Firstly, for all that haven't come across the wonders of a brand board, I'll introduce you. In a nutshell a brand board is an early stage glance of what a brand’s direction is heading towards. It contains around 6–10 boards of brand elements including the logotype, colours, typography, supporting Imagery and Illustrations/icons, how the logo works with supporting typeface, advertisements etc. It’s helpful to display to the client their brand's personality, spirit, value and attributes, that you cannot achieve by showing a black and white version of the logo. Brand boards are a good initiative to make the client understand the concept in further detail and show how the logo will behave in certain environments.
Why use one?
The reason why we personally use a brand board as part of our branding process is simply to show our client the branding direction and not just isolate the logo. There are many times that after designing the logo, with it being designed to all the requirements suggested by the client, and showing your client the logo, to some clients it may look bland and dull. That’s because the logo is not being shown in it’s environment. So many times we've had clients already shutting down the concept before we have given it colour. That’s not suggesting the concept is working, it’s simply not attractive enough for the client to see it’s potential direction. With creating a brand board you are giving the logo concept life, with showcasing it with it’s brand elements. Most clients are very visual people, and need to be shown in front of them how the logo will behave. Sometimes explaining your concept to the client vigorously that it will look good with this and that, may not cut it and could potentially lose them in agreeing with your chosen concept.
How We Use It
Once we usually have an idea of the direction and have finished creating the logo, we then proceed onto creating the brand board. From here it’s a creative process of just playing around with your chosen colour palette, understanding what works best. Creating patterns that fit the direction and brand, creating useful icons to offer more to the branding etc. It’s a bit of a disorganised process in playing around and seeing what works. We personally create 6–10 boards depending on the brand, if it’s a large scale job or if it’s a smaller job, than these aesthetics may not be needed. The basic foundation of boards we stick to are as follows:
-Logo in Colour variations
-Logo with appropriate imagery direction
-Logo with typography treatment
This sets a useful skeleton on where to start. The other boards could be filled with some type of advertisement, stationery, wall graphic or whatever really fits the brand you are working on. You essentially want to use the brand board to leverage your logo and make it useful to the direction. It’s not a place to finalise anything and is all negotiable, its a common starting platform to show off your concept and build from there.
Once you are happy with your brand board, it’s time to present it to your client. This at times can be a little tricky due to a bombardment of boards at first. It’s best to maybe label the board and talk about each board individually and explain why you did this and why it works etc. From all of our client presentations showcasing brand boards, they have been blown away and get a firm ground of where their brand is heading and a clearer understanding of their logo. It may seem a fair amount of work to create a brand board for 3 or how many concepts you come up with, but at the end of the day it's worth it and will always exceed the client's expectations.
Brand boards in effect are a good way to leverage your logo by not just presenting the logo on its own, giving them direction and presenting the client with the next steps of the process or simply eliminating the concept if it’s not working for them at all. At the end of the day your brand board can be as simple as you want or if you feel you need to really get technical then add a lot more effort into it, it’s totally up to you. If you have never tried creating a brand board, then we highly recommend you give it a shot for your next branding job. It’s a process we believe is vital for all of our branding work, as it’s worked for us many times.