The Big List of Branding Resources

Category

Branding

Read Time

21 min

Published

07 May, 2024

Finding great branding resources online is easy. It’s almost too easy.

There’s a problem with the amount of content and resources created these days. There’s too much choice.

But not only that:

There’s too much rubbish.

In this post, we’ve collated our favourite branding resources that we’ve used over the years at Canny.

From templates and tools, to ebooks, guides, and workshops, we’ve covered it all.

We’ve also mixed in some of our own resources for good measure. But if you’re looking for help with your branding project or looking to improve your branding then rest assured…

You’re in the right place.

Let’s get into it.

Branding Resources - Websites and Blogs

Branding Websites and Blogs

There are tons of websites that cover branding and design in detail. These are the few that we find ourselves visiting almost daily at Canny.

Under Consideration Brand New

This is Canny’s go-to source for the latest on brand identity work from agencies across the globe. With its sharp (and often hilarious) critiques and vibrant community discussions, it’s not just about what’s new but why it matters.

For anyone keen to get into the ins-and-outs of brand identity design or find inspiration for their next project, Brand New is a masterclass in the trends shaping our visual culture. It’s a daily visit for the Canny team that we rely on for sparking ideas and refining our craft.

Visit Under Consideration Brand New

It’s Nice That

It’s Nice That is a hub brimming with creativity and innovative design. It’s a platform that curates and celebrates extraordinary creative work. From illustration to branding, they cover it all, making it an indispensable resource for inspiration. For those moments when you’re searching for that spark to ignite your next project or just looking to stay ahead of the curve in design and branding, “It’s Nice That” should become your go-to website.

Visit It’s Nice That

Creative Review

When you’re after more than just a quick skim of the latest in branding and design, Creative Review offers a deep dive into the creative world. With sharp analysis and thought-provoking commentary, this is a place where creativity meets criticism and complexity.

Whether it’s dissecting the latest ad campaigns or exploring digital design trends, Creative Review doesn’t just inform; it makes you think harder about the impact of your work in the wider world.

Visit Creative Review

Identity Designed

Identity Designed offers a backstage pass to the branding world, presenting detailed case studies from around the globe. Each article dives into the strategy, design process, and outcomes behind some of the best new brand identities.

For anyone involved in (or excited by) branding, from novices to veterans, Identity Designed is a goldmine of insight and inspiration. It’s about understanding the “how” and “why” behind the logos and brands we see and interact with daily.

Visit Identity Designed

Nielsen Norman Group

Renowned for being the gold standard in user research, Nielsen Norman Group’s insights are indispensable for any brand looking to make a meaningful connection with its audience. Their in-depth articles and reports cover everything from website usability to customer journey mapping, offering actionable advice that can transform your brand.

At Canny, we are always looking to merge creativity with user-focused design, and their resources often help to guide our projects to not just look good, but feel great too.

Visit Nielsen Norman Group

World Brand Design Society

This place is like the Olympics of brand design, showcasing talent from every corner of the planet. From solo designers punching above their weight to the heavyweight agencies setting trends, the World Brand Design Society is where they all come together to showcase their work.

It’s our daily dose of design adrenaline, a source we tap into for that burst of inspiration or when we need to see how the best in the business are pushing the boundaries.

Visit World Brand Design Society

The Dieline

The Dieline is the pinnacle of the packaging design industry. In a world where the first physical brand touchpoint a customer has with a brand is often through its packaging, The Dieline unpacks the design work behind the most innovative and eye-catching packaging design solutions worldwide.

It’s a repository full of inspiration and foresight into the trends shaping consumer interactions with brands. The Dieline offers an insight into creating and engaging audiences through the power of packaging design.

Visit The Dieline

Branding Resources - Templates and Downloads

Branding Templates and Downloads

Both brand strategy and brand identity vary dramatically from company to company so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Here are some of the best templates and downloads to get you started.

The Branding Brief

The Branding Brief Template is designed to help you get the brief for your next branding project right. Ideal for creating a new brand, this template provides structured guidance to ensure you capture all the essential details effectively.

This tool is intended to streamline the briefing process, helping you articulate your branding vision clearly and cohesively.

Download The Branding Brief Template here

The Rebranding Brief Template

The Rebranding Brief Template is a template designed to ensure you nail the brief for your rebranding project. If you’re revamping your existing brand identity, this template is there to guide you through the process effectively.

At Canny, we encounter a wide range of different briefs from various sectors and have distilled the most effective elements into The Rebranding Brief Template.

Download The Rebranding Brief Template here

Brand Strategy Made Simple

Developing a brand strategy can often be a daunting task, and it’s one that we’ve consistently seen people struggle with. This challenge inspired us to create “Brand Strategy Made Simple”, a comprehensive workbook is designed to simplify the brand strategy process and equip you with the tools to effectively establish:

  • Audience Personas
  • Competitor Research
  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Story
  • Brand Values
  • Brand Mission
  • Brand Touchpoints
  • Brand Messaging
  • Tone of Voice

Our goal is to support as many businesses as possible in building a clear and compelling brand strategy without the high costs typically associated with such resources. That’s exactly what this workbook does.

Download Brand Strategy Made Simple here

The Branding Workshop Bundle

Branding workshops are essential for ensuring that everyone involved in your brand is aligned and moving towards the same objectives. These sessions are crucial to prevent misunderstandings about what is “right” for your brand by unifying team members with a shared direction.

They help to create a structured environment where teams can discuss the brand’s underlying strategy and visual identity. Effective for businesses of any size, branding workshops are key to developing a coherent and powerful brand.

Download The Branding Workshop Bundle here

The Branding Deck Template

The Branding Deck Template is designed to help you effectively communicate key aspects of your brand to any audience. Ideal for pitching to investors or attracting new clients, this template ensures your brand’s core messages are conveyed clearly and compellingly.

Before anyone decides to partner with your company or invest in your offerings, they’ll want a comprehensive understanding of what your brand does and what it stands for, this template helps you provide just that.

Download The Branding Deck Template today

Branding Resources - Ebooks, Whitepapers, Reports

Branding Ebooks, Whitepapers, and Reports

Hundreds of pieces of content get produced on the topic of branding on a daily basis. Here are some of the best longer form pieces we’ve read.

Interbrand’s Best Brands

This annual report from Interbrand provides a comprehensive analysis of how the world’s top brands achieve and maintain their market leadership. By reviewing factors like brand strength, financial performance, and the ability to influence customer choice, this report is an excellent resource for understanding what makes a brand successful on a global scale. This report not only analyses brand strength and financial performance but also delves into how these top brands harness customer insights to stay ahead in competitive markets.

Read Interbrand’s Best Brands

How to Create Effective Brand Guidelines

Created by HubSpot, this guide is crucial for anyone looking to establish clear and effective brand guidelines. It walks you through the essential components of a style guide, ensuring your brand maintains consistency across all communications. This guide is filled with actionable advice and case studies, making it an indispensable tool for ensuring brand consistency. And, it’s particularly helpful for aligning your team and external partners with your brand’s vision, voice, and values.

Download HubSpot’s Guide to Creating Brand Guidelines

Branding Resources - Books and Magazines

Branding Books and Magazines

Branding books are an interesting one, you want them to be full of pictures, but they never are! The following are some of our favourite heavy theory books, and one or two that have nice pictures.

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Donald Miller’s approach simplifies the process of creating a compelling brand narrative. This book guides you step-by-step to clarifying your brand message so that it resonates with customers, using famous storytelling principles to make your brand more engaging and memorable.

Buy Building a Story Brand on Amazon

Emotion by Design by Greg Hoffman

Written by Nike’s former VP of Global Brand Creative, Greg Hoffman, this book explores the emotional impact of branding through the lens of the biggest sports brand in the world. It offers insights into creating emotionally resonant brand experiences that build deep connections with consumers. It’s an amazing journey through strategic creativity, backed by Hoffman’s extensive experience.

Buy Emotion by Design on Amazon

How Brands Grow Part One and Part Two by Byron Sharp

Byron Sharp’s books challenge conventional marketing wisdom and replace it with evidence-based insights on what drives actual brand growth. These books are essential for marketers who want to understand how brands can achieve larger market share and sustain their brand growth. They’re rich with data and analysis, focusing on principles like customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Buy How Brands Grow Part One on Amazon
Buy How Brands Grow Part Two on Amazon

A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone and Greg Quinton

This book is a delightful exploration of witty thinking in design and branding, showcasing examples that inspire and entertain. It gets into how a playful approach can make communication more effective and memorable. It’s one of the few books in the field that combines heavy theory with engaging, illustrative examples.

Buy A Smile in the Mind on Amazon

Branding Resources - Podcasts and Webinars

Branding Podcasts and Webinars

Branding is all about the visuals, right? Yet, some podcasts break the mould, delivering valuable brand insights through audio. For a full picture, webinars step in, coupling expert chat with those crucial visuals. Check out our picks for the best of the bunch.

A Change of Brand

This podcast offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to rebrand a company. Each episode focuses on a different rebranding story, discussing the challenges, strategies, and outcomes involved. Sometimes they interview the marketers involved, sometimes the agencies. It’s a must-listen for anyone interested in the transformative power of branding and the intricate processes behind changing a brand’s identity.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts

How Brands Are Built

“How Brands Are Built” is a podcast where branding professionals share their experiences and insights on building brands. This podcast dives into practical advice and methodologies for creating and strengthening brands, featuring interviews with industry leaders who discuss everything from brand architecture to brand naming strategies.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts

Focus On Brand

FocusLab’s podcast is focused on the intersection of branding and business strategy, this podcast provides listeners with expert advice on how to align branding initiatives with broader business objectives. It’s perfect for marketing professionals looking to deepen their strategic impact and drive sustainable growth through effective branding.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts

HBR IdeaCast

A podcast from the Harvard Business Review that features leading thinkers in business and management. This podcast is not exclusively about branding, but episodes often explore topics related to brand strategy, customer engagement, and market trends, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to gain insights from the forefront of business thought leadership.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts

Branding Resources - Videos, Films, and Watchables

Branding Videos, Films, and Watchables

There is so much video content about branding, but a lot of it only scratches the surface. We’ve watched so much rubbish so you don’t have to. These videos and watchables take a deep dive and go way beyond the basics.

The Futur – Building a Brand

This YouTube series from The Futur dives into the practical, hands-on process of building a brand from the ground up, focusing on the rebranding of Hamilton Family Brewery by Blind, the agency that became The Futur.

“Building a Brand” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the entire branding process, from initial strategy and design to client interaction and the final brand launch. Viewers get to see how ideas are developed and transformed into a complete identity system, including packaging design, messaging, and website design.

It’s an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the real-world application of branding theories and a must-watch for those who want to see how theoretical concepts take shape in practical scenarios.

Watch now on YouTube

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Directed by Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame), this documentary explores the concept of branding and advertising through the lens of product placement within the film itself. It’s a meta-exploration that entertains and educates on the influence and omnipresence of branding in media, making it an essential watch for understanding the impact of commercialisation. It’s almost a little haunting.

Find out where to watch it on JustWatch

Helvetica

Can a movie about a typeface really be that interesting? Absolutely! Helvetica explores the rise of the typeface as a case study into how typography affects our lives and perceptions. It’s a fascinating look at graphic design, typography, and global visual culture, offering insights into how something as simple as a font can hold immense power over our aesthetic choices and brand perceptions.

Find out where to watch it on JustWatch

“Life Lessons from an Ad Man” by Rory Sutherland

This TED Talk by famed ad-man Rory Sutherland offers a witty and insightful perspective on how advertising adds intangible value to products by influencing perception rather than reality. His engaging delivery and hilarious examples (I’m looking at your Shreddies!) make complex marketing concepts accessible and entertaining, providing valuable lessons on consumer psychology and branding.

Watch now on YouTube

Google Design

Google Design provides a series of videos that delve into the principles of design and branding from the perspective of Google’s leading designers. The content is rich with insights on how effective design can enhance user experience and brand identity, making it a great resource for anyone looking to understand more about the intersection of technology and branding.

Watch now on YouTube

Branding Resources - Courses and Workshops

Branding Courses and Workshops

Dive into our curated selection of workshops and courses that promise to help you sharpen your skills and know-how, from beginner basics to expert insights.

CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing)

The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers a range of professional marketing courses that cover everything from the basics to advanced strategies, including specialised branding courses. These courses are designed to help marketing professionals at all levels improve their branding skills and stay ahead in a competitive industry. With a focus on best practices and the latest marketing trends, CIM courses are ideal for those seeking to certify their expertise and drive their brands forward.

Find out more on their website

The Futur

Chris Do is a polarising figure, kind of Marmite like, you love him or you hate him, but there’s no denying The Futur’s work and the value it offers. The courses and workshops are thorough, covering areas such as branding, design thinking, and business strategies for creatives. This platform is particularly beneficial for those looking to challenge conventional thinking and innovate within their own branding practices.

Find out more on their website

Branding Resources - Tools and Software

Branding Tools and Software

Branding tools and software come in all different shapes and sizes. From design and creation tools to digital asset management software, here are some of our favourites.

Let’s get short and snappy with these. You’ll likely know most of them already, and a quick Google search will help find out more.

Adobe Creative Suite

A collection of over 20 desktop and mobile apps for photography, design, video, web, UX and more, often the preferred choice for creating branded materials and deliverables.

Figma

An innovative, browser-based interface design tool that facilitates collaborative design projects, making it easy for teams to work together in real-time. Particularly useful for website projects.

Canva

A user-friendly design tool that simplifies graphic creation with a vast library of templates, perfect for quick, professional-looking designs.

Frontify

A brand management platform that helps you create consistent branding with tools for logo, colour palette, and guideline creation, all in one place.

Google Fonts

An extensive catalogue of open-source designer web fonts, making it easier to incorporate unique typography into your branding without cost.

Vecteezy

Provides a wide range of vector graphics and illustrations, enabling you to enhance your visual content with professional flair.

Unsplash

A source for high-quality, freely usable images, offering a range of diverse stock photo options that can enhance any branding material.

Pexels

Offers free stock photos and videos from talented creators, ideal for elevating your brand visuals without compromising on quality.

Adobe Colour

An intuitive tool for creating, saving, and exploring effective colour combinations that can define and refine your brand’s aesthetic.

Forums, Groups, and Social Networks

Join the branding conversation in our favourite forums and social networks, where branding wisdom and war stories are shared freely and mostly in equal measure.

Dribbble

Dribbble is a vibrant community where designers and creatives showcase their work, share their ideas, and receive feedback. It’s an excellent platform for finding inspiration, keeping up with the latest design trends, and connecting with other professionals in the field.

Dribbble’s focused environment on visual and graphic arts makes it particularly useful for branding professionals seeking cutting-edge ideas and collaboration opportunities.

Visit Dribbble’s website

Behance

Now operated by Adobe, Behance is one of the most comprehensive platforms for creative professionals to display their portfolios. It offers an extensive network where members can showcase work from various creative fields such as graphic design, photography, illustration, and branding.

But Behance is not just a showcase site. It’s a place that helps designers gain exposure, discover the work of peers from around the globe, and engage with an audience that appreciates great design and branding.

Visit Behance’s website

Branding Resources - Case Studies, Branding Guidelines, and Success Stories

Branding Case Studies, Branding Guidelines, and Success Stories

Get inspired by our selection of compelling branding guidelines and case studies that showcase exactly what you can do with a bit of creative thinking behind your brand.

BrandingStyleGuides.com

An invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring the fundamentals of visual identity from some of the world’s most well known brands. This website offers a huge collection of brand style guides from different companies, providing insights into how different organisations communicate their brand standards.

Visit BrandingStyleGuides.com

Slack Brand Center

Slack’s Brand Center is a great example of effective brand guideline communication. It includes detailed documentation on logo usage, colour palettes, typography, and more, helping ensure brand consistency across all media. They’ve opted for crystal clear communication, meaning their brand guidelines cannot be misinterpreted or mistaken.

Explore Slack’s Brand Center

Olympic Brand Guidelines

These comprehensive guidelines are designed to manage the Olympic identity on a global stage. They cover everything from the use of the Olympic rings to typography and merchandising, crucial for maintaining the integrity and uniformity of the Olympic brand. The fact that these guidelines are over 100 pages long shows just how much they value their brand, and how much thought they’ve put into their identity.

Check out the Olympic Brand Guidelines

1975 NASA’s Graphics Standards Manual

NASA’s Graphic Standards Manual is a historical artifact in the design world, this manual is not just a guide but a showcase of classic branding strategy. Reissued as a keepsake coffee table book, it’s an incredible insight into the branding space (pun intended) for designers and brand consultants, highlighting NASA’s iconic and timeless visual identity.

Get the NASA Graphics Standards Manual

New York City Transport Authority Standards Manual

Also available as a beautifully curated book, this manual documents the comprehensive design strategy behind New York City’s public transportation signage. It’s a great branding case study in functional, enduring, and used focused urban communication design.

Get the New York City Transport Authority Standards Manual

Branding Resources - Other Resources

Other Branding Resources

Sometimes, the most valuable resources don’t fit neatly into a category. Here’s a random assortment of must-sees and reads from the world of branding.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an AI-driven platform that revolutionises how brands can interact with their audience through conversational agents. It enables the creation of responsive, intelligent chatbots that can be integrated into websites, apps, and social media platforms to enhance customer service, gather insights, and engage users in real-time. For branding, it offers a unique way to maintain consistency in voice and personality across your digital interactions.

Check out ChatGPT

Wash-a-Pig

Washapig is a creative training game. But according to Wash-a-Pig themselves:

Wash-a-Pig isn’t just a game—it’s your go-to tool for unlocking creativity.

Ideal for team-building or a solo challenge. Perfect for those searching for innovative ‘brainstorming tools’ or ‘creative thinking games.’

It not only helps overcome creative hurdles but also prevents them.

Plus, its inherent fun factor makes it an excellent choice for ‘team icebreakers.’ Ready to turn your creative spark into a blaze?

Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

Buy now at Wash-a-Pig

The Big List of Branding Resources

The branding resources we’ve listed out above should give you the best chance of success when it comes to your branding project.

Remember:

Good branding builds on a solid foundation of a rock solid brand concept.

From there, you want to build out your brand strategy.

Then, it’s onto your brand identity.

Use the branding resources above to give your branding or rebranding project the best possible start.

And don’t be afraid to reach out to Canny if you need branding help.

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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