How to Create Your Own Branding Design
What are the most important aspects of branding design? And what essential skills do you need to create your own?
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If you’re on a tight budget and want to create a strong brand identity on your own, here are some basics that will help you start creating a distinctive brand design for your small business.
Many business owners that are only starting their own company are on a tight budget, yet need to invest in so many different things. Brand creation and design are only some of the big processes of launching a business, and they can be costly. So, owners try and put together the basics of a brand design with what they have. Sometimes, even without any design skills.
As a graphic design company, anyone at ManyPixels, including me, would strongly advise you against going this path and start building a brand design on your own. It is a very complex and important process that requires research, skills and strategy.
Yet, if you are still insistent on doing that, at least in the beginning before you’ve even made some profits, here are some basic pieces of advice that could help you.
Learn the most important elements of branding
Before you start developing your branding look, you need to learn what are the inevitable branding elements that will help your company look distinguishable.
Here are some of the basics:
- Company logo
- Brand color palette
- Fonts and typography
- Symbols and imagery
It probably seems like a lot for a non-designer, but there is much more that you can do to help your products and services be instantly recognizable and remembered. Other elements are brand marks (simpler secondary version of a brand’s logo), photos, backgrounds and patterns, custom illustrations, mascots, unique packaging, etc.
Research your target audience and competition
Another essential step of the brand identity process is research. You need to know all about your competitors and their branding design. What does their brand look like, and what can you do better? What are their shortfalls? What do they have that makes you think they have a great brand?
You also need to research target audiences and their preferences. It will be helpful to make buyer personas for this.
A buyer persona (also known as a marketing persona) is a made-up figure who symbolizes your ideal consumer. Concentrate on getting in touch with the proper people. Understanding your consumer helps you develop trust in the long run, and trust is a critical component of commercial success.
You need to know who is interested in what you're offering. Only then will you be able to determine which brand they will gravitate toward.
Create a brand story and mission statement
A brand is only as good as its values and mission. Especially nowadays, people relate a lot more to a brand if they share its beliefs and like what it stands for.
So, before you start creating a visual branding identity, make sure you know what you want it to depict.
A mission statement and brand vision will help you filter out the styles and characteristics that don’t correspond to your values.
For example, if you are young and hip, you shouldn’t use serif fonts, or a royal blue and gold color palette. You’ll go for something lively and youthful, like pastel tones and flowy handwritten fonts.
Start with the company logo and keep building the visual identity from there
You have to start from the basics: first design a logo, then build the rest from there.
The logo’s colors will be the basis of the rest of your color palette, and from there on you can decide on a fitting secondary font (presuming that the primary one will be on the logo itself), patterns and the rest of the elements.
When you say it like this, it seems to be a simple enough strategy. However, creating a logo is a very important and precarious business: it needs to be well-related to your business, it should be timeless and flexible, get the message across quickly and most importantly, one that you’ll use for a long time. Regular changes of logos can harm your brand recognition in the future, so make sure you create one you can see yourself using for years to come.
You must ensure that your branding and visual identity are respected and implemented correctly and consistently after you have created them.
That means you'll need a brand guide or brand kit, which contains all of the details and branded assets about your brand's distinctive design and tone of voice.
It will assist your partners, marketing specialists, outsourced agencies, and staff in properly implementing the brand identity.
It usually contains information on the logo, including variant versions, backdrops, branded typography, iconography, photo usage, and so on.
It also includes the brand's values, story, and messaging so that the reader can quickly grasp the brand's identity.
Keep in mind that a professional will always do it better
Although this brief guide might have led you to believe that some quick DIY design software and a lot of creativity can help you build a branding design for yourself, be realistic in accepting the fact that a professional designer or service will do it much better.
Entrust your brand identity and creation of a brand style guide to a brand designer, agency, or for a more budget-friendly option, our own on-demand service here at ManyPixels. Research, strategy, creation of the logo and other assets and brand guidelines will be a breeze when someone that does design for a living takes care of it.
Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.