Branding your business

Last week at college, we presented our final projects for the Brand Identity course. The process was especially important for me since I am serious about starting my own business. So here is pretty much the first taste for it! This post will not only present my work (the Brand Book) and process, but also a short tutorial for designing a box in Adobe Illustration.

Not sure whether to start off with my early sketches or to show the final product… My teacher said that one is never fully satisfied with their own logo or brand, and that the hardest job is to design something for oneself. She is definitely right. I got bored with my work piece after piece: landing on something great, then finished hating it. Not to mention the tough comments I got from my outspoken friends on social media.

Perhaps to start off with a few notes on how to build your brand guidelines and what does your brand mean:

How to build your Brand Guidelines?

  1. Search ‘Morphological Matrix‘, it can help you to start sketching out your logo.
  2. Think about the feeling and the message you want to send through your brand. Is it happy and creative, or perhaps you want to focus on being professional and modern. What is the reaction you’d like to have from people who see your branding? Brainstorm a list of words and build a mind map.
  3. Talk to other people. Get ideas and show your early sketches. Create a Pinterest board for ideas, looks, colours etc. Here is my Pinterest Board for brands that I liked.
  4. Typography is so important. See below for a list of fonts I tried before reaching my ultimate choice. Matching fonts can be difficult, and sometimes you need to choose different typography for print and web. I found Google Fonts site very useful. For example, on my font Trocchi, they have a bit of history, download links and also a list of recommended pairings for matching fonts.
  5. Colours can truly impact the feeling of the brand. Black and white can be very classy and professional, and I saw many of my classmates choosing them for their brands. I’ve had a pastel thing going on for a long time, and they have exactly the message I wanted for my brand – happiness, cuteness, creativity. I started off with an orange blossom and sweet pink. My colours were very light in the beginning. But I quickly learned that stronger tones work better with fonts. Especially if you want to be memorable. A strong minty green ended up being my choice. It has delicious tints that offer me variety. Try to find photos with colours you like. Then using the eye dropper tool in Adobe, feel its colours for your logo.
  6. The element, the shape, should be simple so that it works large and small. You might choose to just design your own typographical logo. Think symbols, analogues, and stories behind your brand. Mine was a house, then two boxes and finally a flying bulldog. The first two described the kind of space I wanted to create – somewhere people can immerse in creativity and set free. But then, I chose to go with something I created in a creative sketching exercise earlier this year. The mode I was in truly encapsulated the feeling I want to share through my brand. What better way to celebrate that, than having the art as my logo.

 

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Trying out different fonts for my brand.

 

Sketching my logo.

Sketching my logo.

And now for my short tutorial: Create a simple box with a pattern. It sounds simple, but I had a tough time learning how to do it on my own. Thanks for my great teacher, it is now super clear. Of course there are all these super effects that you can use to make your box really pop out, but sometimes a simple one does the job! Let me know how it goes!

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