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Brand Guidelines – Unnecessary evil or the key to creative design?

There are a number of benefits to brand guidelines. Primary amongst those is that your marketing activities achieve a coherence that produces a cumulative effect to make your company more recognisable in the market. Think of recognisable brands, from the eye-catching orange of EasyJet or “big blue” IBM, and you’ll see consistent colour plays a major role in the development and implementation of a successful brand. It’s not the only factor, however; each brand uses coherent design principles to convey a specific message. Brand guidelines don’t simply dictate the colour of your logo or the tagline of your company, but radiate out to everything you do.

What should brand guidelines entail?

Brand guidelines should encompass a range of factors – not just the colour palette but also the tone of voice, whether you favour simple clean designs or more complex layouts and how you can select supporting images which reflect your company. Developing brand guidelines can inform and support the overall marketing strategy and translate across a range of marketing tactics. Start with your objectives as a business, whether that’s to be number one in your chosen market, or to appear as a friendly, ethical concern or a reliable partner.

Will the rules put a stop to creative design?

We don’t think brand guidelines hinder creative design. Sometimes the most creative propositions come from working within certain rules and requirements. The result of having guidelines isn’t an end to creativity but simply a more focused approach which ensures that the end result is not only eye-catching, but delivers on its stated objective. You can have the most impressive ad campaign in the world, but if your customers don’t recognise the work as yours, it’s all for nothing. Similarly, if an ad takes them to your website and you look like a completely different company, you’ll lose any trust you may have generated from the initial activity.

Brand guidelines deliver cost benefits

As well as presenting a coherent message to your customers and potential customers, there are cost benefits to having guidelines and rules around your marketing design. The guidelines can allow you to develop templates for certain communications like email newsletters. This saves the time and cost of reinventing the wheel every time, and the template can often be developed with a measure of flexibility so that you can add something fresh when needed. The guidelines will also ensure that if you add a new element to your marketing campaigns – perhaps a new blog, or a new social profile – this can be designed in a way that integrates easily into the whole. This means all your marketing channels work together on the same message, to achieve the same goal, adding more bang for your buck across the board.

Brand guidelines from In The Box

We have a branding service that includes the production of comprehensive brand guidelines with secondary / tertiary colourways and tone of voice as well as creative logo and ident design. We love helping our clients nail their brand and then produce a marketing toolkit that reflects their business and its goals. From brochures and sales aids to advertising, social media channels and a functional, eye catching website, we can help you deliver your message effectively, creatively – and with style.

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