Customers are becoming more tech savvy, and viewing businesses from a variety of platforms in addition to the main website. With this transition it’s important to stay consistent in your messaging. Brand guidelines are the core to the look and feel of your company. They establish the acceptable typography, color palette and visuals to represent your brand. Stray too far from these and the message your business is trying to send could become unclear or low-quality.
Can you spot the difference?
Below are two examples of companies within the same industry. One with good brand consistency, and one without.
The example above shows poor consistency between the company’s website, Facebook page and print materials.
This website, designed by Design By Fit® shows consistent angles, colors and typography to match the print materials and marketing channels previously created. See the difference?
Consistency is key
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in branding a business is to put out content that looks like it came from multiple sources. Inconsistent marketing kills credibility and makes it look like customers will not always get the same service from you each time they pay. Branding all aspects of your company from the website to your print materials and social media channels may seem daunting at first, but with solid brand guidelines in place it can be a breeze.
What is included in brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines can vary widely from general design direction to specific content rules to follow. Some are just a few pages long, and some companies such as google have entire websites dedicated to brand guidelines! At the very least, good brand guidelines should include direction on logo usage, typography for headings and body copy, as well as appropriate colors for the brand including web-safe and Pantone equivalents.
How will this help my business?
Whether big or small, brand guidelines are an important aspect of any size company. With proper branding, you are able to produce content for your business faster, having to spend less time on design direction. If you’re creating print materials for an upcoming event, you will already know which fonts to use for headlines and body copy. You won’t have to guess which colors to include, and you’ll already have multiple variations of your logo created to drag and drop into your new design. The same effect will trickle down on every aspect of your marketing, from social media to billboards and banner ads!
I have a designer, why do I need guidelines?
If you have a designer creating resources for you, it will speed up their development time as well! Want to create a new website? Sending over completed brand guidelines will take a lot of guess work out of the equation and lead to less back and forth on the look and feel of a site. Good brand guidelines will automatically give anyone working on your company’s projects a feel for what you do and who you are. This leads to a more solidified team.
How do I get started?
Design By Fit® has created brand guidelines for a variety of clients. If you’re looking to get some guidelines to speed up your brand’s workflow contact us! We’d love to help bring consistency to your brand.