In simple terms, brand guidelines are developed so you don’t forget who you are and what you look like!
They tell you what your logo should look like and how it should be used by including the following information, along with details of how to use them:
Your brand strategy
Any other logo variations
You could also consider expanding this further, especially if you’re working with external parties to help them to understand your business better.
Tone of voice
This should always stay the same. It’s also important that it’s placed in a space where it stands by itself - never squash it in a corner or place it on top of another image that may distract from your logo. The more attention you give your logo, the more professional you look. Your guidelines should describe how it should be positioned and the do’s and don'ts to create the biggest impact.
There are so many amazing fonts. But we don’t want to see too many at the same time. When you create your guidelines, you need to limit yourself to a maximum of 3-5 fonts, depending on your business. The headline, subheadline and main copy are the main three. You might also want to add an accent font, such as a script that looks like handwriting. In addition, possibly consider a backup font for programs and digital files that don’t carry your original fonts well. Don’t use any other ones as it will look like you’re running a hobby business from home. If you want good clients, you need to look professional, and this is where it all starts.
Just because colour choices are borderline endless doesn’t mean you should use as many as you can. For a successful brand, it’s essential to stick to a selection of colours to ensure you have consistency. By adding other colours, you introduce other emotions and add confusion. Stick to the colours in your guidelines, however, if you feel it’s not enough - ask your designer about how best to work with shades for the best effect.
If you use social media a lot - it’s wise to create a suite of templates and stick to them. It will look consistent and professional. Design your own or ask a designer to create a set for you, and you can update them as you see fit.
When choosing images that go with your brand - it’s incredibly important to be consistent. Images are powerful… An image says more than.. Nah, I don’t need to continue do I? You know what I mean. If you have an organic brand selling homemade products, use natural images with earthy tones and little to no filters to enhance your brand’s natural look and feel.
Equally, if you’re running a digital tech company - having images taken with your phone that is less than high quality will not impress your audience. For a charity, your brand needs to be positive and encourage bold behaviour - with positive people and imagery.
A good designer can add tips to your guidelines on what to look out for when choosing an image. By following these tips, you will be on the right track for reaching the right audience.
Templates are not just important for your social media; they are also essential if you write a lot of reports or have papers to download etc. Make sure that everything you have, from invoicing to freebies, follow the same style. It will make you look like a true professional.
In summary, in a world full of options and too much choice - brand guidelines make it easier to make decisions and stick with them. It will help your brand shine against your competitors.
If you’re not comfortable compiling your own brand guidelines, Pink Pineapple can help. We work with some excellent designers at different levels to suit your budget and expectations. One thing is for sure, you’ll make your money back in no time, as your brand will look amazing.
Feel free to tag or email me with your ideas and concepts, and I will give you my feedback absolutely free of charge.
Anna Seefeldt is your practical, straight-talking brand strategy consultant. She founded Pink Pineapple to help small business owners build strong brands that allow them to elevate to the next level and run successful enterprises. By collaborating with experts in supporting fields like designers and photographers, she has all your brand needs covered. Anna loves all things champagne, shoes & tea! Join her with a cup of tea to share about your business needs by contacting her here!
#brandguidelines #brandsupport #branding #yourbusinessbrand #whatisbranding #brandimage #pinkpineappleconsulting #knowyourbrand #smallbusiness #knowyourself #zebrajojophotography #marketing #brandstrategy #brandreputation #fancygirldesignstudio #photoshootstyling