Why Your Business Needs Brand Guidelines
Brand Guidelines document the basics about how your brand should look, sound and be treated in design. We’ve outlined some clear signals for you to assess whether it’s time to invest in some Brand Guidelines to keep your brand in good working order.
Once your business gets to a certain size, lots of people will be using the brand in application (presentations, advertising, brochures, marketing tools, etc.). At a very basic level business size can be a good indicator of the need for guidelines as different people use a brand in so many different ways.
We wanted to give you a few more insights. So here we go, 3 simple signs on why your business needs Brand Guidelines:
1. Your logo is too crowded
If you’ve spent lots of time and effort on your logo, don’t crowd it. Show it some love. Let it breathe!
Now clearly this mock-up is here to illustrate a point and not our creativity. But we do see this type of thing happen. Letting text creep into a logo’s safe area or thinking it’s okay to adorn your logo with symbols, icons or the flags of countries you operate in doesn’t look good.
Your logo needs room. You need a person to read your advertising, website and brochures and remember who it is that’s talking to them. Crowd your logo with other elements and you detract from this vital task. Arguably Facebook is more famous than Milestone Integrated Marketing Solutions, so placing it slap bang next to our logo isn’t helping is it? Even if you ignore the science of what the brain is drawn to it looks awful in terms of design layout.
Brand Guidelines can guide on ‘safe areas’ around your logo so designers and your own people know where they can and can’t place content. You can guide on sizes too so your logo actually gets seen.
2. You’ve got a rainbow color scheme
Your communications will be using a set of core colors, and invariably secondary colors across all the different design work. But, people love to play with color. The temptation to make a headline a new shade to get that extra bit of standout, or just go crazy with the text on the page can be tempting for some.
In most cases this rainbow explosion of ‘creative attention grabbing’ is simply due to people not knowing what colors they should be using, or guessing what’s close. Brand recognition is helped by using a core set of primary and secondary colors. Seeing that shade of green or blue every time helps connect brand and color in the brain, sometimes without even seeing the brand name.
Brand Guidelines can give a definitive set of colors so everyone knows your precise color references. You’ll also have a set of colors that work well together, to compliment and contrast, so your message gets across as efficiently as possible.
3. You’ve seen lots of lovely new fonts
We love fonts! But if you’ve seen a massive collection of them pass by your desk in your materials it’s time for a re-think.Like color these are hugely important parts of your brand and its recognition. Seeing the same fonts across different materials helps build familiarity. A good set of web and print fonts can really help your design work look consistent. Lots of different fonts in the same item that don’t work together look horrendous. Plus, is there anything worse than seeing 3 different PowerPoint presentations that all look different because of font misuse?
The mess below demonstrates how font and color have created something that simply doesn’t match up to what Milestone do elsewhere, or for that matter the image we want to portray.
You should think about the personality your fonts portray (the same for color too). Letting your people go mad with the comic-sans font to add ‘something a bit different’ can spell disaster if you want to look professional and knowledgeable. Brand Guidelines can give your people a selection of fonts that create consistency and work well together, supporting your brand in the process.
Brand guidelines save time and strengthen the brand
So there you have it. Have a look at some of your work, both public facing and internally focused and see if you’re committing inconsistency crimes. Your brand will strengthen if it’s recognized every time you use it, so think about whether your organization would benefit from Brand Guidelines that set a few boundaries! They save time too, with arguments over what does and doesn’t look good sorted by simply looking at the rules.
If you haven’t already started working on your own brand guidelines, now is the time to take action. Start small and then add to them as you go about your business. Soon you’ll have a comprehensive guideline of what your business is about and how you keep that message, look and feel consistent.
Let us know what you think! Or alternatively Give Us a Buzz to find out more on how we could assist you preparing the comprehensive brand guidelines.