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Brand Identity

How to Build an Unforgettable Brand Identity on a Start-Up Budget

*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

We all want to build an unforgettable brand identity for our business. But let’s be honest, not everybody has all the dollars in the world to spend on building their brand! That’s the reality of running a business - but the reality is also that that doesn’t have to stop you. 

No matter where you’re at and what resources you have, you have the ability and opportunity to work on your brand, and I want to show you how. 

You want to build something badass and beautiful, and that alone is amazing, admirable and I freakin’ love it! So let’s talk about some accessible ways for you to build your brand identity even if you’re on a start-up budget.

First Things First: Focus On The Essentials

It can get really tempting to get shiny object syndrome and compare yourself to other people who are going through the whole branding process, hiring brand strategists and designers, and spending thousands of dollars. Just because they’re going through that doesn’t mean you have to as well. 

All you have to do is focus on those essential elements that are going to help you build and grow your brand right now. Sure, there are some things that would be pretty damn cool to have, but they’re luxuries that you can invest in later on when you have the resources to do that - and focusing on the essentials is what’s going to get you there. 

Ok, so what are the essentials? 

Strategy

No matter where you’re at, start your branding journey and process by building a strategy. It doesn’t have to be a 100-page customised document, it just needs to provide clarity and direction on what you do, why you do it, who you do it for, how you do it and who you are.

Colours

Colour is really important and really powerful when it comes to branding, so having a colour palette is definitely an essential when you’re building your brand. 

Fonts

If you’re doing anything requiring text (which most things do), then you’re going to need a couple of fonts to help you do that. 

Imagery

So much of what we do is visual, so having guidelines on your imagery is essential to build your brand. This can include photography, illustrations, icons or patterns. 

Everything else is going to depend on what you do and what your goals are. For example, if you’re a podcaster, then the podcast artwork and social graphics to promote your podcast are going to be essential for you. If you’re an artist, your online shop is essential for you to start selling your work and growing your brand. 

Whatever it is that you do, think about the things that are essential to you and are non-negotiables for you to share your work and sell your products or book your services. 

Now, you might have noticed that something I DIDN’T mention is a logo. That’s because in my opinion, a logo is not essential, especially nowadays in the age of personal brands and online creators. If you do feel like you need a logo, there are plenty of ways to do this on a budget. As long as it’s consistent, simple and easy for you to make, then that’s all you need (if you need it at all!)

Free Resources for Branding on a Budget

Now that you know what the essentials are, I’m going to share some amazing resources that you can use to create a beautiful brand identity - and best of all, they’re free! There’s no payment gateway standing between you and an unforgettable brand. All you have to do is dive in and find what you need that aligns with your strategy, and get a bit creative to find the perfect way to make it unique to your brand. 

Software & Assets

  • Figma
    Almost all of the creative and design work we do at Maker & Moxie is done in Figma. Whether it’s creating graphics for your social media, shop or podcast, you can create it in Figma for free, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan if you have a team.

  • Canva
    You can design basically anything and everything in Canva. There are heaps of free templates, resources and tools, so you can just jump straight in and start creating. 

Fonts 

  • Google Fonts
    Whether it’s personal or commercial work, Google Fonts has a great range of high quality fonts, so you can choose the perfect font to work with your brand.

  • Adobe Fonts
    If you’re already using Adobe Creative Cloud, then you can use Adobe Fonts for free (if not, then it is paid). They have a huge library full of amazing fonts to use for your brand. 

Imagery

When it comes to imagery and photography, there are plenty of libraries full of high quality, beautiful photography that you can use in your brand for free. For some, you may find that there are photos that a lot of people are using, so do some digging and exploring to find more unique images that will suit you and your brand. 

Illustrations

There are so many free illustration libraries out there that all you really need to do is Google search ‘free illustrations’, but here are a couple that I would really recommend checking out. 

Icons

  • Noun Project
    The only thing to note here is that you need to give credit when you use these icons. If you don’t want to do that, then Figma and Canva also have libraries full of free icons you can use. 

DIY Resources

Make use of as many free DIY resources as you can. You can find a great list of free and super valuable resources here

You can also check out the resources we have here at Maker & Moxie: 

These were created so that there are affordable, accessible options for everyone to use - because nothing should stop somebody from being able to work on their brand. 

My mission and vision is to make the world a more creative place one brand at a time. I want to help as many of you as possible to build your brand, share your work and own your moxie. It doesn’t matter whether you have $1,000s or $0 - we’re here to help you however we can. 

You are amazing for working on your brand, and you have the access and ability to build a freakin’ amazing brand no matter the price point. I can’t wait to see you making the most of all the incredible free resources out there and building your unforgettable brand with nothing holding you back

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Hollie stands resting her hands on the white desk behind her, wearing a black t-shirt tucked into orange pants and clear glasses, and smiling into the camera.

by hollie arnett

The brand coach for creatives, hand-lettering artist for herself, and cup of tea lover forever.

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