Design Elements

DIY Branding ③

  • ✧ 6 min read ✦

    People who ☯︎ “do the work” ☯︎ when it comes to their branding reap the benefits (read: sales, traffic, generally being inspiring). Worst case? You don’t do it yourself, but you at least understand wtf your hired design help is talking about.

    Ok ⏤ Let’s do this ✓

  • Let’s ✷ amplify ✷

    ...that sexy font pairing and colour scheme you’ve chosen with some profresh looking elements that are going to tie it all together.

    The best part? ↪ It only takes a few well-chosen, premade design bits to get you there.

  • Onward! ↓

① Where do I even find this stuff?

You’ll find out pretty quickly that my favourite place to source elements from is Creative Market → It’s a marketplace dedicated to downloadable designs. It’s a goldmine for web designers like me because I can offer high quality, low cost design bits to my clients to make their websites super exciting.

Where else?

¹ Etsy 🔗 →
has a solid amount
² Adobe Stock 🔗 →
³ Noun Project 🔗→ for icons
⁴ Searching Pinterest i.e. “PSD brush strokes”

There’s always commissioning art which is a wonderful thing to do to ensure your brand is 100% unique, however I’m focusing on clients with smaller budgets who come to me.

You may even find that this step of finding design elements may influence your colour palette.

For example 〰 if you found a really beautiful gradient background to use, you might pick the colour palette directly from that. Et voila, your colours are decided and a cornerstone of your aesthetic is done in one hit.

② Illustrations and other elements

OMG I’m so excited for you. I could honestly look at this stuff all day, and I literally did putting these Pinterest boards together. The hardest part is tackling the paradox of choice.

Here’s the kinds of illustrations you might choose for your brand ☟

✦ Simple lines
✦ Hand-drawn
✦ Paint strokes
✦ Stickers

  • There’s also plenty of other things that would take me too long to list.

    Maybe you like the idea of photographing crystals and stones? There isn’t much that’s ‘too specific’ when it comes to Creative Market.

    Just search “crystals” and you’ll probably find someone has already photographed them, cut out the background and packaged them into ✦ perfect ✦ PNG and PSD files for you to use in 5 minutes. SO. COOL.

  • Hot Tip ☟

    I’m clearly a sucker for unicode symbols. These can always be accessed from your desktop keyboard 〰 (^+⌘+Space, then scroll to the bottom) 〰 or via downloaded keyboard app for your phone.

    Consider thinking about whether you’d like to incorporate a set of unicode symbols ☻ ↓✓☾ ☯︎ ✿ or emojis 👀💧☁️👌🗯💌⚡️ into your branding. Pick a set that feel most on-brand.

③ Backgrounds and other effects

Much like ②, this is another type that you could spend hours or days trawling for. I don’t feel it’s necessary to have both illustrations as well as backgrounds, textures, patterns and effects.

You might only decide that you love a grainy gradient look and that everything else will be black. Or that you’ll incorporate some sort of grid paper background alongside some hand drawn icons you’ve found.

❤︎ Explore both all of the Pinterest boards first to see what jumps out at you the most, and go from there ❤︎

④ Tweaks and putting it all together


So you’ve chosen your elements. However, 🅰 you might find something perfect, but decide you want it to be a different colour. If you’re handy with Photoshop, most of the time, you could change some black icons to pink, for example. Or, 🅱 you might love a few different illustrations in your set and want to see how particular ones look together for you main homepage banner.

If you don’t have design skills, this might be the point you pay a designer to help tweak the assets to exactly how you want them ☜


You may have already started some sort of file, moodboard or Pinterest board with all your shortlisted assets. It’s time to choose your favourites and lay them out together in their own, dedicated space.

To make it *even* easier 〰 you may also want to find a branding template on Creative Market that you can drop it all into on Photoshop, Canva or Powerpoint. I just searched “branding guide” →

I can’t stress how important it is to do this final step of formality ⏤ once it’s done, make sure you print it out, hang it in your office and make sure all staff members and design contractors have it!

⑤ All the Pinterest boards!

You can find 〰 alllllll 〰 of the mood boards I’ve made to get you started on your DIY branding project below ☟ It’ll get the wheels turning in your head to figure out what you like, as well as get a sense of what’s trending.

Plus, you’ll see a few ✦ hints ✦ as to what’s coming up next, ooh la la! ;)

Next up:

Utilising templates for your website, social media and other stuff to save *major* time.

S.O.S: Help me, Katie

If you’re feeling out of your depth when it comes to branding, your website, or bringing it all together, my 1:1 options may help: