Why I never get ‘board’ of branding

When I decided to start my own digital marketing freelance business, one of the first questions that popped into my head was, what’s the name going to be, and the logo? 

It’s natural for these things to be top of the lists – they’re so visual and they’re going to be ‘out there’, representing you. But there is more to a brand than that.

Here’s the process I went through to define and create my own brand…

What are my brand values?

My starting point was brand values. These are the words that describe you and your business – what do you stand for?

  • What are your values?
  • What do you care about?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Being authentic is at the heart of what makes me and my business tick. I’m not going to act, speak or work in a way that I’m not comfortable with, or make promises that I know I can’t keep.

I love working with others, bringing ideas to life in innovative and creative ways, that perhaps they hadn’t thought of. I always try and bring style to my work – whether it’s in words or visually.

Bringing extra value to someone’s business is so exciting, and I want to demonstrate and evidence that my work makes a real difference. That’s where intelligence comes in – making sure that your investment in digital marketing is paying off – you need to know that it’s working.

Once I’d defined my brand values, I could move onto the more visual parts of branding…

Where do I find inspirational images?

I love to surround myself with a mixture of high-tech gadgets, leafy plants and an endless stream of cups of tea.

On top of all that, I’m passionate about colour, natural style and texture. I love vintage and thrifted finds that have history, personality and a story to tell. I’m also a big fan of a little quirkiness (trust me, silver shoes are the future). I wanted my brand to reflect all this somehow.

So I started a Pinterest board to collect images that spoke to me and inspired me. Each image somehow and that I felt chimed with my emerging brand.

How do I choose a name for my business?

After a good bit of brainstorming I came up with Digital Flourish. Digital because that’s what I do, and flourish because it means all these things:

  • grow successfully
  • brandish dramatically
  • decorate or embellish

How do I choose a colour palette?

I knew I wanted to use colours that weren’t solely ‘feminine’ – you see a lot of #girlboss imagery and quotes out there, and that’s not my style (see – I’m sticking to my brand values!). Taking a cue from my inspiration Pinterest board (specifically the velvet cushions) I chose three main colours:

  • a gorgeous dark green
  • a stunning yellow
  • an unusual coral gold

I teamed these with some complementary colours, which gave me my palette.

Which font should I go for?

I wanted to use a script font in my logo and on visuals, so narrowed it down to Lemon Tuesday, which is a free font. However, ‘handwritten’ fonts don’t work well in blocks of text – they’re too difficult to read. So for sub-headings I’m using Montserrat and for body text, Noto Sans. Again, both these are free fonts, and are used by my website template, giving a nice consistency.

Once I had all these elements in place I created my logo. I love Monstera (cheeseplant) leaves, so decided to use that as a motif, weaving in the name, fonts and colours.

Pulling it all together…

Finally the values, logo, colours and fonts, came together to define my brand.

Brand boards

I love brand boards. Everything’s in one place. Anyone can understand it, from business owner, to employee, to external designer.

Here’s the Digital Flourish brand board I created…

If you like my style and think a brand board would be a helpful step in creating and defining your brand, find out more about how I could work with you on branding.

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