How can you ensure consistency in your branding even when you change designers? What systems can you put in place to ensure that whoever works on your brand maintains its authenticity? What process can you layout for your design team to give them the best idea of your brand?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about six elements to include in your brand style guide.
In This Podcast
- Your brand story
- Your logo
- Your color scheme
- Your brand voice
- Image and data visualization
1. Your brand story
This is essentially ‘your why’, and it defines and describes the aspects that your company cares about most. It communicates a company’s values and guides decision-making.
A brand story encompasses the company’s mission and core values and encapsulates your personality, as the owner, and helps you connect to your target audience.
Consider Trello, Facebook, Atlassian, and Skype as examples.
2. Your logo
Besides your brand story which stands at the forefront, your logo is the next most important aspect of your brand, because it is what people come to recognize you through. Once you create a successful logo, it belongs only to you and signifies your company.
In order to make your logo instantly recognizable, it should be used constantly and wherever and whenever your company is present in the digital (and physical) world.
The brand style guide works alongside the logo because the style guide outlines the rules for how the logo is created, and even recreated by other designers, to make sure that the message behind you brand is not lost.
Consider Spotify, Medium, Facebook, and Snapchat as examples to see how to include a logo in your brand style guide.
3. Your color scheme
Keeping a core set of colors around your brand will help keep the brand recognizable and maintain consistency.
Clearly define your brand’s color palette in your brand style guide. This may include one or two primary colors and some secondary shades.
Include the necessary hex codes, RGB values, and CMYK color codes to ensure your colors are accurately represented across all media. In your brand style guide, you can also include do’s and don’ts – you can go as in-depth as you would like.
Typography is one of those things that goes unnoticed if it’s done well, but sticks out like a sore thumb if it’s not.
Your brand style guide can help ensure that you maintain consistency across all your branding, especially when it comes to typography. This section outlines what fonts are used and for what purposes, for example, the fonts used in print media or digital media.
This section outlines what types of font, a specific hierarchy of styles, sizes, colors, and so forth.
5. Your brand voice
As much as you are authentic when you use your own voice, your company’s voice needs to have authenticity as well. Spend some time finding the style that resonates best with your audience and aligns with the personality of your brand. Once you are sure you have got it, replicate it across all your media as laid out in your brand style guide.
Your brand voice can be a short and sweet explanation of your writing style. It can also include do’s and don’ts around grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, naming, and tone.
Designer tip: include a writing sample that best represents your company’s brand voice.
Examples of brands to consider are Shopify, Atlassian, and Skype.
6. Image and data visualization
Everything around the imagery you use contributes to your audiences’ perception of your brand. Therefore, be sure to create guidelines for the imagery that works with your brand (photos, illustration, charts, infographics) and you can specify where these images are to be used in your branding and marketing, as outlined in your brand style guide.
Consider Trello, Shopify, and Atlassian as examples of how to use images and data representation through brand style guides.
- 14 Sources of Inspiration to Keep you Creatively Inspired | MP 40
- The Importance of Typography | MP 26
- Email Sam at email@example.com
- Design Services With Sam
- Apply to work with us
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
Thanks For Listening!
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