Just kidding, no they’re not. Here’s why.
Color has this magical ability to elicit feelings.
Think about your bank’s logo. There’s a good chance it involves blue because blue calls to mind feelings of calmness and security.
The last time you noticed a car dealership logo, you probably saw orange because it is considered an energetic color and can make you feel excited and enthusiastic.
Black is associated with boldness and strength which is probably why the athletic company Adidas utilizes it. Could have something to do with why Blackwood Creative uses it as well.
You see my point. Color matters. When it comes to marketing, it matters all the more.
It’s a common misconception that brand design is subjective, catering simply to what you like. There is an element of design that is in fact very scientific. And that science goes beyond color. Think lines. Think spacing. All aspects of your brand design has a dose of psychological science behind it.
A science-backed brand design deserves to remain true to itself through every avenue. A brand guide ensures that happens.
What is a Brand Guide?
A brand guide (also known as a brand book or style guide) is simply a document that lays out the specifics of your brand design. Included in this document would be:
- Logo: Your logo is an obvious inclusion in your brand guide but it goes beyond your basic logo. You need to include specific instructions (see the following points), and any variations like one color versions.
- Colors: It is especially important to be specific with colors because a digital color is going to come out differently in print. Colors have specific numbers assigned to them. These specifications need to be included in your brand guide.
- Fonts/Typeface: As with color, font choice is scientific. It’s important that the font and typeface used for your brand is consistent where ever your design shows up.
- Additional brand elements: Any bonus lines, swoops, or graphics that accompany your design need to be outlined in your brand guide.
- Stipulations: Protect your logo with your brand guide by specifying what can and can’t be done with it.
- Tone of voice: Your company has a tone of voice, whether it’s been intentional til now or not. Tones ranges from humorous to serious with voices like passionate, quirky, and authentic in between. To keep your brand consistent, this needs to be determined and specified in your brand guide.
What’s the Point of a Brand Guide?
Your brand guide is an excellent asset for establishing brand identity. It’s the document-tool that allows you to keep a consistent message going out to your audience.
With your brand guide, you’re able to communicate with your entire company your design standards. You’re not only simplifying the life of your writers, designers, and developers, you’re ensuring that your brand stays on point at all times. This comes in to play when outsourcing work or using an outside vendor, as well.
There needs to be a cohesiveness within your brand that is constantly consistent. This is essential to building both brand awareness and trust with your audience.
Should the situation arise that your company goes through a brand redesign, a brand guide should go right along with it. You’ll be eliminating confusion and ensuring everyone is on the same design page.
Should Your Company Have a Brand Guide?
Every company, from the one-man-show to the Fortune500 should have their own brand guide. What that guide looks like exactly will vary greatly, but it’s no less important for one company versus another.
Larger companies may include additional files in their brand guide specified for digital, print, banners, apparel, etc. Companies with employees in different locations will often have their brand guide available online for easy access. Not all businesses will require such things, but all businesses need a brand guide.
You’ve put a lot of effort into your brand. You’ve studied the science and created a design that has just the right color, spacing, typeface, and graphics to show the world who you are. Don’t let all of that work get lost in translation.
Need some assistance with creating your brand style guide? Blackwood Creative is here to help you craft and hone your brand guide. Not ready for one, yet? We meet you where you are. Whether you just need a little tweaking or could use a total redesign, Blackwood Creative has you covered.