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Branding Guidelines. Are they worth the time and effort?

We’re often asked by clients why Brand Guidelines are necessary. Aren’t they just an added expense and waste of time? Designing without Brand Guidelines is like building a house without any plans, very soon in the building process you’ll come unstuck and need to go back to the drawing board. In the same way, every design project needs a strong foundation and plan in place in order to be successful. Brand Guidelines provide this foundation.



What are Brand Guidelines?


Simply put, Brand Guidelines are a set of rules used to create a unified identity when connecting multiple elements within your brand. They are the foundation stone upon which all your brand collateral is created and ensure that everyone who works on your brand understands how to correctly represent it.




What should be included in Brand Guidelines?


Colour Palettes : Your designer should include a colour palette that consists of all the colours that make up your brand. It is important to specify your Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colour palette for use across all platforms. Make sure that your brand guidelines include all RGB, CMYK and HEX colour codes for all the specified palettes, so your colours stay consistent between on- and off-line formats (web and print). Typography : Brand guidelines will include typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses on different platforms and formats. The designer should also include information on where to download the brand font and specify if there are any licencing issues with regards using the font. Logo Usage : How your logo should be displayed on different formats is an important part of your guidelines. This could include size restrictions, where your logo must be located on different media, 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, for example, seeing your logo stretched in odd ways or put on difficult-to-read backgrounds. Imagery: Imagery guidelines include the style of photography or icons your brand will use on social media platforms, on your website and in printed documentation. This is an important part of the guideline as it will give your brand consistency across all platforms. Brand Tone :Brand tone refers to the words/voice that your company chooses to use in order to communicate your brand’s values and personality. It can include phrases/grammar rules to use when speaking to clients either on the phone, via emails or when creating social media posts. Building a brand image takes time, and maintaining a great brand image needs to be a company-wide effort. Without brand guidelines it is nearly impossible to keep your brand’s identity consistent or to create a brand identity that is recognisable and cohesive.


What are the Benefits of Brand Guidelines?


Consistency

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 recognisable and reliable.


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.

Recognisable

Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately recognisable within your industry and with your target audience. Your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines.


Value

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.


How we can help.


Ideally Brand Guidelines should be created at the actual conception of your business idea and before any marketing materials (including logo) have been produced. However, in the real world it doesn’t always work out like that. If you arleady have the makings of a brand, but now find that you need to create some ‘rules’ around it, then it’s not too late to consider how Brand Guiedlines can help you. We can pull together your existing bits and pieces and put them together into a comprehensive guide and fill in any missing gaps.


We create two different types of guidelines : a full, comprehensive brand guide document or a one page summary. If you think this is something you might benefit from, then do get in touch (katerina@tinyaubergine.co.uk) to discuss what might work best for you.


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