5 Things Every Brand Needs

I can’t tell you how many times I have met someone who hired a “professional designer” to create a “brand” for them, but ended up with only a low-res JPEG, which literally can’t be used for anything. I don’t mean to sound like a design snob but PLEASE do your research! A complete brand package from an experienced, legitimate graphic designer or brand stylist will include the following…


1. Logo

A timeless logo that reflects you and your business, and will appeal to your target market. As a general rule of thumb with logos, less is more. Don’t get too crazy with details, you will have opportunities for that elsewhere within your brand. Your logo must work in black and white as well as in color. Stay away from designs that are too trendy, because what’s trending right now will feel very outdated in a few short years. I can’t reiterate enough that you can’t go wrong with something classic and simple. Also, if you choose a script or calligraphy style logo, make sure it is easy to read. You don’t people to be unable to decipher what your business name is. (If you don’t need a full brand identity. click here to check out my basic logo package.)

2. Brand Color Palette

A color palette that you can use both in your online presence as well as your physical space (if you have one.) I recommend staying away from what everyone else in your industry is doing with color because being different will make you stand out. Also, keep in mind that your favorite color might not be the best color for your brand. Remember, you want your brand identity to reflect you, but you also want it to attract your target clients. If your target audience is mostly men, don’t use baby pink. Ya know?

3. Brand Elements

Additional brand elements or accents, such as patterns, textures, and illustrations. These elements will work hand in hand with the logo and color palette to further convey your brand’s personality. Check out Creative Market and filter by graphics or patterns to get ideas and inspiration. We like to customize our patterns and textures so that they are uniquely our clients’.  PRO TIP: Think about how you can tie your online brand identity to your brick and mortar business or physical space. They should feel like one and the same. Don’t forget about icons; they are great for Instagram story highlight covers.

4. Brand Fonts

Supplemental brand fonts, which should be different from your logo font(s). Why can’t I just use my logo font for everything? Well you can, but please don’t… Why? Because it will look like you just lazily chose one font for everything, instead of coming up with an actual logo. Your supplemental fonts will be two or three fonts that you will use on all branded collateral to keep everything consistent. Brand consistency will make you look like a pro who knows what they’re doing. I typically include a font for headers, a font for body copy, and often a script or calligraphy style font to use sparingly for fun accents.

5. Business cards that include the following:

• Your first & last name
• Your job title
• Your business location or mailing address (unless you have an online-only business)
• Your contact info, including phone number & email address
• Your social media handle(s) and hashtag(s) so clients can follow and interact with you on Instagram and whatever other social platforms you are using to promote your business

If you have any questions about my branding process, or if you’d like to start a project, email me at hello@gretchenkamp.com or contact me here.

💖 gretchen

Gretchen Kamp, branding specialist & freelance graphic designer based in Astoria, Queens, New York and San Diego, California

Hey! I’m Gretchen.

I'm a bi-coastal (New York City & San Diego) graphic designer turned branding specialist who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I will use any excuse to travel and I LOVE teaching other entrepreneurs everything I've learned about branding and digital marketing in the last four years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me cooking, sipping on red wine, listening to jazz, and spending quality time with family & friends.

Follow me on Instagram! @gretchenkampandco

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