Brand Guidelines, Why Do You Need Them?

Consistency = success!

Having a defined style for your brand instils trust in your audience, giving people the ability to identify your brand, quickly, above others.

It’s important to understand your business’s tone of voice, style, and vision to create consistency. Not just for design purposes, but for all aspects of marketing and business-building. Without it, you run the risk of damaging your brand value and its reputation.

Inconsistency leads to indecision and lack of direction, which ultimately leads to confusion and a lack of trust!

So, how do you create consistency for your business?

Through brand guidelines.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines are a clearly defined set of rules and standards that relate to your brand and how it should be represented to the world.

In other words, they are an articulation of your brand and an expression of what your brand identity looks like.

Guidelines are often presented as a document that include information surrounding brand colours, fonts, logos, iconography, imagery and often a brand story.

We’ve worked with many organisations that come to us with no brand guidelines or consistency surrounding their brand.

While we are the experts in creating presentations to showcase your notes in a consistent, concise, and engaging way, you are the experts in articulating your own business.

Why do I need brand guidelines? 

These guidelines are there to put standards in place that allow consistency over your brand. It means that anyone in your organisation can pick up the guidelines and understand how your business should and shouldn’t be presented.

Regardless of the size of your organisation, brand guidelines are a key tool to ensuring consistency over all mediums.

Let’s think like the big boys…🌎

For example, for brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s or Tesco, brand guidelines must be absolutely concrete as these are brands that franchise, employing hundreds of different departments that all need to know the brand, inside and out.

Think: if brand guidelines weren’t in place for these brands, how would they franchise, gain customers or deploy strong and consistent marketing campaigns?

The simple answer: they wouldn’t.

Graphic Designer working

 

What do I need to include in my brand guidelines document? 

  1. Brand colours and fonts.

These will ensure any presentations, documents, webpages, designs etc all follow the same style using correct colours and type.

  1. Tone of voice

By identifying what tone of voice your brand has, all written pieces of work can again follow the same style. This may be an informal voice, child-friendly, humorous, formal, statistic-based etc. It helps to copy a piece of writing (this may be taken from your website/blog etc) as an example and include it in your guidelines.

  1. A bank of imagery / iconography

It’s best to include a folder of images (stock or images from your premises) that can be used over all media, to ensure all photos have been pre-approved and follow the same style. If photography isn’t for your brand, create a bank of icons/infographics instead.

  1. Your logo/s!

This is one of the most important things to include, but many forget to. Include a good-quality file of your logo, include multiple versions if necessary and show examples of how to use them. There may be specific spacing, different coloured versions that can only be used on dark/light backgrounds etc. Make it clear how your logo should and shouldn’t be presented.

  1. Your brand story

For larger organisations, it’s important you include your brand story to ensure each person working for the business is onboard with the company vision and where it’s coming from.

Whether you’re operating at an independent level with under ten employees, or you’re operating on a large scale with multiple premises, brand guidelines have a huge impact on the output your business has.

It’s crucial to have brand guidelines in place when handing over your information to us so we can create presentations that are in-keeping with your brand.

It’s all about making communication with us and external agencies as easy as possible.

Please email info@imitorgraphica.com to find out more.