Being consistent throughout your brand is a lot of work. But it does pay off over time. When you create a consistent look, you take the guesswork out of what you show the world. It makes it easier for your audience to recognize you. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel everytime you need to promote your business.
So how do you maintain a consistent brand… when you have clients to take care of, and marketing to do? When you’re low on time and overwhelmed, what’s your plan?
The answer is: get organized and put a system in place. Having a branding style guide is a great first step, as this will lay down certain “rules” for your visual brand set-up.
As a graphic designer, I can share the branding guidelines that I create for my clients. But keep in mind that every branding/design professional will have a slightly different take on “guidelines.”
Also remember: branding guidelines will differ based on the size of your company. A company like Second Cup, for instance, likely has an entire booklet with guidelines for every situation. Someone like me, who has no employees, has a very different set of guidelines….which are summed up in two pages!
Here’s the guidelines I normally create for clients:
-all formats the client will need
-this includes different sizes as well as black/white versions
-a vector version of the logo is always included (EPS)
-2-3 “official company colours”
-all formats used, which can include Pantone colours, CMYK (print ) RGB/HEX (digital)
-the fonts used in the logo or promotional material
-sometimes I include the font for the client to use
– summary of the types of fonts to be used, and often, fonts to be avoided
-clearly spelled out, so no one will forget, guess, or get creative!
-the aim is to use ONE tagline. Everywhere.
IMAGE STYLE GUIDELINES
-if the client uses photography, I summarize the style of images to use/purchase
-if the client uses icons or illustrations, again, I summarize the style to stick to
And that’s basically it. It’s surprising the number of times that clients have no idea what their company colours are, what the values are (numbers), or the types of logo formats they need to use for what application.
This branding guideline has one main goal:
for everyone that promotes your business to have and use the same files and information. Because when you do that, you are actively working to create a consistent brand image….which will result in increased visibility and recognition over time.
And let’s not forget the biggest bonus: having all your brand image “rules” summarized will save you the hassle of having to hunt down those colours every time you start a new marketing campaign.