As exciting as it can be to start a new website, it’s not something that’s easy to do. Creating a website or a new business takes considerable planning and you have to make a number of decisions before your website goes live.
One of these decisions is creating a brand identity kit. Setting up a brand identity kit offers several benefits:
- It creates consistency in appearance across your website, social media, and other platforms
- You remove the need to make decisions regarding colors, fonts, and other details down the line
- Deciding your brand identity gives your users a better experience through content cohesiveness
- A brand identity kit documents information for your employees and external parties like media companies, PR representatives, and others
So, what goes into a brand identity kit? In this post, we’ll cover what you need to set up your brand’s appearance and keep it consistent.
A Color Palette
Choosing your brand’s color kit needs to be a deliberate and planned process. Going by your gut feeling or personal preferences fails to keep the audience at the forefront of your design decisions. Your brand identity may represent your business but it also has to help your audience relate to what it stands for.
The best practice is to choose no more than 3 colors to make up your entire website. Working with four or more colors makes your website visually disruptive and should be done only expert knowledge.
You’ll need a dominant color that reminds users of your brand, an accent color, and one background color. Carefully consider an additional reader-friendly color for text or other highlights.
There are free color tools available that can help you manage your brand’s color scheme. Work with a palette generator and color picker tools to help you come up with an appropriate color scheme.
- Canva has helpful tools for generating website color schemes
Another important consideration is the psychology of colors. Colors are well known to influence people’s emotions. And when it comes to branding, you need to pick the right color types that reflect:
- The tone and mood you want to convey
- Your industry
- The customer’s expectations around your products and services
Restaurants frequently use warm colors to encourage customers to relax and enjoy their meals. The color green is often associated with healthy food and organic sources.
An IT company or one that deals with security will convey professionalism by leverage cool blues and grays.
- The meanings and emotions associated with colors. Source.
So, we’ve looked at colors in some depth. But that forms only one part of your identity kit. Let’s move on to fonts.
Like colors, your font choices will also influence how people feel. You need to define the fonts you use for your brand and the different platforms your content will appear on, such as:
- Your website and blog
- Business cards
- Ebooks, presentations, and other content formats
Here are the most important things to remember when choosing your brand’s fonts:
- Use only two fonts across your entire brand communication
- It’s appropriate to use an entirely different font for your logo only
- Your font choices should be easy to read. Large and bulky fonts will work for headings and subheadings since they are often just one sentence. But your main body text font needs to be user-friendly
- Decide your font sizes for your desktop and mobile site ahead of time. Use a minimum of 14px for body text
- Work with a typography calculator to choose different font sizes for headings, subheadings, etc based on ratios rather than random numbers
- Pair your fonts carefully. It’s often suggested to use a sans serif font for headings and serifs for body text as it makes for easier reading
- Type-scale is a helpful tool to manage your font sizing
Finally, it’s important to test your font choices. Get feedback and try different font combinations until you find one that works.
Tone of voice
Another important addition to your brand is the tone you’ll use in writing and communicating with your audience. The tone you use when communicating via ads, blog posts, and other formats needs to be consistent.
Think of Dove and how it maintains an empowering tone across its messages. Old Spice uses a humorous tone and casual language that’s highly engaging.
It’s important to document your brand’s tone of voice and to give examples. This makes it possible for multiple content writers within your organization or for external parties to develop a consistent writing style. Your audience will also recognize your brand more easily.
A lesser-used element of branding is sound. Since social media marketing forms a critical part of any brand’s marketing strategy, you want to consider creating specific sound bites for your videos.
You can add these sounds to the introduction of videos, tutorials, and social media posts. Many YouTube influencers begin their videos with a signature introduction and sound. Companies like Windows and Intel have successfully created associations between a few notes and their brands.
We’ve covered the main elements of your brand identity kit in some detail. Here are some other elements that your branding kit will need to have:
- Your official logo and variations of your logo including a PNG version with a transparent background
- Website, blog, and magazine layout if needed
- Photography styles or the types of graphics you’ll use for blog headers and other locations
Finally, you need to document the appropriate way to use your branding elements. You need to chart out the appropriate colors that can be used, the context, the space around your logo, and other important details.
- Example of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for the Baylor University brand
When you have a fully documented brand kit, you’ll ensure that you’re brand is consistent even when its image is being handled by different people.
There you go. Use the ideas given here to build your own full branding kit. You’ll find it easier to create a more beautiful blog or a website. And not just that, your audience will have a better experience too.
They’ll recognize your business easily and their expectations of a consistent message will be fulfilled.