We were recently browsing through a publication and noticed 2 logos we’d originally created laid out in ways that made our mouths drop. One logo was very noticeably stretched vertically, the other logo stretched horizontally. We think the creator of the publication was merely trying to fill in space in the most maximum way possible. For us, as designers, it was like having a tooth pulled. Has this happened to you before?
With your business, your goal is to build a professional, credible brand that’s memorable and connects with your customers and the best way to do this is to start by setting brand guidelines (unless your intention is to have all your design projects created under one roof, ideally from the source who created your logo/brand in the first place and therefore is fully aware of what can and should not be done with it).
No matter who is working on your creative (a magazine publication, a web developer, an in-house graphic artist for a sign company, etc) the best way to keep everything about your brand consistent is to have guidelines in place for everyone to follow. Every time your logo is used incorrectly, it loses consistency - which in essence is its power.
What are Brand Guidelines?
Brand identity guidelines are a written manual that explains how a brand should be used internally and externally. Imagine your logo looking completely different everywhere you see it. There’d be no strength of consistency, no way of making an instant connection in consumers' minds about your logo and the promise of your brand. This powerful document clearly explains:
· Your brand (creative introduction and mission statement, if applicable)
· Your story (content creative)
· Your colour family (inc. CMYK, RGB, HEX)
· Logo size and space perspectives (ratios)
· Fonts that should be used for body copy, headings, sub-headings, etc &
· If applicable, imagery and/or photography
· Design samples(ie: core stationary; business cards, envelopes, letterhead)
Once your guidelines are set, be sure to enforce it. Keep on top of what it is you’re having published and make it policy that nothing is designed without your brand guidelines being followed (you really don’t want to be reading through a publication and seeing your logo tampered with via false fonts, inappropriate colours or “squished” like it barely made it into the set space). People may call you the Brand Police, but that’s okay. You’ve earned that right.
In closing, don’t let your logo/brand become basterdised. If you can’t oversee everything being designed yourself, your guidelines will warrant less possibility of something going awry.