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Beyond the Logo: Crafting a Brand Identity

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25,976 people completed this program


Develop a visual identity. Be instantly recognizable.

Logos are indispensable, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. Seize the knowledge to make your logo the cornerstone of a fully realized brand identity in Courtney Eliseo’s 90-minute class on branding beyond the logo. From color and type to patterns and illustrations, you'll learn to recognize and craft crucial visual cues for conveying brand values and personality. In addition to 10 short video lessons, we’re thrilled to share 15 pages of specific, downloadable resources to help you fully realize your project vision. Show your whole brand to the world.

Watch 10 video lessons.

  • Basics: What makes "brand identity" different from "brand," and how do they work together to support and enhance your logo?

  • Applications: What are different considerations for print and digital media?

  • Step-by-step decisions: We'll cover how to choose a coordinating color palette; how to choose complementary typography; and how to develop a library of additional supporting graphic elements—from patterns to secondary logos, illustrations, and more.

  • Final polish: We'll go over methods for organizing these components into a format suitable for a client presentation.

Learn by doing.

In the end, you will have a complete brand identity system that's ready for client presentation and real-world implementation. You will expand upon an existing logo (your own or one provided) to create a comprehensive brand identity system, incorporating everything color, pattern, and complementary typography to supporting graphic elements such as patterns or illustrations.


Class Outline

  • Brand identity introduction. Design industry veteran Courtney Eliseo teaches Beyond the Logo. In this class, your task will be creating your own brand identity. With Courtney’s help, you’ll find that logos never exist in a vacuum, and creating a business logo means designing a marker that neatly fits in with your overall brand.
  • Creative briefs overview. Courtney begins every graphic design logo project with a creative brief. You’ll learn what to include in your one-page client (or personal) brief. Courtney takes you through each section. She begins with background, objective, target audience, and message. And she ends with competition, distinguishing characteristics, creative considerations, and tone or keywords. These steps will let you hone in on the personality of the brand you’re designing.
  • Mood boards overview. A mood board is a visual counterpart to your creative brief. Both serve as a blueprint for your logo designing project. Courtney will show you three great platforms for creating mood boards: Pinterest, Dropmark, and Icebergs. You’ll also get a sense of how to research for your mood board, and how to custom-arrange your board on Illustrator.
  • Color overview. You can hone in on a color palette—by keeping in mind what media you’ll use, how many colors you’ll need, and what your client’s preferences are. To get your started, Courtney will recommend working with three colors: your primary, secondary, and neutral color.
  • Creating color palettes. You’ll learn how to create color palettes in Illustrator, based on your mood board and client brief. Courtney will show you how to use the color-guide tool in Illustrator, which generates multiple color palettes from a single swatch. You can select this swatch from your mood board.
  • Typography overview. By determining what typography you’ll use in your project, you’ll learn to keep it simple by choosing two different typefaces. Courtney will show you how to make sure those typefaces offer the right levels of contrast and similarity. You’ll also learn how to download high-quality fonts from Google, and explore different licensing options for fonts that are created by other designers and distributed online.
  • Choosing typography. Sometimes, the typefaces from your custom logo design won’t translate to the rest of your branding materials. To find the right additional fonts, you’ll learn how to experiment by exploring what they look like as various options (in all caps, lowercase, and as numbers).
  • Graphic language overview. One of Courtney’s favorite parts of the brand identity process is graphic language, which is an integral part of design theory. This element is especially important when it comes to making sure that your logo fits into your overall branding system. You’ll see how to create an entire identity system by pulling elements straight from your logo.
  • Designing graphic language. In Adobe Illustrator, you’ll see how Courtney lays out her typography and color palette, in order to create patterns that will look best for her branding system. You can accomplish this goalby using the “smart guides” tool.
  • Presentation. Finally, you’ll learn how to create a clear layout of the brand-identity elements you’ve created for your client, by using both slides and an identity collage.

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Beyond the Logo: Crafting a Brand Identity
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