Brand board? Mood board? Color palette? Design can be like another language, especially when you are DIYing it and sifting through loads of Pinspiration to try to pin down a brand strategy that is as fabulous and authentically you as, well, YOU.
There are 3 main elements that make up a cohesive brand, let’s take a look at them below:
Mood Board: This is *usually* the most fun part of putting your design together! Here is where all of your inspiration and source images for your brand will live. The idea behind your mood board is that it captures the vibe of your brand. People often choose a handful of adjectives to describe their brand that go along with the images in their mood board. Keep in mind you likely won’t actually be using these images in your business (especially if you borrowed them from Pinterest – they belong to someone else!) these are strictly inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Below is an example of the Mood Board I created for this website, meljudson.com:
Brand Board: A brand board is a roadmap for how to use your brand. In my 3 Most Common Branding Mistakes post, I talk about one of the biggest mistakes I see being inconsistent branding. People go from your Facebook Page to your business card to your website and it looks like three different businesses! A brand board contains the following elements:
- Alternative Logos
- Color Palette
- Graphic elements, textures and icons
The brand board is your reference for ALL your company materials. Every page on your website, PDF guides and any other designed material should all use the exact same font combo from your brand board. Also, the logo should stay consistent with the same spacing, sizing and placement across everything. This will give your audience a seamless experience, so wherever they find you they will recognize your unique branding stamp and know it’s you.
Color Palette: A color palette is the colors that make up your brand. This is usually 3-8 colors consisting of some neutrals like grays you can use for text and also some contrasting colors you can use to grab attention. Colors should be selected very carefully based on color theory and emotions. You also want to make sure that when combined, your colors all look good together and are aligned with the vibe of your mood board. Once your colors are chosen, make sure you are using the hex color code to get the exact same shade every time you use the color. The color hex code is a 6 digit number that tells a browser and a computer program like Photoshop how to mix the color. For example, the color hex code for the blue color seen across my site is #112035. You can get this color from Photoshop or using a color picker tool when choosing colors for your site.
Having these elements for your business is crucial to looking professional and legit. Your visual branding is the first thing people see when they come to your website or interact with your brand in general. People want to see that you are legit enough to have invested in high quality branding and web design. If they think your brand was built with pixie dust and held together by duct tape, they will assume that’s how you’ll approach your service offerings to them as well. Do you want a haircut from someone with terrible hair?! Do you want a cavity filled by someone with no teeth?! Your website and branding should be no different from any other professional service.
Are you so over DIYing and ready to work with a professional to put your best foot forward online? Click here to learn more about working together to build you a sparkly brand and website.