The Top Five Must Haves in Branding

1. Main Logo

We know, duh! The main logo is the meat, the juiciness of your brand baby. Pay close attention to what you do here. There are so many decisions to be made. Will the mark include:

- an illustration?

- typographic element?

- symbol?


The simpler the better. Be aware of a couple things:

  1. CLUTTER: Typically, the main logo includes your tagline so it’s very easy to clutter it up quickly. You’ll also be using it on printed materials (most likely) so those tiny details you won’t be able to see on your business card? Yes, take those into account.

  1. COLOR: The best way to create a strong logo is to first make it in black and white. It shouldn’t rely on color to be strong.


Just make sure that the logo can stand alone without it. The alternative logo will hinge completely on this design, so you want to make sure it’s really strong.

2. Typography

Good typography separates the girls from the ladies. We could stop there (we won’t though). Trust the experts on this one. Good typography costs money. Typesets are created by other designers trained in that specialty. And let us just tell you that junk is NOT easy- it takes someone incredibly talented to do to develop a font.

You know those fonts that you can plug into Google and get for free? These are what we designers affectionately refer to as junk fonts. And they have no business being used in your brand because anyone can get them. You’re more special than that!

3. Color Palette

In the design world, colors are not simply named by what we classically refer to them as, such as “blue”, oh no sista (or brotha). There is an entire system of color guidelines all rolled into several “swatch books”, called the PMS, or Pantone Matching System. It’s sole purpose is to make sure that your red is the correct red when printed on everything. We nerd out real hard to stuff like this… sorry not sorry. Trust us when we say that choosing to ignore this can result in your colors being completely different when printed or used on the web. Like that red you love could turn to burnt orange or that lovely royal blue turning a sour grape juice purple. That purple is ew. So choose your colors wisely.

There have been studies upon studies to test the effect color has on our perception of things. Ever notice how most companies who are marketing their health benefits usually include the color green? That’s not an accident. What color comes to mind when we mention McDonalds? How about Chick-Fil-A? That’s all a valuable part of their brand recognition. We could spot a dime-sized Chick-Fil-A sign on the side of the interstate… from two miles away… you get the idea (we’re not addicts or anything). Their color choice plays a huge part in their branding. Your color choices should reflect the same level of professionalism. Think about:

  • How do you want your clients to feel after receiving your products/services?

  • What vibe do you want to send out to your potential customers?

  • What are the words you use most in your business and how can color be associated with those words?

4. Alternative Logo(s)

An alternative logo is an essential for branding because one design rarely fits all circumstances. Let us explain: Say you work with a designer and end up with a gorgeous logo that also happens to be short in height, long in width. While it fits perfectly across the top of your website just above the nav bar, good luck fitting that lil’ beauty on those vertical business cards you wanted or in your Instagram square. In order for it to fit, the logo has to be shrunk so small that you can’t even read it. Dang it Bobby. That’s where an alternative logo comes to the rescue. The most common alternative logos usually include a stacked version where the font is broken up or a very simplified rendition of it. It’s best to always have a horizontal AND vertical version of your logo to work in multiple formats.


5. Branding Guide

Last, but not least, a branding guide is an important piece of the puzzle and often gets overlooked, especially by the websites selling logos for $99… just sayin’. A brand guide is basically a set of guidelines on how the logo and all elements are to be used. It’s main purpose is to keep your brand consistent across all mediums from print collateral to web. This is especially helpful with your color palette.

If you would like further guidance OR you are ready to jump into a new season of branding for your business, please reach out to us via the link below!

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