How To Create A Brand Style Kit

More than ever, we live in a culture that prioritizes great visual storytelling. It's no longer enough to simply have a website and a good product -- you also have to LOOK good doing it. And this is where branding comes in. We hear the term 'branding' tossed around all the time, but what does it mean and why is it so important? Simply put, good branding adds clarity, professionalism, and consistency to your business development efforts.


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A branding kit serves as your guide for making those consistent branding choices so you can tell your story in a way that magnetically attracts and resonates with your tribe. Branding will accentuate and personify your unique traits -- spunk, edginess, whimsical, modern, generosity. Essentially, your company values can be brought to life through branding. Do we recommend that everyone prioritize this in their business. Yes we do! Read on to hear why and stay tuned until then end, so you can see all the components, as well as applicationn.


So, what is a brand kit?


A brand kit is a digestible guide to your brand’s visual identity. It provides a way for you, or organizations that you work alongside, to reference, understand and embody your messaging from the outside looking in. The brand kit will consist of your logo, colors, fonts, stylistic elements, photography guidelines, social media assets and any other assets that represents your brand.


Why create a brand kit? Why is it important?


A brand kit is a visual representation of your story. Truly, there is nothing more important than your story -- it helps you communicate your offer. A brand kit also provides polish and professionalism. It signals to people that you are taking your business seriously, that you are an expert and that you have authority in your field. It gives your messaging that extra ‘umph’. A strong brand identity also helps with decision-making by providing a framework for which all marketing assets and choices have a standard they are held to. It tells you if your decisions are in alignment with your brand and your target market and therefore, also helps with consistency. How you present your brand matters, especially in this day and age, so branding helps take care of those micro decisions on color, font and more.


So what makes up a brand kit?


Let’s just get right into it! Here are the components:


LOGO


Typically brands have a primary and secondary logo. Primary logos are usually used for websites, business cards and printed materials. Secondary logos are used for other sizing, dimensions, or variations that may be called for, perhaps with different colors or backgrounds. Some examples of a secondary logo include a profile picture, email header, or a Favicon.


Here are some things to think about when designing, or requesting a design for a logo:

  1. Will you be using your logo for web use and/or print use?

  2. What will your logo look like on different backgrounds? Think about white backgrounds AND colored backgrounds.

  3. If you already have a logo, do you have a few different color and sizing variations?

  4. How will you be using your logo and on what mediums? How many variations do you need?


Here is an example of some logo variations:

And variations for social media:


FONT


I recommend two font choices to keep things simple when you’re just starting out. Choosing fonts makes content creation so much easier, as well as keeping content easy to read and once again, gives your brand that extra professionalism.


Some things to consider:

  1. Think about what font you want to use for headers, body text, printed materials and other mediums.

  2. What sizing will you use for both web and print?

  3. How do the two fonts look when paired together? Do they evoke the feeling your brand story wants to communicate?

  4. Where do you utilize, if at all, bolding and italics?

  5. Do you have consistency in the tracking and leading of your text?

COLORS


This is my favorite part of branding. Streamlining your colors throughout your social media, web and email presence is the best and quickest way to bring clarity and polish to your brand. Most brands have a few primary colors and then some secondary colors. It's important to know when you use each of the colors and to use the exact values rather than approximating the colors each time.


Here are some things to consider:

  1. What are your primary brand colors? Where do you use them?

  2. What are your secondary brand colors? Where do you use these?

  3. Do you know the exact values so you can use them consistently across all channels?

PHOTOGRAPHY


The imagery you use is also reflects your brand. It’s important that all imagery captures the essence of your branding efforts, logo, fonts and colors.


Some things to consider:

  1. What is the photographic style of your brand? Bright? Focused on neutrals? Colorful? Saturated? High Contrast? Vintage?

  2. How can you style and source photos to represent your branding?

  3. Where are photos used and how?

A note on inclusivity: It is not acceptable to whitewash all of your photos. Make a concerted effort to represent ALL people of all backgrounds. This is easier said than done -- a LOT of stock photos and imagery are catered to white people. It is my hope that this effort extends into the fullness of your business. Represent BIPOC in your photography. :) That's all.



SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS


Social media assets are more important than ever before. All of my favorite brands have branded social media icons and assets.


Here are some things to consider:

  1. Which social media platforms are you on or do you intend to be on in the future?

  2. What branded social assets do you need?

  3. How do your social media assets reflect your branding currently?

MISCELLANEOUS BRAND ASSETS


You’ll notice that a lot of brands have icons and small detailed flourishes that they use consistently on their website, social media, logos and more. These are little elements that add a bit of pizazz and style. It also helps make your brand more recognizable.

Now it’s your turn:


Where is the best place to start? Before you do anything, create a vision board for your brand. Go on Pinterest and start a board that represents the values, look, feel, and vibe you want to go for with your brand. Get creative! Try not to censor yourself just yet, we can weed things out and identify trends later. The point is to really start to get a handle on your values, messaging, and how you want your brand to make people feel.


Now, take a pick and send it to us via DM on Instagram OR email us at hello@beflowdigital.com. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Don’t want to DIY, but still want to give your brand that next-level polish? Let us know! We’re here to help. We have Branding Start Kit & Makeover services that include training so we can get you set up with a polished look and then provide you with the tools to run with it as your business evolves! We cover anything from web presence, to social media, to email marketing. Take a peek here.


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