Creating a Brand Guide
Do you or your organization have your own brand guide? Do you know what you're looking for when redesigning your website, social media page, or print marketing?
So many businesses and non-for-profits in today's world create large amounts of content. But the look of their content differs which is confusing not only to consumers but to the story they are trying to tell.
Every once in a while, I will start working with a client without one. As an organization, they haven't identified their brand colors, their logo designs, their fonts, and the look they are portraying. The problem becomes working with providers. The more information you can give them about the look they want to see, the easier your website or social media design will go.
So, what's essential in putting together your branding guide?
Before you start in on the fun stuff like logos, images, and colors, you need to get clear on the messaging. You must answer questions like who you are, what you do, how you meet your potential client's need. Come up with what you want to say through your logo. It's helpful to come up with a tag line to help potential clients understand what you do and how you help them.
Once you get the message you are trying to communicate, you can move on to colors. What will your logo look like? What colors will you use?
Plan on using the colors of your logo as your primary colors. In addition, you will want to add some secondary colors to use in design pieces like your website or print design work. Look for colors that compliment the primary colors of your logo.
Fonts are important. And while it may not seem like much, you should use the same font across all your marketing endeavors. For a website, you should use a maximum of 2 different fonts. Your font should set the tone of what you are trying to communicate and match the feel of your messaging. Rounded fonts would have a more relaxed feel.
Once you pick your fonts, plan on using one of these on all your marketing materials.
Lastly, look for textures. This will include both images and patterns. What best represents who you are and what you want to represent? These should integrate with your colors and fonts. Do you want images of nature or patters with gold? What do these images communicate about you and your brand?
Including these four elements in your branding guide will help you know who you are what you want to communicate. It will also go along way in helping those who help you (web designers, graphic designers, and copyrighters) understand who you are and design content and materials that communiacte you.