How to do your branding homework

Inspiration board for The Strategy Studio brand, designed by Elizabeth Durels Art.

Inspiration board for The Strategy Studio brand, designed by Elizabeth Durels Art.

This image, which informed so much of The Strategy Studio branding, was taken by Kelsey Cherry of Moriah Murrell, wearing Jamie and the Jones.

This image, which informed so much of The Strategy Studio branding, was taken by Kelsey Cherry of Moriah Murrell, wearing Jamie and the Jones.

This was one of the first images I pinned to a Pinterest board when I started thinking about branding for my business. I pinned this image before I even had a business name.

From this one image I was able to describe the following: 

  • I wanted my brand to feel professional yet approachable.

  • I was after real and relatable, and not too perfect.

  • I wanted it to feel current, but not trendy.

  • I wanted it to have a soft, feminine edge without feeling passive.

  • I wanted my brand to feel active, like I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work.

  • I wanted these tones to be incorporated in to my color palette. 

It can be tempting when you’re getting started to google “cheap logo design” and settle for the best quote you can find. But a brand is so much more than a logo. It’s your business’ identity and helps inform how your target audience perceives you and connects with you.

If you’re trying to brand or rebrand on a tight budget, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll save money by being the “easy client” for a graphic designer that’s “really open to whatever you can create”. Firstly, the truth is you won’t be happy with “whatever” because you subconsciously have expectations of what you want for your brand. Secondly, you’re making the designer’s job that much harder because you’re asking them to read your mind!

Instead, try the following 5 steps to do your branding homework

  1. Google “branding questionnaires” and make sure you can answer every question you come across—and write these answers down!

  2. Create a Pinterest board / inspiration board that’s a clear representation of how you want your brand to look and feel. 

  3. Have a clear idea of what you DON’T like, whether this is colours, fonts, types of logos etc.

  4. Will an iteration of your logo require a tagline? If so, what will this be?

  5. Have a list of all the places you’ll be needing to use and apply your branding, including things like packaging and signage, if relevant. 

The more you’ve thought about your brand, the more clarity you’ll have around what you want and need. That way, when you approach a designer you won’t be wasting their time, and the result is far more likely to be a brand you love that’s a true representation of your business. 



Tahnee SandersComment