When designing your logo, your designer might ask you if you'd like brand guidelines (or a brand assets book), but what are brand guidelines and do you need them?
You've just invested in 'the logo' for your company, you are happy with that mark that will now be presented to the world, you're ready to roll it out across all of your communications; your social media accounts, packaging, business cards, email signature etc. right?
Well, hold on a moment.
You've most likely commissioned a designer to produce a logo for you to express your product or company's story to the world and to look professional and have great standout. However, if used incorrectly that message and appearance may slip. It happens oh too often that a logo is applied to everything from business cards to uniforms in a way that undermines the strength of its original design and purpose. How your logo is used is as important as the logo itself.
Now you might be thinking – 'well that all sounds like something relevant for big businesses but it's not relevant to my small company.' I'm here to say it's maybe even more relevant to you!
Of course, it would be best if a professional designer or design team, could produce each and every piece of visual communication, but the reality is that many young business don't have the initial finances to pay a designer to do everything, or that certain jobs can't wait. If you anticipate needing to produce some of your own visual communications such as printing business cards, or creating social media content, it may be worth while to invest in brand guidelines. This will serve as your visual communication bible. As well as showing you how to best use your logo, brand guidelines can also give you a colour palette and fonts to be used consistently. Where relevant, it may also provide supporting assets such as; patterns, black and white logo versions, shorthand logos, social media logos, examples of best practice, do's and don'ts, photography styles, illustrative styles and even copy tone of voice. By having this guide, your designer is giving you the best steer possible to ensure that your brand's message and visual identity stay focused and on-track.
Your logo, working with your supporting brand assets, is what makes-up your company's visual language. And your brand guidelines ensure that language is communicated loudly, clearly and fluently.