Brand Guidelines - Yes or No?
Yes! Establishing brand consistency throughout all aspects of your brand is crucial to brand recognition and credibility. Having put time and effort into a brand design that reflects your organisation, you don’t want to confuse the customer with inconsistent branding. A brand guideline document is an invaluable resource to support consistency across all applications of your brand, whether on the web or in print.
Brand guidelines vary in complexity depending on the organisation, but it is essential to include basic brand elements such as colours and fonts. A large organisation with many people using the brand for different applications will need something more in-depth, covering areas such as mission statement, business principles and ethos, image use, tone of voice, and spacing guides.
Many organisations are concerned that brand guidelines will be too restrictive and stifle creativity. The key to good brand guidelines is to make them flexible enough for designers to be creative, but rigid enough to keep your brand alive.
Every time we create a brand, we create brand guidelines that will work for the organisation, allowing everyone to engage with the new brand. We offer brand design and graphic design to the whole nation. To simplify the reasoning behind the big ‘YES’ we have broken the benefits down into 5 easy to digest primary points:
Our 5 Reasons why
Brand Guidelines communicate a variety of things surrounding your brand, both internally to your business, as well as externally to your partners, affiliates and the general public.
Every time someone visits your website, sees your business card, or receives marketing material from your company, they receive a perception of your company outside of the content they actually consume. By having set rules and restrictions, it becomes possible to communicate a consistent brand identity.
Consistency is important in making your brand recognizable and reliable. It ultimately communicates that your brand takes pride in the details. Take a look at www.just-eat.co.uk/info/our-brand for growth and consistency as the company has grown.
2. Setting Standards and Rules
Your brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. These rules will include when to use a logo versus a wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of colour and typography.
You probably know your brand’s identity inside and out, but a new employee may not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive. Twitter’s brand guidelines do an excellent job of defining acceptable ways that other people can display their logo.
Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately recognisable within your industry and with your target audience. Building a recognisable brand can take a lot of time, but your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines. Take a look at Google’s brand guidelines. They have become one of the most recognisable companies.
4. Staying Focused
When introducing new products or services, a brand can get stretched too thin. By implementing brand guidelines, you have the tools to quickly and effectively maintain consistency. Brand guidelines help you aim your business’s interests with your intended audience.
When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value. Consistency allows your brand to appear more professional and reliable. By implementing brand guidelines, you make it easier to maintain the quality and integrity of your brand’s image.
What is Included in Brand Guidelines?
These are the colours that make up your brand. It can be wise to not use too many colour options. Brand guidelines should include RGB and CMYK colour codes, so your colours stay consistent between web and print formats.
Brand guidelines will include typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses.
Logo Design & Development
How your logo should be displayed in different formats is an important part of your guidelines. This could include size restrictions, which colours to use, and how your logo should be displayed on different backgrounds. Sometimes it can be beneficial to show how logos should NOT be displayed–seeing your logo stretched in odd ways or put on difficult-to-read backgrounds is not ideal.
Additional Elements that may be included:
Imagery - Imagery could include the style of photographs, wordmarks, or icons your company uses on your website or marketing materials.
Brand Tone - Brand tone refers to the words that your company chooses to use in order show your brand’s values and personality. Including visions, missions and values, characteristics, tone of voice (TOV) and your unique selling points (USP’s).
Without brand guidelines it is nearly impossible to keep your brand’s identity consistent and alive. If you are ready for brand guidelines, then you need a creative agency on your side.
Contact us, and we will create your brand’s visual elements based on their best uses in order to build guidelines helping you maintain a strong, cohesive, and distinguishable brand.