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Branding Board – Step By Step [Tutorial]

September 15, 2021

Branding Board Tutorial for Beginners

In today's article, we are taking a look at branding boards (did you get the pun?). A branding board is a very effective and yet simple guidance tool to implement branding onto your products and content. Are you portraying the image that you want potential customers to see?

In this article we will look into the following:

  1. What is a branding board?
  2. Are branding boards and mood boards the same?
  3. Branding board example plus a template to follow

At the end of this read, you will know how to make a branding board for your business.

What is a branding board?

A branding board is a visual guide, a roadmap, of your physical branding image. It includes logo variations, brand colors, graphical images and patterns, typography, and video & social media formats. It’s a guideline for you to use, so you send a consistent branding image onto your (potential) customer.   

With one look at your branding board, you know what elements you should use. Which logo, typography, and the branding colors associated, etc. You can use the branding board for making product labels, blog posts, social media posts, videos, and more!

Try to document your board within one page. It’s really meant to be a quick guide on which elements you should include to illustrate your brand.

Also, test your brand board on objective people. If their perceptions are different from yours then you will need to adjust your branding strategy. A strong brand is all about what kind of emotions it stirs up.

For who is a branding board meant?

Your branding board is an internal business tool. It is meant for you, your employees, and whoever does the designing for you. If you have an external designer, it is important to share your branding board with him or her. Therefore the designer knows exactly what style is to be used and what feel you try to add to your products or content. This is important because you want to send one style of branding messaging to your customer. If the branding style differs, you will confuse the customer and they won't bond with your brand. 

Branding Board colors

Why every business should make a brand board

A branding board is a fast and low-tech guide to implement your brand image. Are you sending the image you want people to see? As a digital marketing agency specializing in branding, we can't stress enough how important it is to have your brand image clear. A strong brand will make your company tons of money year in year out. It will add extra value to your products or services without any changes to those products or services.

Branding gives you authority. This authority will result in a psychological advantage over your competition. For example, if you are known to bring your customers a feeling of relaxation after they used your product, they will associate that feeling with your product. Meaning they will want to buy more.

The strongest brands are brands that are associated with emotions. The king of integrating emotions into their brand is Coca Cola. Coca Cola is associated with happiness. Remember their Christmas advertising? Of course you do! Because the branding made you remember it. That's why investing time in your look and feel of your brand is worth it. 

Are branding boards and brand mood boards the same?

No, branding boards are different from brand mood boards. A branding board has a more technical approach. Your board functions as a guidance document on how to implement different branding elements.

A brand mood board is a collage of images that represents the feeling and emotions associated with your brand. If your brand is health-related, you can expect green colors, healthy and energetic images of people, etc. What mood does the brand set you in?

Branding board example of Mark’d Agency

Now you know the basics it is time to take a look at an actual branding board. Below I will show you our board for Mark’d Agency. Probably the first thing you will think is: “oh wow, is it really that simple?” And the answer is: yes it is! It's designed to look simple

When a document is meant for multiple stakeholders like business owners, employees, and (external) designers, it is essential to keep it as simple as possible. You want all your branding messages, whether that is product labels or content, to look the same. As the U.S. Navy would say: keep it simple, stupid.

Brand Board Markd Agency

Tips for your branding board

We got logo variants for different backgrounds because our main logo is mainly meant for dark backgrounds. To emphasize which logo is the main, we decided to enlarge that logo.

Furthermore, for the website, we choose a mixture of visually attractive photos by lightning and highly informational tables to empower our words.

Lastly, for your social media, you should choose a recognizable style. Our social media style includes grey filters, neon effects on one word or number, and make use of our brand colors.

Free software for building your branding board

We recommend using Canva for making your branding board! It’s a free designing tool in which you can design your own branding board efficiently.

Branding board size

A branding board functions as a quick-guide. You should be able to know what to do with one look. Therefore you should aim to make your document one page long. Don't overcomplicate things by adding too many different styles. In general, it is wise to keep your branding as simple as possible. The more you complicate it with variants, the more complicated it becomes for people to acknowledge your brand and sympathize with it.

Branding board template to follow

There is a simple formula to follow to structure your branding board. The structure is important because you want to know your priorities. Furthermore, it will help you analyze boards efficiently when you decide to try new things. For example, you change your branding colors to blue because blue is known to be associated with trust. How does this new color look on your branding board?

Step 1: the logo

You start your board with the different logo variants. If you have one logo then you just put that one at the top. Prioritize by making the most important logo variant the largest.

Brand board Logo

Brand logo variants

Step 2: your branding colors

A very important part of the branding board is the branding color scheme. In this scheme, you will set the boundaries of which colors to use. It's especially helpful for your designer. It gives him or her a clear overview and set of rules.

Brand Colors

Brand colors

Step 3: typography of your writing

When you choose which typography you will use, it is important to keep readability as your main priority. It’s easy to get seduced by all the beautiful typography available but that’s often not the right play. You want your audience to absorb the information you offer as easy as possible. Keep it clean.

Brand board typography

Brand typography

Step 4: website imagery (also for product labeling)

Not only should there be standard typography for your website, but also your photos need to have common criteria. For our website, we choose to use warm, orange lightning in our photos that are meant to attract the eye, for instance, the Mercedes on the ultimate branding guide. Furthermore, we add visually attractive tables to empower our content.

brand board website

Website imagery style

Step 5: social media template

On your website, you have a little bit more space to differ from imagery than on your social media. Your social media should have a very clear style. A style people don't see on other accounts and will easily be recognized when it's put between hundreds of other posts. For our own content, we make use of grey filtering and our orange branding color. Furthermore, we add little effects to make use of neuromarketing. We trigger the human brain by adding an effect on one particular word or number in our post.

Pinterest brand board

To conclude

We hope you found this article helpful, and that it makes you eager to build your own branding board. It doesn't take a lot of time but it does prevent a lot of branding misunderstandings. You need to have a clear plan for your entire company (both for internal and external partners) to make sure you send one branding message. Without this clear structure, people will not bond with your brand and you will lose massive amounts of profit.

So do yourself, and your business, a favor and build a branding board for you and your coworkers.

If you want to obtain more knowledge about online branding, make sure to check out our other articles

If this tutorial was helpful, please leave us a comment! I would love to hear from you.

About the author 

Mark Verwoert

When I'm not making killer branding strategies, you will find me traveling through Scotland

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