Building Your Brand Toolkit
When I first got started creating my own graphics, I felt apprehensive about my ability. After trial and error, I have found a very simple formula. Because I never wanted to be completely dependent on a graphic designer, I learned the art of building a brand toolkit. I also found that I didn’t want to stand over a designer’s shoulder telling them to move the logo slightly to the left… no to the right… up… down. I’m sure you know this song and dance.
A brand toolkit is a folder on your computer that includes the following:
Your Color Codes
Your Mood Board
Building your brand toolkit will give you the creative freedom to be sure that your brand is exactly as you imagine it on a budget. It’s completely possible for you to create your own graphics provided you have the right tools. I personally always hire a killer graphic designer for one task only, to create my logo. The trick is preparation and knowing when to hire the designer. I do a lot of research in advance and I pretty much know the arc of my brand prior to hire.
I will, for example, have chosen my color scheme. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to have landed on your font because this may be a component that the designer adds to the logo. You will want to have some examples for the designer. I usually create a mood board or a Pinterest board with logo examples as well as colors and fonts.
Then the designer begins. By the time you have decided on your logo, you may have decided on your font. When the logo is complete, you will want to ask for several versions for your toolkit.
You will ask for Vector files as well as PNG & JPG versions in all of your brand colors including black and white. This is why it is essential to know your color codes. It’s better to ask for more versions than less. I even ask for PSD.
See an example of my branded logo below:
Once you have the logos, you can use most apps and programs to create your graphics. You can upload them into Canva, for example, and layer them over photos on your Facebook & Twitter banners, your Instagram posts, your branded guides and more. Add your completed mood board, your codes and your fonts to your toolkit and you are on fire! Your toolkit can be used for multipurpose branding on all platforms. It is exhilarating and liberating to have the means to create banners and guides. Knowing that you are in the creative seat is so freeing!
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