The first step to crafting a brand identity for your business is by creating a brand board. Consisting of logo concepts, fonts, a color palette, inspirational images and patterns, your brand board will help you develop a cohesive visual identity for your brand. Whether your Etsy shop is big or small, having a branding board is going to help you completely streamline your workflow.
When I first started Betty Lu Paperie (formerly Betty Lu Designs) in 2013, I had very little graphic design experience. I knew I needed a logo, but I had no clue what a brand board was or how to brand my business. The more clients I gained and the more marketing I did, I realized that having a branding board was a necessity. Although I had a good idea of how I wanted my brand to appear, actually laying it all out was paramount to fine-tuning all those ideas floating around in my head.
Interested in a little behind the scenes of my rebranding process? Allow me to walk you through the steps of my method.
Here's a look at my full brand board.
You don't have to have a big business to develop a brand board. In fact, if you're just starting out, now is the perfect time to get your visuals together. The brand board will help you keep everything organized and cohesive, whether you're posting on Instagram or writing a blog post, and it gives a sense of legitimacy to your company. I actually felt as if I had brought my brand to life–with its own personality and uniqueness–by the time I finished the visual concepts of my brand.
My first step was updating my logo.
I updated my logo around June of last year. (You can view my old logo on my Facebook page here.) The new logo was everything I wanted–simple, clean and sleek with an almost rose gold hue. Next, I created some alternate logos and (my favorite part) selected fonts.
For the fonts, I mixed some high and low pieces together, so to speak. I love Baskerville. It's clean, I love the italicized version and the italic ampersand is the prettiest one ever. There are plenty of other high-end serif fonts that I love, but you really can't go wrong with this classic tried and true typeface that comes standard on just about every computer. Keeping in mind the traditional design rule to pair a serif and sans serif font together, I chose Brandon Grotesque to contrast my secondary font.
I toyed with the idea of even having a third font, but in the end I knew I needed a nice accent to the basic fonts. While I almost went with Tangier Light, I ultimately decided on Fitri for its resemblance to calligraphy and ethereal vibes.
The next step was the most crucial step in my process, and to be honest with you, this should have been the first step. But, like I said, I had been playing around with all of these ideas on my head for months.
After updating my logo and choosing some fonts, I took some time to develop a private Pinterest board to hone in on my brand's aesthetic. I pinned anything and everything that evoked my brand's style–rustic, feminine and ethereal. I didn't just pin wedding invitations or wedding ideas, it was more about who my ideal client is and what her lifestyle is like. I pinned everything from babies to kitchens to plates and typography.
From my Pinterest board, I realized my brand was developing a personality of its own–from boho touches to stylishly rustic goods. This also helped with developing my color palette. A lot of the images I pinned had neutral and gray tones, high contrast and pops of an almost neutral pink.
Once I had my Pinterest board full of pins (458 pins to date), I knew I could complete my branding board by creating a color palette and pulling together a few visuals and patterns to evoke the aesthetic.
I had all of the colors in my mind that I wanted–neutrals combined with black (but not stark black)–but when I laid them out, I knew I needed a little bit of a pop color for my visuals. By taking a good look at my private Pinterest board, I noticed that I had pinned a lot of earthy, almost mauve, pink tones. I decided on a mauve-ish hue and brightened it up just a tad.
Lastly, I selected some of my favorite images from my Pinterest board that really capture my brand's style. I have been using the white and rose gold floral pattern in my branding for the last six months, so I decided to stick with it. I think its beautiful and pairs well with different visuals and marketing materials. The other images are some of my favorites from my Pinterest board that really pull the color palette together.
So there's my method on creating a branding board. Now it's your turn! Whether you're just starting out or have been in business for a while, I am offering a free brand board template for you.