Every company should insist on a set of brand guidelines, from the moment of start-up, although it’s something that many companies overlook or wrongly regard as unimportant.
In simple terms, brand guidelines are an instruction manual for your company’s brand, which ensures consistency each time your logo is reproduced or your brand is publicised. Without guidance, your logo design can easily be misrepresented; just a slight difference in spacing or adjustment in colour each time it is printed or used online can eventually result in your brand being distorted.
If you opt to use a web design agency or a marketing team, they will likely offer to produce them for you – including which fonts your company should stick to, colour references and spacing. They will include details such as how your logo should be placed within advertising and background colours. They will also include guidance on your imagery and general brand perception.
Stationery printing companies, flexographic printers, signage producers and website designers often have a design team in house, who will appreciate being supplied with a comprehensive document detailing your branding, and it will stop you from being disappointed with the final product they produce.
Your ethos and your aim
Who your company is, what you do and where you are going. Who is your target market and what should your brand represent?
How should colour be used across all mediums of your branding? List which colours can be used and don’t be tempted to include new shades as your business grows.
How should your logo be used? Include the ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s of logo reproduction down to the finest details.
List the various fonts your brand can use on and offline and stick to them. Try not to include too many as consistency is key.
Imagery and other elements
Decide on the nitty gritty of your brand and include it in your brand guidelines. Include promotional flashes, the style of pictures and how you will be represented across social media.
Once you have your branding sorted, this can be applied across all manner of advertising mediums from printed packaging to online marketing.
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