of your brand identity. 

When you know which brand elements you’re going to include, then you can design them in a way that aligns with your brand strategy, mood board and the direction of your brand. 

6. Apply It! 

Now that you’ve designed all those beautiful elements of your brand, the next step is to apply them

Apply your branding everywhere that it needs to be communicated, like your social media, website, email marketing or product packaging. You can also start to take action on parts of your branding that need visual direction, such as taking brand photos. 

Basically - now that you’ve finished designing it, it’s time to share it with the world! 

Remember that the branding process doesn’t have to happen alone. At any stage, you can check in with others for feedback or to test whether your brand elements are communicating your brand the way you want them to. 

For a deeper dive into any of these stages of the process, make sure to click the links in this article and we’ll give you a helping hand! We can’t wait to see you developing your brand identity to make it freakin’ awesome and magical.

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February 23, 2022







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The Ultimate Branding Checklist

Your go-to-branding guide is just a click away!

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