How to create a brand identity

In our hyper-connected, screen-dominated world, a powerful brand identity is no longer just a nice-to-have…it’s a must-have.

A unique and carefully crafted brand identity has the power to captivate and command attention. It can distinguish you from your competitors, communicate your values to your customers, and foster trust and loyalty.

We believe that your brand identity should also reflect the joy and passion you have for your business!


Defining Brand Identity

What exactly is brand identity? Well, this could easily be answered with it’s own dedicated blog post. However, to keep things simple for now, a brand identity encompasses all the visual aspects of your company’s image, such as its name, tagline, logo, color scheme, fonts, patterns and the designed assets that bring all of these pieces together (such as on business cards, your website design, ads, packaging, etc).




Why You Should Invest in Your Brand Identity

Investing in your branding and taking the brand identity process seriously is not just a ploy used by graphic designers to trick you into hiring them (I swear)! There are real, legitimate reasons for doing so.

First of all, consider that marketing experts estimate the average American sees anywhere from 4,000-10,000 ads per day. While this number can vary from person to person, it’s still quite staggering when you really contemplate all the places you are exposed to ads. Think about your own social media use (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, etc.), whether you listen to podcasts or radio, and the time you spend scrolling through online news sources, blogs, and recipe sites. Then there are billboards when driving, TV use (whether cable or a streaming service), junk mail, free apps or phone games, videos you watch on YouTube, and all the brands you see when grocery shopping. Even a basic web search will produce sponsored search results. It’s never-ending, and what you should take away from this is how good we’ve all gotten at overlooking and ignoring tons of attempts to grab our attention by 100s of brands on a daily basis.

The ads and brands that we do pay attention to usually have a clear and confident message, an aesthetic that stands out or an offering we either need or feel emotionally drawn to. Your brand identity has a huge impact on all of these things.

If that mental exercise isn’t convincing, then there are many findings that reveal how brand identity can have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line:

  • According to a survey by Marq (formerly Lucidpress), consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 33%.
  • Another survey by Small Business Trends found that 72% of consumers say that a recognizable brand can influence their purchasing decisions.
  • A study by Accenture found that 64% of consumers are loyal to brands that share their values.


All of this means that taking your company’s brand identity seriously can truly help you and your business be a success! Now that you’re convinced (wink) let’s dive into what the steps might look like when you decide to embark on your brand identity journey.


Brand Identity and Logo Creation Process

At Joyage Studio, we understand the importance of creating a unique and memorable brand that resonates with not only your audience, but also you! Our comprehensive branding and logo design process is consciously crafted to help you create a strong and cohesive brand identity that sets you apart from the competition and allows you to confidently share your offerings with the world.

In our experience, when a small or new business comes to us looking for a logo and visual branding, they are typically already set on their brand name. If you haven’t yet determined your brand name, it is essential that you prioritize this before considering any additional visual aspects of your brand. This is because the name of your company and the reasons for choosing it will significantly influence the rest of your brand identity’s visual aspects, and a naming expert can assist you with this.

Once you do decide you’re ready to move forward, it’s important to note that there’s a lot of ways that graphic designers and branding studios work. We are providing our tried and true process for you to use as a guideline, along with some suggestions to consider as you weigh your options.

Regardless of who you choose to work with for your brand identity project, be sure that they:

  • Show effort to understand your project and explain their process prior to any commitments
  • Have an ironed out branding process that they can easily explain
  • Are clear about timelines, meetings and deadlines
  • Have a portfolio of multiple branding projects and client testimonials
  • Provide a way to help you sustain your brand identity


Our branding and logo design process addresses each of these requirements, consisting of seven phases. These phases are designed to ensure that your brand is not only eye-catching and memorable, but also effectively communicates your values and message to your target audience.




1. Free Discovery Call

Anyone who works as a professional graphic designer or freelancer should be not only willing, but happy to spend at least 30 complimentary minutes to understand your project and explain their process prior to giving a formal quote.

We recommend that you speak with at least three graphic designers and/or businesses when looking to hire for your branding project. It is preferable to do so through video or phone call. This way, you can get a good feel for different personalities and what it might be like to work with them. Additionally, you will receive a range of quotes.

If you’re looking to hire a graphic designer for your branding project, here are some questions you can ask to help you make an informed decision:

  • How do you get to know me and my business before starting on the brand identity?
  • Is there a sketching phase of the project?
  • How many logo options will I be able to choose from? And how many rounds of revision are included?
  • Do you provide a brand board or brand guide to help me understand and sustain my brand identity?
  • Do you provide multiple variations/layouts of my logo (stacked, horizontal, social, etc)?
  • What is the average timeline to complete the project once started?
  • What forms of payment do you accept and what is your payment structure (deposit, all due at once, payment plans, etc)?


During your free Discovery Call with Joyage Studio, we make sure to touch on all of the above points with a focus on discussing your overall needs, vision for your brand, and ideal timeline. This call is an opportunity for us to learn more about your business and goals, and for you to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work with us so that we both can determine if we are the right fit! After the call, we send a detailed summary of our discussion via email, along with a formal quote and next steps, should you decide to work with us.


2. Customized Questionnaire

How each designer goes about getting to know you and your business will be unique to them. They could be more strategic and analytical, more feelings and intuition based, or a mix of both. For us, one of our favorite aspects of the branding process is having the opportunity to work with people from all kinds of fields and learning what propels them to pursue joy in their work. Because of this we utilize a mixed approach of strategy and feelings to get to know you and your business.

After deciding to work with us, we will provide you with a contract and a questionnaire tailored to you and your business. The questionnaire is a crucial stepping stone for us to understand the “why” behind your business and what makes you unique. We will ask detailed questions about your company offerings and/or products, your goals, what motivates and inspires you and the emotions you want your brand to convey.

Here are a handful of example questions:

  • What is the meaning behind your company name, and how did you come to choose it?
  • If your company were a person, how would you describe them? What are their likes and dislikes, good and bad qualities, and what role do they play (sibling, parent, coach, etc)?
  • Why did you create this company? What compels you to do the work to create it?
  • What 3-5 adjectives do you want your business to evoke?
  • What do you think is the reason people choose to work with you or purchase your products?
  • Who is your ideal audience? What is their age, income, interests, etc.?
  • Is there anything unique about your product, process or service compared to others?
  • Who would you say are direct competitors of yours?
  • Do you have any fears or concerns going into this process?


These are all just starting points! In addition to these questions, we always add more that are specific to your industry. For example, specific questions will be needed for if you’re a polymer clay earring crafter, a life coach, or a beauty salon owner. Don’t stress if you don’t have perfect answers. We want to hear your honest and intuitive thoughts, which will become talking points in our next conversation.


3. Project Kick-Off Call

The Project Kick-Off call marks the official start of the project and is one of the most important and exciting steps in the brand development process. During this call, you and your chosen designer will go over all of the details of your project and get excited about this next step in your brand journey!

At Joyage Studio, our Project Kick-Off calls typically last between 1-2 hours to make sure that we cover all of the necessary details. We want to make sure that we are fully prepared to move forward with your project and that everyone is excited and motivated to get started!

To begin the call, we will review the questionnaire you filled out and have an open conversation about your answers and ask follow-up questions. This part of the call can sometimes feel like a low-key therapy session since our aim is to find core feelings and motivations behind the creation of your business.

We typically finish the call by discussing the project timeline in detail and scheduling meetings on the calendar. This ensures that we are all on the same page when it comes to deadlines and milestones. Our process is highly collaborative, with multiple opportunities to provide feedback, so it is essential we all have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed by.

After the call, we will send you a detailed summary of our discussion via email.


4. Logo Sketch Phase

Having a sketches phase of your logo design is a great way to explore multiple concepts quickly and for you to collaborate with your designer. It also allows you the opportunity to heavily influence the direction of the final logo design.

After thoroughly reviewing everything we’ve learned about you and your business we get to work sketching and then present you with 6-8 groupings of black and white pencil-sketched directions. Each direction is accompanied by a description of how it represents your business, the feelings it evokes, and symbols it contains.

During our call we will walk through each grouping of sketches, discuss your feedback, make on-the-fly changes, and narrow down the directions together. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous or overwhelmed about giving on-the-spot feedback, but we help you through the process to put words to why certain directions might speak more to you over others. We find that trusting your gut reaction yields the best results! We consider this phase to be a collaborative process with your input being essential to create a logo and brand identity that reflects you and your brand’s unique personality and values.

Ultimately, you will choose three sketch directions with your feedback noted and accounted for in the vector phase of the logo design.

Here’s an example of the sketch direction groupings that we provided for our client, Drops and Bowtales:


5. Logo and Brand Board Creation Phase

This is where everything comes together! Once the sketch directions have been chosen, we refine and perfect them into two (or up to three) fully-realized logo options for you. We present each option with a concept write-up, color scheme, and font family. We show each logo option in both stacked and horizontal versions, as well as in various mockups, so you can envision the logo and branding in action.

Typically, clients find that the logo options they receive meet or exceed their expectations. This is due to the sketches phase, during which we receive your early feedback and collaboration. This allows us to provide results that feel highly aligned with your business, rather than leaving it up to chance as to what you will be presented with.

Unlike the sketches round, we allow a few days to digest your options and choose your favorite direction. We then include two rounds of revisions on the chosen vector logo, allowing you to tweak the logo design, play with color scheme, and request alternative fonts to ensure that you’re completely satisfied with the final product.

Take a look at these brand identity options we provided for our client, Drops and Bowtales:

Once we have perfected your logo, we will assemble its core elements into a brand board. This simplified version of a brand guide includes all of your various logo layouts, colors in HEX and CMYK formats, patterns, and fonts. This document provides you with the tools to sustain your branding as you move forward.

Clients have expressed that they initially underestimated the value of this part of the branding process. However, once they were on their own, they realized how much it helped them manage their branding and create their own assets without having to hire someone.

See these example brand boards we’ve made for previous clients:


6. Brand Asset Development

Now that the overall brand identity basics have been completed we are now ready to create any additional brand assets that your project requires, such as a website design, business card, flyer, sticker, social templates, and so on. These become great tangible examples of how all of the brand elements can come together, so we require that there’s at least one brand asset created per branding project.

One round of minor revisions is included to ensure that your brand assets are consistent with your logo and brand identity.

See these examples of assets developed for our client, Drops and Bowtales:


7. Delivery of Assets and Files

Your designer should provide you with multiple file formats of your logo and brand identity assets as well as the working artwork files.

When working with Joyage Studio, we deliver the final logo files in high resolution as PDF, SVG, JPG, PNG, as well as the original working Adobe Illustrator files. This will provide you with file formats for the majority of uses you may need. Additionally, we will provide the final assets necessary for your custom brand assets that were included in your brand package.

Here’s a guideline on file formats:


Bring Your Brand Identity to Life Today

As you can see, there’s quite a number of steps and elements to consider when choosing to prioritize your brand’s identity, but with the right designer this can be an exciting and successful endeavor!

At Joyage Studio, we understand the importance of creating a unique and memorable brand that resonates with not only your audience, but also you! Our comprehensive branding and logo design process is consciously crafted to help you create a strong and cohesive brand identity that sets you apart from the competition and allows you to confidently share your offerings with the world.

We approach each project as a unique opportunity to create something special together, and we are committed to working closely with you to bring your joyage to life. Contact us today to schedule your free discovery call!


Schedule Your Free Discovery Call!

Book time for a free Discovery Call! We discuss your design project, answer any questions you have about our branding studio, and get to know each other to see if we might be a good fit 🙂




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