moodboard with color palette and brand style guidelines

Branding for Your Business: The Ultimate Guide

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Branding, Design

Branding for your business is essential to build brand recognition, trust and connect with the right clientele. But knowing where to start can be a challenge, right? Should you go for a custom brand design or a semi-custom approach? Or, is the DIY solution the right choice? Bottom line, you want to create a powerful brand design that will help your business grow. This guide will help you understand the pros and cons of each option, so you can make an informed decision about which type of branding is right for your business.

Option 1: DIY Branding

What is DIY branding?

DIY branding is a “do it yourself” option. This means choosing a design platform like Canva to create your logo and branding collateral, then saving the appropriate file types to use in print and on the web.

What should I expect to invest in DIY branding?

DIY Branding for your business is the most inexpensive option for those with a lower budget who aren’t quite ready to invest in custom brand design. If you have the design skills and are familiar with best practices for designing a logo, this may be a cost-effective way to begin your branding. Adobe Illustrator is the standard when it comes to professional logo design. However, there are simpler tools available (such as Canva) for those wanting to dip their toes into the design world. 

Although designing your brand yourself may save you money, it won’t save you time! Expect to put forth a significant amount of time and effort, especially if you aren’t familiar with design best practices or using design software. As with many other tasks needed to run your own business, there’s a learning curve involved with logo design and effective brand strategy too. Ultimately, how quickly you finish your branding depends solely on you!

What do I need to know about DIY branding?

Branding your business can be exciting and fun for those who enjoy letting their creative juices flow. However, it’s vital to remember that creating a compelling brand identity may be more challenging than you think. Honestly, nothing is worse than pouring hours of hard work into a brand identity that doesn’t reflect your brand personality and doesn’t attract your ideal customer.

There’s A LOT to consider when it comes to branding for your business. Beyond the logo design, you’ll want to choose a color palette and font pairings that strategically reflect your brand values and the emotions you want to evoke. You may also want to design a logo submark or alternative logo to use as a stamp or in your website footer.

Understanding the logo file types

If you don’t have any design experience, understanding file types is a practical first step when creating your logo. Here are the six most common logo formats you will need for your business:

  • EPS: A scalable vector file with a transparent background; ideal for high-resolution prints (especially large format printing) and when the logo needs to be scaled up or down without losing quality.
  • SVG: A scalable vector file with a transparent background mainly used to display graphics on the web. I use .svg files for logos and submarks on websites as well as to create custom icons.
  • JPG: A common raster file type with a white background; 300 dpi resolution is best for print whereas 72 dpi is more commonly used for the web.
  • PNG: A raster file type with a transparent background; ideal for displaying graphics on the web, not used for print.
  • PDF: This format can be a vector or a raster file; The preferred file type for documents that need to be printed and downloaded easily; best for high-resolution printing.
  • INDD or AI: File types that can only be used with Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator respectively to modify documents or logo graphics.

Overall, before you DIY, consider your budget, time constraints, and branding goals when deciding which option is right for your business. Hiring a professional is certainly more expensive, but will likely require less of a time commitment from you, and result in a more polished and effective brand.

logo files types to know when designing the branding for your business

Option 2: Semi Custom Branding (or Premade Branding)

What is Semi Custom Branding?

Semi custom branding is a brand identity that’s designed from a template and is usually non-exclusive, meaning other businesses may purchase the same brand template for their business This is an excellent option for businesses that want a professional look without the higher cost of a fully custom brand design.

With semi custom branding, you choose a pre-designed brand kit that you love and work with a designer who will then customize it to fit your brand. This option allows for some design flexibility while maintaining a cohesive and professional look.

A logo monogram in gold foil for luxury wedding videographers based on the Castella premade brand kit.
Logo monogram design based on the Castella premade brand kit

How much should I expect to invest?

Honestly, semi-custom brand kits can vary greatly in cost. You can spend $50 for a premade brand kit on Etsy or invest $1,500 for a more elevated branding experience. This is an excellent option if you aren’t ready to spend hours on branding for your business and instead prefer to hand the design over to a professional who will truly capture your brand’s personality. Our semi-custom brand kits are the perfect mix of affordability and elegance!

What should I know about Semi Custom Brand Kits?

Remember that semi custom branding may not be as unique as fully custom branding, but it can still effectively represent your business with a professional designer’s touch. Keep in mind that semi custom brand kits may vary significantly in their exclusivity, what can be included, and how much can be customized. These factors will depend on your chosen premade brand kit and designer.

Thankfully, we have newly launched, semi-custom brand kits that offer a one-week turnaround and a luxury look. We will tailor the design to appeal to your audience and align with your business goals without you lifting a finger.

A premade brand kit for luxury wedding photographers looking for a professional brand identity.
Stonega Premade Brand Kit by The Creative Accent

Option 3: Custom Brand Design

What is custom branding?

Custom branding involves working with a designer to create a completely unique and tailored brand identity to impact your business. You get a fully customized experience from a professional designer that will immerse themselves in understanding the uniqueness of your business, industry, and audience.

How much should I expect to invest?

Custom brand design can be more expensive, but it allows for maximum creativity and strategic design that’s completely unique to your business. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000+ with a turnaround time of three to five weeks. Fully custom brand design is ideal for full-time businesses wanting to stand out and scale with a one-of-a-kind brand identity. 

What should I know about custom brand design?

With fully custom branding, it’s important to take the time to review the designer’s portfolio and connect with them on a call. You should look for a designer who’s style and aesthetic resonates with you and with whom you feel a personal connection. This is essential and will usually result in a smoother, more enjoyable experience for you overall.

Don’t forget that your brand should captivate your clients and help you grow confidently! Here at The Creative Accent, we offer brand and web design for ambitious entrepreneurs like yourself. Our custom brand design service includes all the design essentials you need for your business (logo design, submark, color palette and more), all stemming from our strategic approach to first understand your unique position in the market.

Custom brand design and brand strategy for dentist
Custom Brand Design for Watson Dental


Branding for your business is an important investment no matter which option you choose. Choosing between DIY, semi-custom and custom branding ultimately depends on your budget and long-term business goals. It’s essential to remember the goal of brand design: to create a look and feel that resonates with who you are as a business, is recognizable, and will speak to your ideal clients.

Still not sure which branding option is right for you?

Schedule a no-obligation consultation call with Carrie for professional design advice for your business.

The ultimate guide to branding for your business

Need a brand design translator?

From mountainous Virginia to historic Europe, my experiences have been an infusion of language and culture. Being able to serve my clients in 3 different languages over the years has taught me many things, in particular the importance of getting your message across clearly. 

Brand design is no different. It's all about communicating your message to the right people. As the brand and web designer behind The Creative Accent, I'm here to help you visually express that special something that sets you apart ... your unique accent.