A Designer's View of the Importance of Brand Guidelines
Imagine this - you're walking down the street on your way to work and you see a Starbucks cup in the trash. The cup and iconic logo send an irresistible feeling down your throat that makes you instantly crave coffee. That feeling you just had –that's brand identity.
Brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. The collection of brand elements a company creates to help keep this identity consistent across all channels is housed in a brand book. A strong brand identity influences the perception of quality, recognition, loyalty, experience, reliability, and differentiation of a company. It should not to be confused with brand image, which is the opinion of the public, usually formed by said brand identity.
With brand identity, consistency is key and that is where having a brand book becomes vital.
Most brand books include:
- The mission and vision of the brand
- Logo treatment
- Brand colors
- Specific font choices
- Specific use of imagery and icons
- Business card and letterhead design
- Any other facet that is vital to maintaining a consistent image
As designers, we rely heavily on your brand guidelines and identity to help you visually convey your message to your consumers. We dream up compelling, creative, informative and entertaining animations all while keeping in line with your aesthetic. You'd be surprised how often these essential materials are not provided.
Still not sure that a brand book is needed? What if you learned that not having a brand book can cost your company money? Without a style guide, designers are left guessing and wasting valuable time and resources to research on their own. As a result, projects and products may be created without longevity of use because of a lack of understanding of the brand, by BOTH the client and the company. And at the very least, there's still a possibility of inconsistency in messaging and cohesion.
Bottom line: it's important to understand that your logo is NOT your brand, but rather a key component. Don't leave designers and vendors scrambling, searching through your website, social handles, old marketing materials and anything they can get their hands on to try and decipher your brand's identity.
ABOUT THE EXPERT: Nate Garrido
With only 5 years in the graphic design industry, Nate's work has been seen worldwide and in a variety of formats both large (think full size floats) to small (thumbnails on websites). He has worked on a multitude of projects in a range of fields from education to mental heath to make-up. His eye for design includes logo conception, print, illustration, storyboarding, motion graphics, and product photography.
While Nate has played a fundamental role in helping clients spruce up their existing brand, find their social presence or developing gorilla marketing, he hasn't forgotten where he got his start. A Philadelphia Native, in high school Nate's doodles literally paid off. Classmates would pay him $1 to design their name.
Nate has a bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in Studio Art at Florida Southern College.
MultiVu, a Cision/PR Newswire division, produces and places compelling content strategically across multiple channels globally to deliver targeted results and drive desired engagement. Created in 2002 from network news veterans and media relations professionals, MultiVu has grown into a content creation and media strategy company, leading in the broadcast communications industry. More information can be found on www.multivu.com.