My clients sometimes equate a brand with a logo, and they aren’t necessarily wrong, but here's why it's important to see your brand identity as more than ‘just a logo.’
What you establish as your brand allows your customers to feel and remember your business in a certain way. Just like you might go into an athletics store and feel empowered or a craft store and feel productive and creative, your visitors' experience (even if it's only online) is what makes up your brand.
What I work with in the Amplify experience is the visual element of branding. When designing brands for my clients, we begin with their business' core values and the desired feelings they want to evoke for their customers.
So how does a well-constructed brand help you feel something once you’ve left a business’ store or website? Let’s look at the essential visual components of a complete brand style guide.
Colour Palette (with hex codes)
An established brand will have a set of brand colours, and most brands will stick to about 3-6 colours. Hex codes are a 6 digit combination of letters and numbers that describe specific colour shades online.
Having the exact hex codes will allow you to use your colours everywhere... on your buttons in Dubsado, on your documents in Pages, the header on your website, and your social media graphics in Canva for a start!
A consistent font palette will help you to create matching and cohesive graphics across your brand. Brands typically choose 2-3 font families so that they can remain consistent throughout their marketing and website. While you may vary the weight (thin, light,bold), size, style, or spacing, staying within the same family is what helps your brand to be memorable.
A business’ logo is the most prominent visual aspect of a brand. Logos can be simple or complex depending on your style and mood you are trying to set for your business. Logos should have predetermined colours, fonts, and graphics within them to act as the main visual element that determines your brand.
It's a good idea to have options for this main logo. Create it in all-white, all-black, and a version in each of your other brand colours.
2-3 Alternate Logos
Alternative logos are usually simplified versions of your logo. Good examples of alternative logos are usually seen as symbols, such as the Apple icon or the Nike Swoosh. Others can be seen as condensed versions of a logo, such as removing the tagline. Others still might be alternative shapes.
These alternative logos will help your brand branch out into other marketing materials but still match your overall look. The idea here is versatility, as there are different logo requirements on every site. At minimum, I recommend brands have horizontal, square, and circular alternate logos.
Graphics and patterns help to extend a brand’s image with shapes and designs that match your logo and brand. Keeping consistently styled graphics and patterns for your brand will help your target audience relate to your business’ aesthetic. Having patterns is especially helpful for backgrounds on social media images and website sections such as the header or footer.
Browser Icon (Favicon)
The tiny graphic in the top left of each tab in your Internet browser is called a favicon or browser icon. Having your browser icon match your brand is very important! This way, even if your visitor has several tabs open (which, of course they do!) they'll be able to tell which website is yours. Take a look at the Clear Quartz Creative favicon up there... yup, it's a crystal! The browser icon is often an element from your logo or one of your graphics.
Bonus! Clear Quartz Creative clients also get two additional components to build your brand. These are great additions to your brand image, so that your brand can stay cohesive across different platforms and mediums.
a custom-designed Business Card
Need help with your branding visuals? Check out the Amplify experience to see if we’d be a good fit to work together!