The branding design process

BONUS PREP MATERIALS:

You've gotten through the hard part. You've committed to starting your business or blog. You've spent hours agonizing over the title, but you've made the leap, purchased a domain name & feel ready to go! The next step is to design a logo/website/marketing materials for your brand new business or blog.

Great design is expensive, because pro designers are able to create concepts that represent your brand and will appeal to your target market. If you're bootstrapping or just want to learn more about the branding design process, here's a step by step guide to creating a solid foundation to a professional brand design. This guide will help you when you're ready to start conceptualizing logo designs and creating graphics for your blog or website.

1. What do you offer people? Why does your website/blog/business exist? This isn't about creating a complicated vision statement or anything. It can be simple as "my website exists to offer style tips".

2. What makes you unique? This is really digging into your brand values. There's tons of style sites, but maybe you only shop at thrift stores or all your outfits are less than $50.

3. Who is your target market? Who are you creating this for? What's the demographics (gender/age/etc.) A thrifty blogger could be focused exclusively towards college students, or she could be focused towards stylish moms on a budget.

4. How do you want people to feel after looking at your logo/branding/website? What is the overall mood of your website/brand. Is it vibrant & colorful? More serious/dramatic with everything in black & white? Write down as many descriptive words as possible.

5. Who is your competition? Research your competition. See if you can find patterns between them. Are they all using similar fonts or colors? TIP: You want to stand OUT from your competition, not turn into a carbon copy.

ACTION STEPS:

1. Brain Dump Create a Pinterest board (make it secret if you'd like) start pinning everything you just wrote down onto your Pinterest board. You should have a list of vocabulary to work from and an understanding of your target market. This is pretty much a brain dump just pin everything you come across that reminds you of your demo. Everything from what do they get inspired by to how do they wear their hair? Now take your list of vocabulary and combine it with my list of search terms (or anything else you think of. So that the formula looks like this: Vocab Word (from your list) + Search Terms = Brain Dump Board

Example: Feminine fonts

My popular search terms: fonts color palettes patterns quotes hair styles pets celebrities characters houses home decor gardens flowers jewelry bags outfits books furniture shows movies

2. Get Organized

You've spent about 30 minutes pinning a bunch of stuff that represents your customer. Now it's time to hop into Photoshop or your favorite free online software and pull the best images from your Pinterest board. Again, look for patterns, you should start to notice similar images or color schemes (and if you don't, keep just keep pinning!)

Congrats! Now that you've pulled the best pieces together you've completed what's often referred to as "the discovery phase". This mood board will go on to inspire your logo, website, copy and marketing materials (social media posts, printed collateral, etc).