The idea in your head—that one big idea—takes its sharpest turn from dream to reality once it becomes something tangible. Whether you’re turning a hobby into a business or acting on a gap in the market, that’s the moment your brand is born.
Your brand is a guide to what you stand for, how you want to make people feel, and the value you bring to the world. Within it lives brand identity—a visual representation of your brand from logo design to typography choices to color palette. It is a system of rules and visual assets that guide the creative direction of your brand at every step.
But where do you start? How do you bring your vision to life? The best place to find inspiration is within successful businesses with memorable brands. Ahead, explore branding design examples from brands across a variety of industries. And, get tips from a design expert on creating a winning brand of your own.
What is branding design?
Branding design (or brand identity design) is the act of creating the visual identity of your brand, from your logo to your photographic style to your color scheme. It is a system of rules and visual assets that guide design decisions across your website, social media, packaging, and more.
Brand identity design is just one aspect of a brand’s full picture—your brand is so much more than a symbol or wordmark. Branding answers questions like: What do I want people to feel when they engage with my business? Why should people care about my mission? What are my brand values? A branding exercise will culminate in a clear picture of your brand, ultimately setting the tone for branding design.
What are the elements of great branding design?
The elements of brand are the components that make up all the parts of your brand and what it stands for. Within brand design, here are some of the terms you may encounter as you build the visual identity for your brand.
Your logo is a graphic representation or symbol that identifies your brand. It can be a wordmark (sometimes called a logotype), meaning that it is primarily text, or it can be an icon (or logomark), which is an image or graphic with no type.
Typography encompasses fonts (or typefaces), as well as how the type is spaced, arranged, and designed. Your brand guidelines will include a suite of fonts and typography rules that you will use consistently to represent your brand.
A comprehensive set of brand guidelines establishes the rules of your brand design—everything from voice and tone to hiring practices. Within brand guidelines will be your style guide, which includes your typographic system (a suite of fonts) and color system (or color scheme). It may also include a library of brand assets, as well as a guide to photographic style.
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12 beautiful branding design examples
- Mount Lai
- Big Bud Press
- Wild One
- Hero Bread
- Parks Project
- KimChi Chic Beauty
Now that you have the basics, see how successful businesses use these elements to define their brand design. These examples show how visual elements can be combined to create a strong brand with staying power.
Omsom, a brand of pre-mixed Southeast Asian and East Asian flavor packs, aligned its visual identity to its founders’ “rowdy spirit.” It chose mouth-watering colors to represent both the vibe of the brand (upbeat, unserious) and the bold flavors inside the package.
“In a world that’s obsessed with minimalism, Omsom has been able to take the concept of maximalism and make it their own in a way that captures their fun and energetic voice,” says content designer Ibrahim Hasan.
2. Mount Lai
Mount Lai, a beauty brand rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, is represented by a simple versatile wordmark that works on packaging or a website, or even embroidered into a spa headband. The brand’s identity is rounded out by illustrated elements, a suite of fonts, and a limited color palette. “The most simple, modern logos tend to do really well with customers,” says designer Skyler Hestnes.
You’ll also notice how the brand’s website sticks to a limited set of legible fonts for its page content, keeping the design minimal and serene.
Atacz is a bold brand with a big mission: creating artful accessories through sustainable business practices and kind processes. To achieve this, its brand needed to reflect the fashionable consumer it hopes to attract through beautiful photography and modern brand design. It juxtaposes this style with copywriting and website content that clearly states its brand promise.
Notice how the brand uses color in a bold way, but an orange accent is used everywhere from photography to pop-up offer buttons to create cohesiveness throughout.
Glossier is an iconic beauty brand spun up from popular blog Into the Gloss. The company took a minimal approach to brand design. Glossier’s brand is represented by two versions of its logo: a simple wordmark and a stylized capital G. “Glossier is one that just always stands out to me,” says Skyler. “Sometimes something flashy and colorful isn’t really needed.”
Where Glossier’s brand really shines is in how it tells its brand story visually through its social media posts, as well as via website content and copywriting that speaks its target audience’s language.
5. Big Bud Press
Big Bud Press is an ethical clothing brand from LA that manufactures a rainbow of vibrant jumpsuits, overalls, tote bags, and knit basics. The brand’s products come in a wide range of colors that might make you think there’s no real brand color scheme.
But look closely and you’ll see that anchoring the rainbow of sweats and bucket hats are a couple of consistent choices. Big Bud Press’s signature vintage-y oranges, golds, and ochres thread through its website, Instagram grid, storefront design, and sunshine logo.
Noted’s branding is neutral, to complement its simple products. The same neutral palette, punctuated by colors pulled from nature, carry through the brand’s website and social posts. This deliberate design choice is meant to evoke a feeling from its customers.
“We are part of your daily rituals, gatherings with loved ones, and are given as gifts to show how much you care,” reads Noted’s About page. “Each part of lighting a candle, the glow from the flickering flame, the warm fragrance wafting through the air, elicits very personal emotions.” Effective brand design—everything from logo design to site layout—works to tell this story visually.
Schoolhouse is an ethically manufactured lighting and home design brand. According to Schoolhouse’s About page, the brand’s mission is to “provide a new generation of heirlooms that inspire people to create unique, meaningful spaces in which to live and work.” Through the use of modern fonts, clean layouts, and a vintage-inspired color scheme, Schoolhouse’s brand design reflects that mission.
8. Wild One
Pet accessories brand Wild One states its mission clearly on its website: “We’re on a mission to make life with your dog look as good as it feels.” But its audience doesn’t need to read its mission to fully grasp it—it’s evident from the minute you land on the homepage. Wild One uses photography featuring Gen Z and millennial models, and aspirational lifestyles. It also chose its brand elements wisely: a fresh palette, simple fonts, and bold layout to appeal to its audience.
9. Hero Bread
Hero is a low carb bread with benefits. Since its founders are appealing to a health conscious audience, its branding needs to reflect that. A light, natural color palette and focus on great product photography help site visitors taste the product—and understand the brand—without taking a bite. Package branding is minimal, in order to leave room for what matters: the bread’s nutritional benefits.
Two things are important for Bombas to communicate to its customers: the quality and innovation of its products, and its mission. This is evident in how it designs its website with product photos front and center, with “Our Mission” appearing in the main top navigation.
While the site is full of color—both with website accents and the spectrum of colors in the products themselves—one blue accent hue threads through the entire site. If you have a bold and colorful brand, use a single accent color to maintain consistency in your brand design throughout. Bombas worked with a branding agency to help it craft its brand image and create a set of brand guidelines.
11. Parks Project
An official partner of National Park Service in the US, Parks Project is a merch brand with a mission. It launched with the aim of spreading awareness about the impact of climate change on national parks and to raise money to keep them alive. To achieve this, Parks Project went hard on brand design, crafting its image and products with its target audience in mind. Blending modern fonts, retro graphics, and vintage inspired photography, it appeals to young, sustainably minded consumers.
From photography to apparel design, a consistent palette of muted colors inspired by nature appear everywhere in Parks Project’s branding.
12. KimChi Chic Beauty
In an interview with Vice, drag queen KimChi described her aesthetic as “bionic doily,” continuing, “I imagine my aura to be an array of ultra violet colors that spews glitter. I celebrate all things cute, fun, weird, and exotic.” It’s no wonder that KimChi Chic Beauty’s brand design reflects its founder’s character. Color and font choices on the website blend seamlessly with KimChi’s personal brand on Instagram.
Brand design tips from a branding expert
Designer Skyler Hestnes has worked with numerous clients to design logos and branding packages for their small businesses. Here are her tips for designing your brand’s visual identity.
Keep it simple
“Sometimes a simple wordmark—instead of a big fancy logo—really does the job,” says Skyler. Pairing a great font with your brand name and sticking to a simple palette of colors is an easy option for those with little to no natural creativity.
💡Tip: If you don’t have the skill level to design logos or the budget to hire a designer, try a free logo generator.
Secondary to simplicity, versatility is your friend. “Having a logo that you can work on a white background or a black background, or anything in between, is something that is going to take you near and far,” says Skyler. Your logo should work in a variety of sizes—scaled up to a billboard or down to a garment tag—and on a number of surfaces or applications, from digital to tangible.
Don’t dilute your brand
Say you have a wordmark logo but you have your business name appear in a different font in some of your communications. “Now you’re diluting the brand,” says Skyler. “You’re ruining the reference point that people have.” While you may have a couple of versions of your logo or a palette of colors, be sure that you’re creating a pattern that is recognizable to customers across platforms.
Research competitors and brands you love
Even seasoned designers conduct market research and seek inspiration before starting any branding design project. “I would recommend looking at what competitors are doing,” says Skyler. “It puts people off if they walk by a sushi place and the font looks like it’s for a day spa.” Understanding the space in which you’re launching means you’ll avoid ending up with a brand design that is tonally off.
Hone in on a color palette
Deciding on a color scheme will help keep you consistent through many business decisions, like building a website, developing products, and posting on social media. This could be a set of neutrals that work as backgrounds, or a pop of color and a few shades to complement it. “The pop color is your brand color,” says Skyler.
Don’t rely too heavily on your logo in your social marketing and content
“In ecommerce, your first touch point with someone is typically on social media,” says Skyler. Your logo may appear as your profile icon or be dotted throughout product photos, but where your followers get a sense of what you’re about and your visual aesthetic is through image choice, colors, subject matter, and how it’s all put together.
Brand recognition is important, she says. It’s something you can achieve by being consistent and training your fans to know your aesthetic. “The brands that need the most TLC are the ones that aren’t united,” says Skyler. Consistency is also important between your brand and the products you’re selling. “If you’re selling very neutral colored candles, you don’t want a brand that’s red and blue or bright and crazy. Make it fit.”
Branding design inspiration is everywhere
While looking at other brands will inspire ideas, ultimately, the visual identity of your brand will be extremely personal. Enjoy the creative process! Your business will evolve over time, and with it, your brand design will become more refined. In the meantime, never stop getting inspiration from brand design around you, listening to customer feedback, and staying ahead of graphic design trends.
Branding design FAQ
What are the main components of visual brand identity?
- Logo. The shining star of your brand design, a logo is the primary visual representation of a brand, and it typically consists of a symbol and/or text.
- Color scheme. Establishing brand colors is a powerful step in building brand identity, and plays an important role in brand recognition.
- Typography. Fonts are used to create a unified brand design across various mediums, and they also can help convey the brand’s personality and values.
- Design elements and assets. Imagery conveys the brand’s message and often is used to create an emotional connection with the audience.
How do you create a brand design?
Brand design is the result of choices you make, from your brand’s logo to determining your mission (where does your brand stand?). Making graphic design choices and assembling brand elements like visual assets and font choices will help you create a brand image that reflects your values. These choices all become part of your brand guidelines.
Why is brand design important?
Brand design is important for a brand because it helps to establish a recognizable and unified brand identity. A well-crafted brand design can help to create an emotional connection with customers and establish trust in the brand. It is an essential part of any successful marketing campaign, as it helps to differentiate your brand from the competition and create brand recognition.
What’s a good brand design example?
Nike is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Its swoosh is the business’s logo mark, but Nike’s brand is what you feel when you see that swoosh. Nike’s brand storytelling centers the customer as an athlete, depicting regular people achieving physical feats and beating odds. The company has remained consistent with this story across every touchpoint. Because of that, the simple swoosh is all you need to understand the brand.