A branding guide is a necessity when it comes to marketing your business effectively. It helps users connect with the brand by giving a consistent image, logo, color scheme, and font. On their own, each of these elements can be identified separately; however together they give power to your brand.
In Your Brand is Your Business Part One, we discussed the editorial side of a style guide. Today, I will introduce the design portion of a branding guide.
The Importance of Creating a Brand Identity
As you build your brand identity, focus on building memorable moments for your current and future clientele rather than the customer experience. The customer experience is a constant line, in real-time. But by creating memorable moments for your clients, you will be demonstrating a more consistent brand message. All client-facing materials should provide a clear, positive message to embody the purpose of your brand. To stick to this consistent nature, assess all opportunities and aspects of your brand identity and combine them into one. Thus, the need for a company branding guide is born! Source: Venn Digital
The importance of a branding guide begins with cohesiveness. By setting a standard for colors, typeface, logos, and placement, your team members will be on the same page when designing marketing materials.
Your company color palette is a group of colors that represent your brand’s personality and style. These 3-8 colors govern everything from your logo to your ad design and everything in between. Source: Mark Brand Boutique
The color combinations often are in RGB, Hex, Pantone, or CMYK color codes, a technical set of numbers or letters to describe the exact position of a color on the color wheel. Your color palette represents your brand and is a way for you to stick out from the competition.
Each company has a distinct set of colors. Creating a special set of colors defines your business and forms the visual foundation of your brand.
Now that you have your color palette, it’s time to apply them to your logo!
The Importance of a Logo
Think about the most popular brands and their logos. What makes them stick out? Why are they so recognizable?
Logos are the most recognizable design aspect of your brand. But logos aren’t just a representative design, they also do the following:
- Grabs Your Attention- A well-designed logo can make your company stand out. A logo is the first greeting to a potential client. By designing a clever or well-thought-out logo, your business can stand out from competitors.
- Creates a Strong Impression- Your logo is your way of communicating ownership of your products and services. When a potential client looks at your logo, what kind of perception do they receive?
- The Foundation of Your Brand Identity- Your company logo is on every material presented to the public. This includes but is not limited to: brochures, advertisements, websites, emails, signage, sales documents, and more.
- Unique and Memorable- We all have a favorite logo, whether that be from a memorable soda company or sports team. When you see a logo, and it evokes a positive feeling, you as the customer associate a memorable moment with that company. Source: Tailor Brands
When creating your logo, use your color palette as your guide. Whether you use a graphic or typography for your company name, ensure it is easy to spot from far away and is distinct to your company.
By thinking about all aspects of your brand, you’ll have a better sense of direction when it comes to design. This will help you attract more customers, make more sales, and save money by not having to rebrand every time you want to do something new.
Typography isn’t the first thing you think about when designing your company’s branding guide but font is equally as powerful in showcasing the values and tone of your brand. There are different classifications in a typeface that have different connotations when used in branding. Source: Maker and Moxie
Think about iconic typefaces used for popular brands such as Uber, Hulu, or Harry Potter. Those typefaces are unique to the brand and form that brand’s identity.
Typography is essential in brand development and is one of the most important things to include in your branding guide.
The most important thing to do is make it very clear that the fonts and typefaces were created with the client’s best interests in mind. You are sharing information in a font that communicates, “Here is our brand, and here is how we convey information.” That simple statement of intent should go a long way in deciding your typeface and font for your brand.
A branding guide essentially becomes the “design bible” for your company. This helps maintain consistency within all your digital assets such as your website, social media, blogs, e-newsletters, and apps. While most people think of a branding guide in terms primarily of graphic design or print collateral, a branding guide can include many other mediums like social media, website design, etc. A branding guide is essentially your company’s voice through its design and written word.