For new businesses and existing organizations, brand development is a mission-critical task.
When a company is new, brand development serves to position the organization in the minds of consumers. When an existing company wants to update how it is perceived, brand development helps them learn from the past and adapt for the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the best brand development tools that business leaders can use to bring their company identity to life.
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What is brand development?
Brand development is the process by which companies and organizations establish the visual identity and market positioning of their business, products and services. It’s alternatively referred to as brand building, brand design and brand creation.
Here’s a quick video on branding you want to catch up on that:
A recognizable brand has enormous value for businesses of every size, age and industry. Apple claims more than $104 billion in intangible brand value, beyond their devices, stores, factories and employees. In other words, the way consumers perceive Apple accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company’s total value.
Entrepreneurs and leaders shouldn’t shoot for $100 billion-plus in value from brand development, but building a brand identity that sticks with consumers is one of the most important tasks every business has.
In addition to the intangible aspect of positioning a company within the marketplace, brand development efforts are usually aimed at creating visual assets for use in digital and print communication, including logos, color palettes, fonts, websites, advertisements and other visual collateral.
Why do you need a visual brand?
A visual brand serves as a first impression in the minds of consumers, and a well-established visual brand creates an unbreakable connection with the public.
Establishing a clear and strong visual brand also ensures all your communications are cohesive and reinforce your identity for consumers.
Best brand guide templates: Venngage
Consistent branding has been shown to increase revenue by more than 20 percent, but making sure brand identity elements are applied correctly across channels is difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a brand guide your team can easily follow.
Venngage offers the best selection of brand guide templates you can customize with your own logo, colors, fonts and other visual brand elements. Upgrade to a Business plan to access our one-click branding feature, My Brand Kit.
As a Business user, you can add your brand logos and colors to your Venngage Brand Kit in seconds, with one click:
Once you have all your brand logos, colors and fonts ready, you can add them to any of your Venngage designs:
For your brand style guide, you can use a one-page brand guide like the one above or expand to a presentation like the one below.
Venngage for Business users can even export a file for PowerPoint to distribute the guidelines across their organization.
Not sure how to create a brand style guide? Check out our blog for a step-by-step guide.
Best color palette generator: Coolors
Coolors is a free color palette generator that offers several must-have tools. Build your color palette by generating one at random, uploading an image and having the system extract the colors or exploring palettes based on keywords.
Add up to 10 shades to your color palette or go with as few as two. Lock in a shade that you’ve decided on and explore to find colors that go well with the ones you love. Once you’ve found the colors that are perfect for your brand, you can export multiple types of files or copy the color values to your Venngage Brand Kit.
Want to try some other color generators? Check out our recommended 13 best color generators for 2021.
Best color palette library: Color Hunt
Color Hunt is a free color palette library that offers a seemingly endless supply of palettes submitted by artists, designers and other creatives. You can also create and submit your own color palette, though you’re limited to four total shades.
Choose from new, trendy, popular or random to be inspired by the global artist community. When you see a palette or shade you like, you can generate an image of the palette or copy the colors’ HEX codes.
Best logo generator: Shopify
Perhaps even more important than a brand’s colors is its logo. Iconic logos become part of everyday life, and clothing featuring logos from brands like Nike, Coca-Cola and NASA are part of many people’s wardrobes.
Shopify’s Hatchful logo generator is the best free online tool for creating a basic logo. While the results won’t be as polished as if you’d hired a high-paid design firm, but enter your business name, industry and choose design styles you like.
After you scroll through the generated options, you can customize fonts, colors and icons, though you can’t add your own newly created color palette with this particular logo generator. You can download images after you provide your email address.
Best free font library: DaFont
A few famous brands use fonts created specifically for them, but given the widespread availability of free fonts, finding the best font for your logo, website and other design assets is easier than ever. DaFont is our favorite free font library.
Narrow down the font personality you’re looking for or search for a particular font. Some fonts are free for commercial and personal use, while others are only free for personal use. Make sure you’re paying attention to licenses before you use a font, especially in your logo.
Best accessible font library: Google Fonts
Google Fonts has become the go-to font library for many web developers, and even those who are focused on designing print assets like brochures or signage use Google Fonts to make sure all their text is accessible and legible. That’s why Google Fonts is our favorite accessible font library.
With hundreds of free fonts to choose from, you can see each font in your own text by typing in a word, phrase or even paragraph, then sliding the size toggle large or small to see how legible the text is at a variety of sizes.
Download the fonts of your choice and load them into Venngage’s Brand Kit so you can make sure all your design assets have consistent branding.
Or if you don’t know where to start, first take a look at our chosen 40+ best free fonts for 2021.
If you find the sheer volume of Google Font choices overwhelming, you’re not alone. That’s why FontPair is our favorite font pairing tool for Google Fonts. Explore popular font pairings and even enter your own text to see how two options work together.
The pairings also include examples of the two fonts paired together so you can real-world applications of the font combinations. The tool is free.
Best icon library: Icons8
Icons are popular for many types of visual design, including logos, infographics, presentations and more. Finding that exact right icon can be a challenge, which is why we love Icons8. Though access to all the icons requires a paid subscription (as little as $13 per month), depending on how often you use icons, the investment will be well worth it.
The Icons8 library is unique among most icon libraries because it lets users toggle through the dozens of types of icons, grouped by style and platform. This is a huge time-saver, as it helps ensure that all the icons you use are in the same style.
Best icon creator: Venngage
Create your own icons with Venngage. We offer more than 40,000 icons, a lot of which are diverse icons which you can customize to reflect your diverse audience:
Select an icon from more than 40,000 options and customize their look, selecting their color, size and other aspects of the icons’ appearance. Build your brand’s icon set by selecting your favorites so they’re always available.
Did you know you can easily replace icons and illustrations too? Swap out an icon with a new one in just several clicks:
Best free stock photo library: Unsplash
Photography is an ideal way to engage your audience, but paying for a professional photographer is expensive. That’s why we love Unsplash, which is a free library for high-resolution images.
You can have access to 3+ million stock photos sourced directly from Unsplash while editing your Venngage design, and it’s very easy to replace your image too:
With this huge number of free stock photos, just about any possible topic is covered. Images are being added every day, so chances are if your industry isn’t represented, just wait a bit.
Brand development FAQ
Do you have questions about brand development? We’ve got the answers.
How do you design a brand?
Designing an effective brand starts with defining your brand story. Every decision you make starts from the basic premise behind your company’s mission, values and goals. From there, you should develop a logo, visual identity guidelines, color palette and messaging.
What are the 4 steps of branding?
While branding is an ongoing task no matter how well-established a company, when companies are setting out to create their brand, there are generally four main steps involved:
- Identifying and developing a compelling brand story
- Developing a logo and color palette
- Establishing a brand voice
- Creating guidelines for usage of logos, colors, visual assets and typography
The unlisted fifth step is maintenance. Ensuring branding is consistently applied is crucial, but well-established companies also look to continue evolving their brand over time. That means refining or even completely changing your look and voice.
What are brand development strategies?
Brand development strategy refers to the process by which a company, startup or organization (or even an individual) establishes a set of visual elements and guidelines that position the organization in the marketplace.
How can you develop your new brand?
For new brands, it’s often important to make a splash. However, being edgy or daring can’t come at the expense of the hard work to understand the industry and your company’s place in it. Brand development is a never-ending process, so the most important thing for developing a new brand is to identify what sets you apart.
In summary: Save yourself some money by using these (mostly) free brand development tools
Make the most use of the tools and resources we list above so you can come up with the best brand development strategies to make your company the top of mind in whatever industry you’re operating in.
Once you’ve got your logo, fonts, color palette, icon set, images and more, upload all of them into your Venngage My Brand Kit and get started bringing your new brand to life.