Disclaimer! It's not about skateboarding, it's about design and entrepreneurship. So, if you are an entrepreneur or a graphic designer, you must be familiar or at least have heard the term brand board and seen couple of examples. If you want to know more about brand boards, how you can use them, and what they consist of, then this article is for you.
Brand board is a sort of mini style guide, but it should not be confused with a style guide as it is not a style guide substitution. Brand board is a document that contains all basic visual brand elements like primary logo, logo variations, submark, brand colours, patterns, textures, any supporting graphic elements, typefaces (fonts), style inspiration.
Unlike style guide which is more complex document that contains visual elements usage instructions (think cooking book), brand board just contains all those visual elements (think restaurant menu). Brand board is basically for internal usage only. If you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, a brand board will tell you what visual brand elements you have at your disposal, what exact colours to use for web and printing, what typefaces to use on your website and printed materials. This is a document you will forward to your in-house or freelance designer, developer or printer so that the consistency in visual branding is kept. If you are a graphic designer, compiling a brand board might be a good practice of systematising all assets you are preparing for your next client.
1 Primary logo
Main logo will be used across all your brand products, it will appear on your website, social media accounts, business card, stationery, signages, packaging, gifts, T-shirts, stickers, seals, office environment, posters, and many other articles.
2 Logo variations
Normally a good logo designer will provide alternative or secondary logo versions to fit in different contexts. It might be a simplified or more complex logo version, vertical or horisontal layout version, negative space logo adaptation. Certain limitations dictated by situation and type of a media might require certain logo format adaptations. This is where alternative logo versions will be very handy.
Submark or sub mark is a simple graphic mark based on the primary logo that can be used as an icon, favicon, watermark.
Brand colours documentation will eliminate guesswork of picking right web and print colours for your client. Thoroughly crafted colour palette will boost a brand, communicate right mood, and help keep consistency through all products.
Repeating or seamless patterns are perfect choice for backgrounds (both screen and printed), stationery, packaging, office environment decoration, press walls, etc.
6 Supporting graphics
Simple graphic marks, shapes or motives can be used as supporting elements across your brand visual system.
Typography requires very careful treatment. Two or maximum three typefaces combination is the best option. One typeface (font) will be used for headlines and the other for body text. So headline typeface can be more prominent and irregular but still readable. Body typeface must be clear and easy to read.
8 Style inspiration
Inspiration images sometimes might be included in a brand board too. They will give a hint of a style, a mood, and a feel a brand should project. This element is optional.
That's it. If you are a business owner and working with a designer on a logo or branding project, don't forget to request a brand board. If you are a graphic designer working on a logo or branding project, don't forget to create a brand board and include it in deliverables.