Updated: Apr 25
In this post we'll cover:
When we first started building illustrations as a core element of our branding, we heavily relied on custom illustrations. We'd create characters, scenes, settings, and scenarios. Though we still love creating these illustrations, most of our clients can only afford a few.
The question internally became, how can we incorporate more brand elements at a lower cost and provide more customization in the short run?
One solution is what we call a 'Brand Pattern'.
A brand pattern is a repeated illustration that can be used in different proportions and for different assets. Unlike illustrations set to a specific dimension and use case (e.g. social media post or website header), a brand pattern is designed to be versatile. You can imagine your brand pattern as your most flexible friend.
Brand Pattern Example Use Cases:
Facebook or LinkedIn Header
Banner on your website
Element in a social media post
Added to sales material such as brochures
Customized tissue paper
The list goes on and on. Couple this flexibility with the fact that each brand pattern can come in a variety of color combinations, and you can see how brand patterns can be such a bang for your buck.
We have three general categories of brand patterns.
Collage Patterns - With collage patterns, we create or use an asset from the logo or an illustration and create a repeatable collage style. Think of this as your wrapping paper pattern. There is a base design that is repeated indefinitely to fit the final asset.
Texture Patterns - As opposed to collage patterns that use existing elements to create a pattern, texture patterns are created with the explicit point of adding depth to a visual identity. These patterns can range from more traditional patterns such as stripes to fully abstracted elements.
Elemental Patterns - Elemental patterns are slightly different because they are repeated elements that are incorporated into designs for added branding as opposed to a set, repeatable asset. These patterns are closely related to icons but instead of providing additional context or information, they provide additional branding opportunities.
Now, a brand pattern isn't a simple substitution for a fully designed and developed brand identity. However, it is an example of non-traditional illustration that we love to offer clients, especially when we know there will be a lot of early social media and printed marketing materials.