What Is A Brand Board?

A brand board is a concise visual summary of a brand’s key elements, including logos, color palettes, and typography. A brand board ensures consistent representation across all marketing materials and serves as a quick reference guide to maintaining a cohesive brand identity.

What Is The Purpose Of A Brand Board?

The purpose of a brand board is to serve as a visual guide that encapsulates a brand’s identity in a clear and cohesive manner. It is a reference point for businesses, designers, and marketers, ensuring a consistent brand across various platforms and marketing materials.

A brand board consolidates key visual elements such as logos, color palettes, typography, and other design assets to provide a snapshot of how the brand should be represented visually. This would not only maintain brand consistency but also enhance recognition and trustworthiness among consumers.

Whether launching a new campaign, designing a website, or creating social media content, referring to the brand board ensures that every piece of communication aligns with the core brand identity, reinforcing the brand’s message and values in the market.

Components of a Great Brand Board:

#1: Primary Logo

Your primary logo is the centerpiece of your brand’s visual identity. It should be the most recognizable element, used consistently across all primary touchpoints, such as your website, business cards, and product packaging. Ensure that the logo is high-resolution and available in various formats (e.g., .png, .svg) for different applications.

#2: Logo Variations

Logo variations adapt your primary logo for different contexts and uses. This can include alternate layouts (e.g., horizontal vs. vertical), simplified versions, and submarks. These variations ensure your logo remains effective, whether it’s on a social media profile, a business card, or merchandise. Always include guidelines on when and where to use each variation.

#3: Color Palette

Your color palette defines your brand’s visual tone. It typically includes primary and secondary colors, each with hex codes, RGB, and CMYK values. These colors should be chosen to evoke specific emotions and align with your brand personality, impacting everything from digital designs to printed materials. Ensure a balance between dominant and accent colors to maintain visual harmony. For inspiration on choosing a color palette for your own brand, here are some SD resources you can check out:

#4: Brand Fonts

Brand fonts create typographic consistency across your materials. Include primary fonts for headings and secondary fonts for body text, specifying typefaces for different contexts such as print, web, and mobile. Outline usage rules, such as font sizes, weights, and styles, to ensure communication clarity and coherence.

#5: Visual Elements

Visual elements like patterns, textures, and icons enrich your brand’s aesthetic. Document specific styles that align with your brand’s personality, and provide examples of how these elements can be used in backgrounds, borders, and overlays. Consistent use of these elements helps reinforce brand identity and adds depth to your designs.

#6: Photography

Curate a collection of images that embody your brand’s vibe. This includes lifestyle photos, product shots, and any imagery that conveys the desired look and feel of your brand. Ensure the style, lighting, and composition are consistent, and use photos that appeal to your target audience. Provide guidelines on photo editing and usage to maintain a cohesive visual style.

#7: Other Graphic Elements

Include additional graphic elements like website headers, buttons, icons, and infographics that are frequently used. These should align with your overall brand style and include guidelines for their application. Consistent use of these elements across your website and marketing materials helps unify your brand’s visual presence.

How To Create A Brand Board

To create a brand board, start by gathering all your brand assets. Everything should be on the table, from your primary logo to visual brand elements. If you’re not a designer, consider working with a graphic designer. They’ll provide brand board examples and insights into visual elements that resonate with your brand strategy.

While it might be tempting to take inspiration from other brands, ensure your brand board speaks authentically to your given brand identity and brand personality. Whether you’re creating a brand identity for a feminine brand or a tech startup, ensure every graphic element, from logo design to visual elements, aligns with your brand strategy.

Brand Board vs. Mood Board: What’s The Difference?

Both a brand board and a mood board are essential tools in branding and design, but they serve different purposes. Let’s delve into the differences:

Brand Board

Purpose

A brand board serves as a visual summary of a brand’s identity. It presents a concise overview of the brand’s visual elements, maintaining brand consistency across all platforms and mediums.

Components

A brand board typically includes:

  • Primary Logo
  • Logo Variations: Alternate logos, secondary logos, submarks, etc.
  • Color Palette: Specific colors (often with hex codes) that are associated with the brand.
  • Typography: The fonts used in branding materials.
  • Visual Elements: Patterns, textures, icons, or any other consistent graphic elements.
  • Brand Anchors: Recognizable symbols or icons that are central to the brand’s identity.

Usage

Brand boards are often used internally and shared with external collaborators such as graphic designers, marketing teams, or web developers to ensure brand consistency. It acts as a reference guide for anyone creating content or materials for the brand.

Mood Board

Purpose

A mood board is a collection of images, text, and other visual elements that convey a particular style, mood, or feeling. It’s often used in the early stages of brand development, project planning, or design work to establish a visual direction or aesthetic.

Components

Mood boards can include:

  • Styled Imagery: Photographs that reflect the desired aesthetic.
  • Color Swatches: Not necessarily the final brand colors but tones that evoke the intended mood.
  • Text or Quotes: Sometimes words or phrases that help in expressing the brand’s vibe.
  • Textures, Patterns, or Illustrations: Visual elements that resonate with the brand’s intended feel.
  • Inspiration from Other Brands: Pieces from other brands that align with the intended direction.

Usage

Mood boards are often used during brainstorming sessions or early client meetings to determine a visual direction or to communicate a specific vibe or feel. It’s more about inspiration and less about final decisions.

Examples

In Summary

A brand board is a detailed, finalized representation of a brand’s identity, ensuring visual consistency across all branded materials. It’s like a brand’s rulebook. On the other hand, a mood board is more about exploration and setting a tone, helping stakeholders visualize and feel the intended aesthetic or vibe of a project or brand in its early stages.

How a Brand Board Helps Your Business?

1. Ensures Consistency: A brand board helps maintain a unified look and feel across all marketing materials, enhancing brand recall.

2. Boosts Professionalism: Utilizing a set style and guidelines elevates the perceived value and professionalism of the brand.

3. Simplifies Decision-Making: Having a clear set of brand elements to refer to minimizes guesswork when creating content.

4. Aids Collaboration: Team members and external collaborators can quickly align their work to the brand’s visual identity.

5. Reinforces Brand Strategy: By adhering to the brand board, businesses can communicate their brand personality and values more effectively.

Tools to Create Your Brand Board

Here are some popular tools to create your brand board:

Adobe Illustrator: A vector graphics editor ideal for designing logos, icons, and intricate brand visuals and elements.

Adobe InDesign: Geared towards layout design, it’s great for assembling brand boards and brand style guides.

Canva: This user-friendly online tool offers free brand board templates and an intuitive design platform, making it accessible even for non-designers.

Figma: An online UI/UX design tool, it allows for collaborative design and is useful for creating digital-first brand boards.

What Is A Brand Board Template?

A brand board template is a pre-designed framework that provides a structured layout for showcasing the visual elements of a brand’s identity. Typically used by businesses and designers, this same brand board template offers a clear and organized space to display key components such as the primary logo, color palette, typography, iconography, patterns, and any other brand-specific visuals. The template acts as a starting point, allowing users to easily plug in their specific brand element. Using a brand board template ensures that all vital branding elements are presented in a cohesive and comprehensive manner, making it a valuable tool for maintaining consistency and guiding branding decisions across various marketing materials and platforms.

Free Brand Board Template

The following brand board template is free for you to use in Canva. Just click the link and make a copy (no email required).

Brand Board Template Inspiration

The following 10 Brand Boards are pre designed examples from Canva you can use for inspiration.

Conclusion: Brand Boards

In today’s competitive business world, having a brand board is crucial for maintaining a consistent and clear brand identity. A brand board isn’t just a set of visual guidelines—it’s the heart and soul of your brand. A brand board captures your brand’s essence, ensuring every design element, from your website to your marketing materials, aligns with your brand’s message and appeals to your audience. Whether you’re starting a new brand or refreshing an existing one, a well-crafted brand board helps you stay true to your brand’s voice and vision across all platforms. If you haven’t created a brand board or don’t have a consistent brand defined, it’s time to create or refine your brand board and let your brand shine consistently everywhere.

If you have questions or comments about broad boards, please leave them below, and we will respond as soon as possible. We want to hear from you and answer all your questions about brand boards!