Full-time freelance graphic designer at HeX, Matthew King has wrote a few words on why strong brand guidelines can help you achieve success.
What are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are essentially a guide on how to use the elements of your brand. It can help designers, printers, writers and anyone who may need to use your brand’s assets to market your business.
A brand encapsulates not just your company’s image but also everything and everyone involved in your company, the values, the way of life and your mission and a strong style guide can go a long way to help achieving that.
What do brand guidelines entail?
When updating an existing brand identity or having a completely new brand created, it is important for your brand guidelines to be as thorough as possible. Brand guidelines can cover a host of topics, below are some examples that they should cover:
Tone of voice
Is your brand fun & playful or more corporate in style? Addressing the tone of voice can help ensure that your brand is communicated effectively and in the appropriate voice.
This helps to identify how one or all of the elements of a logo can be used, the correct sizes for varying platforms, the minimum height/width and margin spaces around the logo.
Prohibited uses of logo
This is essential to clarifying what shouldn’t be done with your logo. This can mean using incorrect colours (imagine Facebook using red!), the use of effects like drop shadows or distorting the logo’s proportions.
An essential part of the guidelines. Specifying the exact colour codes for both print and web uses will help anyone who uses your brand’s assets.
This is as important as the colour palette, typography can set a brand apart from its competition and make it unique. Detailing the fonts used in creating the brand and how they should be used is vital.
Do you use photography a lot? Specifying the tone/style of imagery used can also be helpful, especially if you ever need a photographer or when finding appropriate stock images.
How the brand should be used for print/web
In some cases some brands have a different rules for web & print uses. As mentioned before colours can show differently on screen as opposed to print so defining this can be useful.
Why do you need brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines should be an essential part of any businesses brand identity to help ensure that your company’s image is communicated effectively and in the correct manner.
Leading brands such as Facebook and Twitter have extensive guidelines to help everyone who uses their logo of the appropriate usages. It can benefit you in such cases too as having numerous companies marketing your brands assets to ensure that the appropriate image and message of your company remains consistent.
How do I get brand guidelines?
If you ever rebrand your business or have a new brand created from scratch, specifying that you would like brand guidelines or a style guide to support your brand identity would be essential for future business. It can help in so many ways such as marketing, printing, social media, building a website the list could go on.
Be aware that without the necessary guidelines it is almost impossible to keep your brand consistent. HeX have recently just rebranded a company’s identity and produced brand guidelines to help ensure their brand remains successful in the future. If you’re in need of a new brand or a refresh we’d love to help! It’s never too late to get them created and by recognising this you are aware of their importance.