Brand Building

A Brand New Brand: Your Templates

With all your brand identity elements in place, it's time to start putting them all together – with your own collection of templates.

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September 7, 2020


Congratulations for staying the course on your Brand New Brand journey! The finish line is just around the next bend. With your brand’s story, logo, graphics, images, fonts, and colors selected, you now have all the raw ingredients for creating beautiful, professional, and consistent content for your small business or personal brand. We’ve done all the grocery shopping, now it’s time to cook up something spectacular! Put plainly, this is where the process of graphic designing really begins.

We have three key objectives in this final chapter of creating your Brand New Brand:

  1. Finalizing your own brand board, to use as the foundation for all future design work.
  2. Understanding how the process of customizing templates and layout collections works in Over.
  3. Embarking on the process of creating your own selection of predefined, pre-designed templates that you know you’ll be using regularly.

Creating Your Brand Board

If you haven’t already done so as you’ve progressed through this Brand New Brand course, let’s start by assembling your brand board. You might have jotted things down, or saved them individually, but we strongly recommend grouping all of this in one place, where you (or anybody else involved in your brand’s design process) can easily access this vital information. Make sure everybody within your team is on the same page, quite literally.

It’s even worth printing out as a PDF, and placing it up on the wall in your office/studio, as a daily reminder of your brand’s unique voice and identity. Something as simple as this can also be very empowering; an affirmation of your intent to turn a dream into reality. 

Let’s quickly recap what your brand board ought to include:

Your brand’s story: a short mission statement or foundational idea that encapsulates your brand’s truth. 

Your logo, saved as a transparent PNG in black and white (including the inverse of this). This could include a logomark (a unique symbol) and a wordmark (your brand’s name written out). 

A curated selection of graphics from the Over graphics library, based on one (or a combination) of our aesthetic styles. Try and limit these to no more than three or four collections, for the sake of consistency.

A curated section of photographs, based on the graphic style that best suits your brand. Of all the elements assembled for your brand board, your images are likely to be in the highest rotation. 

Two or three fonts that pair together beautifully, encapsulate the style and personality of your brand, and are easy to read in the context of any design. On your brand board, be sure to include the font variations of each typeface you’ve selected (bold, italic, textured, etc.)

Your unique color palette. A limited selection of hues that you’ll use across all your visual communication and marketing content. We emphasised restraint here, so your palette should be limited to one, two, three, or maybe four colors at most. Be sure to include any lighter tints or darker shades associated with each color (if you have these) on your brand board.

We have a selection of existing brand board templates like these in Over, so you don’t need to worry about creating one from scratch. Simply search for ‘brand board’ in our template feed to find a design you like, and then replace the colors, fonts, graphics, copy, and images with your own. All the heavy lifting has already been done, in the form of laying out the design framework. Skip the time-consuming part, and jump straight ahead to the fun stuff.

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Using Your Brand Board

Don’t for a second think that using a brand board means all your design work will be generic, and every post will start looking the same. We’ve drastically narrowed down the options, but there’s still a near-infinite number of possibilities.

Returning to our cooking analogy, you don’t have to use every ingredient in the cupboard when you’re making a meal. Certain fonts, graphics, or colors might only come out on certain occasions. Some designs might be purely typographic, while others are more visual. Graphics could be the main event in a poster, or a subtle accent on your business card. 

The exciting part is seeing how – no matter what combination of elements you include or exclude, foreground or background, and regardless of the format – your designs start holding together in a similar style. They always feel like they’re coming from the same place, consistently showing up with the same energy and personality. People definitely notice this after time, and retain the visual association with your brand. And that’s really all there is to the mystical process of standing out in a sea of sameness.

Oh, and remember to look out for  the templates you see here in the Over app – if you'd like to use any of them as a starting point for your own designs.

From our brand board, it's easy to create consistent looking designs for Facebook posts, event posters, or Instagram Stories.

Take a moment to consider the platforms you use most frequently to promote your business, and what sort of content you think you’ll need. Do you run events… and if so, where do you promote them? Are regular competitions a part of your strategy? Does your YouTube channel need new video thumbnails every week? Blog headers? Business cards? Pinterest boards?

In this example, a brand board for a real estate company makes it easy to design business cards, listings, and Facebook carousels.

Once you’ve pre-selected certain formats and applications, you’re set to begin creating your brand’s own layout collection: a set of templates in a unified design style, catering to a spectrum of formats and applications. Having designs at the ready for any occasion, promotion, or #mondaymotivation post will save you hours that add up to days in the long run – time much better put to use in core business activity.

With your brand design DNA in place, everything starts looking much more professional.

Once you’ve spent some time creating your collection of go-to templates, you never have to start from scratch again. Every new design you create will be an iteration of your design DNA, constantly evolving from the original source.

Finding templates & layout collections

The process of filling in your brand board doubles up as a great introduction to working with templates and layout collections in Over. This is the reason you’ve done all the work in creating your brand identity after all – opening the floodgates of beautiful branded content. Knowing how to find and customize templates is the key that unlocks it.

Of course, if you’re design savvy or just in an “I got this” state of mind, then a blank canvas is your home base.

However, for most of us non-designers, ‘blank canvas anxiety’, is a real thing. The endless possibilities are understandably overwhelming. Play and experimentation are part of what makes the Over experience so much fun… but it can reach a point where doubt prevails, and the designing experience feels confusing, even frustrating. You know what looks good when you see it, but you’re just not sure how to get to that point on your own.

Templates, friends, are the solution to this conundrum. Over has a team of pro graphic designers and curators dedicated to creating fresh, relevant, on-trend templates every day, to add to our ever-flowing feed. Kerning, proportions, perspective, dynamic balance, color contrast – words that might make your eyes glaze over – come naturally to them. In fact, they get pretty excited by all of that stuff if we’re being honest.

All of these templates are objectively easy on the eye; they all ‘work’ from a graphic design perspective, which takes that burden off your shoulders. You get to focus on the fine tuning. Painting and decorating a house is fun. Laying the bricks and digging trenches for the plumbing, less so.

With thousands of templates in our ever-expanding feed, it’s easy to drown in the ocean of options. So your starting point is a good old fashioned search, to narrow things down. Knowing your brand’s graphic style, you might begin here, seeking out ‘Bold’, ‘Playful’, ‘Organic’, or ‘Modern’ themed templates. Or perhaps you’re interested in finding a style suited to your industry, in which case ‘Yoga’, ‘Restaurant’, ‘Real Estate’, or ‘Beauty’ might be good keywords. Other useful search criteria could include intent (‘Competition’, ‘Sale’, ‘Event’), format (‘Poster’, ‘Business Card’, ‘Voucher’), occasion (‘Halloween’, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Pride’) or platform (‘Facebook Ad’, ‘Instagram Story’, ‘YouTube thumbnail).

Some of the most popular options are presented as quick starts above the template feed. Tapping the Create (+) button will also call up our layout collections, and you can scroll to see them all.

Editing templates & layout collections

This short video will show you how easy it is to transform any of our thousands of templates into something uniquely yours.

From Elegant to Street in a matter of minutes.

You’ll notice that every element in an Over template is editable – a long press on any shape, graphic, image or text will activate the option to Edit, Delete, or Replace function.

If you’re unable to edit an element in the template design, it might be because that layer is locked. This can be undone with a single tap if you’ve ever worked with professional design software, you’ll be familiar with the concept of layers in a design. If not, it’s really easy to understand, and absolutely vital for working efficiently and creatively in Over.

Essentially, Layers are a drop-down list of all the individual elements in your design. They’re arranged to represent depth – in other words, any layer that appears above another in this list, will be in front of it on your canvas. If a shape is above a section of text (for example) in your Layers drop-down, then the text will fall behind that shape in your design.

Don’t forget that any template can be expanded into a story, with Pages. Just tap the + icon above your canvas to add a new page, or duplicate your existing design to create variations – perfect for Instagram Stories, Facebook ads, menus, or a series of promo posters.

With a basic understanding of how templates or layout collections can be customized for your brand, the world of graphic design opens up in a fun and accessible way. You can infuse any existing template with your brand’s unique design look and feel.

With your unique brand identity in place, and the simple creative tools that Over puts in the palm of your hand, there's nothing stopping you from making your brand new brand  a force nobody can ignore. Get out into the world, and make a noise. We'll be with you all the way...

Create your brand new brand with Over today, and get noticed with beautiful, consistent design.

Get a FREE Branding Toolkit + One Month of Over PRO

Create or revamp your dream brand with step-by-step instructions. Do it all with the Brand New Brand Toolkit and one month free of Over PRO.

Let's do this!

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