I’m super excited to be sharing this blog with you all today. I’m going to be covering something that I actually used to do for a living that I still have a deep passion for. I’m talking about how to brand your handmade business.
It’s the beginning of a brand new year and I’m sure that there’s many people out there looking to establish their brand. Fresh new year, fresh new brand. I totally get it. So, in this blog I’m going to go over important topics that involve branding such as building a solid foundation, choosing a color scheme, reaching out to a designer, and more!
I’ve even included a FREE 5 page branding workbook that you can download and print out to use.
I’m also writing this blog assuming that you have a business name picked out already. Choosing a business name is a whole different process itself, so I’m going to save that lesson for another time.
Okay, let’s get started!
Describe Your Brand in 3-4 Words
First, let’s start off by choosing 3 to 4 words that you would use to describe your business style or what you want your brand to portray. For example, if you sell handmade hairbows and other accessories for girls then you might choose words such as, “girly”, “fun”, and “chic”.
Another example, let’s say you own a woodworking business that uses reclaimed wood to create beautiful signs. Some examples of words to choose would be “rustic”, “earthy”, and “recycled”.
In my workbook I provide a list of over 50 words to choose from and a few blank spaces where you can add your own.
Develop a Mood Board
Developing a mood board (or some people like to call it a brand board) for a brand is my favorite part of the branding process. A mood board is basically a collection of images, colors, and fonts that you would like to use to establish a foundation for your actual brand.
You’re free to create a physical board if you’d like, but my favorite way to do a brand board is through Pinterest. Pinterest is like a big giant playground when it comes to finding things for mood boards. Create a Pinterest board and call it “Mood Board” or “Brand Board”. You can set the board to private if you’d like.
Next, take the keywords that you chose to describe your brand and search those words on Pinterest. Choose anything that you would like to use for inspiration for your brand and pin it to your board. Photos, color palettes, fonts, etc. Try to find as many inspiring things as you can.
Now you can actually create a mood board of your own. I usually create my boards in Adobe Photoshop, but considering that most of you probably don’t have Photoshop let’s use Canva instead. Canva.com is basically a free graphic maker that requires zero graphic design skills. I love it SO much. Head on over to Canva.com and sign up for a free account if you don’t have one already.
From there, choose to create a design with custom dimensions. I use 1000px wide and 3000px tall because you can always crop it if needed. Here’s an example of a mood board that I created that you can use for guidance.
Like in my board, upload and place 3 or 4 images onto your board that are related to the words that you choose.
Establish a Color Palette
If you don’t already have a color palette in mind, Canva has a kickass color palette picker that’s free to use. In your browser, open up a new tab and go to canva.com/color-palette. Next, upload one of the images that you would like to choose colors from and you’ll see that Canva will pull a color palette for you. Make sure you write down the names of the colors and their color codes in the worksheet that I provided so you can save them for later.
Next, go back to your mood board that you’re creating and add a free circle element to your board. Change the color of the circle to one of your chosen colors by using their appropriate color code. Also put a text label of the color code underneath your circle like my example. Pick out anywhere between 2-6 colors.
You can add other things to your mood board such as typography that you would like to include in your brand. Really, anything that you want! Once you’ve finished with your mood board be sure to save it and download it to a place where you will remember.
Find a Logo
Now that you’re finished with your mood board, it’s time to start thinking about a logo. I’m sure that many other designers will agree with me when I say that your logo is the most important piece of your branding. You want to make sure that your logo represents everything that you want your business to portray.
With that being said, I honestly wouldn’t recommend that you try to create your own logo unless you know what you’re doing. Logos should be created as a scalable vector file in a professional graphic design program such as Adobe Illustrator.
If you’re looking to save a bit of money you can choose to purchase a premade logo. A premade logo is a logo that has already been designed and is listed for sale. The only drawback to purchasing a premade logo is that the logo comes as is with very few customization options and there are other brands out there that may be using that same logo. Do a search on Etsy for “premade logo” and see what comes up!
But, if you’re serious about your logo and branding creation then you can reach out to a graphic designer and request that they design custom branding for you. I personally love Holly Casto‘s work. I follow her on YouTube and I know that her work is original and absolutely stunning.
If you choose to go this route then provide the designer with your mood board along with any other ideas that you may have. Graphic designers like Holly typically offer package suites that include a logo, marketing materials, website, etc.
Create Marketing Materials
Once you establish a set logo you may want to look into creating marketing materials. A perfect example of a must have marketing material is a business card. You can either purchase a premade business card design or you could have a graphic designer draft a custom one for you. You can order printed business cards for relatively cheap online through places such as VistaPrint.com or Moo.com.
Other marketing materials for your brand can include things such as:
- Custom thank you cards
- Packaging stickers
- Custom printed boxes
- Post cards
- Rack cards
- Shop cover photo
Well, hopefully this blog has inpspired you to create branding that truly represents your business.
Do you have any questions when it comes to branding your handmade business? I’m all ears! Leave me a comment below and let’s chat.