It's probably fair to say that many of today's businesses do not possess a brand guidlines, which is very surprising given the amount of money that companies invest in the creative design of their brands and ongoing marketing efforts. Yes, producing a style guide is both time and effort consuming, however isn’t it worth investing that little bit more to not only protect your existing investment, but to leverage it and ensure the best representation of your brand going forward?
Think about it, you’ve invested in an agency to create an innovative and engaging visual representation for your business, now your team has all of these wonderful assets to use at their disposal – but how can you guarantee that they’re using them correctly? Yes, you can tell them, but will they remember? Sometimes people need to be shown and refer to an official guidelines document, and that’s exactly what brand guidelines do.
Take an email signature for example, the amount of times we have seen very inconsistent email signatures, from font types and colours through to logos and spacing which really doesn’t look good and can be particularly brand damaging, especially when inconsistencies begin to appear in marketing materials that both customers and potential customers are likely to see.
Brand guidelines are an incredibly useful tool for ensuring consistency, but they also save a great deal of time in the long run too. Once they’ve been created, employees have a go-to source that will save the brand police in your company from constantly nagging and reminding people of what to do and what not to do.
If you’re considering having your internal or external design team formulate your brand guidelines, here’s a brief list of things we recommend.
- Logo sizes and variations - If you have a number of different logos, perhaps for different divisions within the business or for various products, outline where each should be used, where exactly they should appear on a page, the size that they should be and so forth. Also, some businesses have contrasting logos for different background colours which would also need to be outlined.
- Colour palettes – Every brand has its own colour range, identifying the exact colours and their uses is important. Perhaps all headings are in one colour and all subheadings are in another.
- Font types, sizes and spacing – Ensure that everyone is aware of your brand’s font as well the size and sentence spacing will guarantee that all materials look professional and consistent.
- Icons – If you use icons to represent certain services, identify these and ensure that your employees are aware of where to use them.
- Imagery – If you have a library of available images, make sure employees are aware and have access to it and be sure that they’re not helping themselves to images from Google that are not owned by your business.
- Tone of voice – As well as all of the visual elements, the way that your brand communicates with its audience needs to also remain consistent. If there’s a certain way that you prefer to write or speak, make this clear to your team in your brand guidelines.
Brand guidelines have many different uses and we hope, over the course of time, that an increasing number of businesses will see the benefit of producing brand guidelines and making these available to the entire team. If this is something your business would like to discuss with us, get in touch today or click here to find out more.