Anyone who has had a brand design or brand refresh done professionally, or anyone who has even ventured into the realm of researching branding or brandboards on Pinterest, has probably encountered brand patterns. They are beautiful additions, and in my opinion essential parts, to a full brand, but I still find that most non-designers have no clue what to do with them. I usually take some time to explain all the components that go into brandboards or moodboards with each of my branding clients to avoid confusion or questions like “What in the world do I do with brand patterns??” and to make sure they feel comfortable using these components long after we’ve parted ways.
After all, what’s the point in paying for professional branding if you don’t know how to use everything that’s been created for you?
First, know that EVERY part of a brandboard is important. It helps shape a visual idea of your business and should represent your entire brand at a glance. And while the brand patterns can be some of the least obvious parts of a brand, they are actually super fun and integral parts to this visual guide and help add to the full picture of what the brand stands for.
So what are some actual relevant uses for these brand patterns?
Social Media Posts
These days social media gives you so many options to show off your brand and content with the world. While an individual instagram or facebook post is the most obvious way to share your new pattern, don’t be afraid to use your patterns in creative and more prominent ways. I’ll brag on one of my recent branding clients, Meghan Basinger, for just a minute. I absolutely love how she is using the floral pattern I made for her, seen in the picture above, as cover photos for her Instagram stories. Branding patterns make a great backdrop for text or calligraphy. If personalizing your Pinterest is super important to you, branded main images for each of your boards done in the same way can add a beautiful touch.
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As a web designer this one is a given for me. I always love to use brand elements and patterns within my websites for clients so that they really get the most use out of them. They shouldn’t be over the top or distract from your website content, so make sure you use them sparingly and with purpose. When in doubt, get a graphic designer to help with placement and layout. Again, here is an example from Meghan’s website.
One of the easier places, in my opinion, to use brand patterns in on the back of business cards. Layer your logo or a sub logo over your pattern and it’s a beautiful, on brand, way to step up your business card game. The opposing side can now showcase your info without being too crowded. Pinterest is full of great examples of this!
There are a lot of things to think about when setting up profiles on social media these days. Many platforms like Facebook, Twitter, even Etsy if you are an online seller, offer banner areas as a way of personalizing your business page. Again, this is a great place to utilize those brand patterns and create a simple graphic that represents your brand. Look at how Kate Baird shows of her logo and patterns in one fell swoop.
Even if you don’t necessarily want to use your patterns everywhere (maybe you want a more minimal approach) they are still a great a thing to have close to your desk for quick reference. While I think you should always keep your entire brand board or moodboard close at hand, patterns can provide a very visual aid in figuring out what matches your brand and what doesn’t long after you’ve parted ways with your designer. If imagery or other elements don’t look like they would fit seamlessly side by side your patterns, chances are they don’t fit your brand.
I absolutely love creating brand patterns for my clients and love even more seeing them put to good use. When done correctly the use of patterns can add personality and a creative edge to any design.
Want to work together? See some of my recent branding work here.
What ways have you been able to use your brand patterns? Did you know that I keep a Pinterest board devoted to pattern making?