Warning. This Post Contains Disturbing Images!
As graphic designers, we love defining, developing and protecting our clients’ brands.
So we feel decidedly queasy whenever we see brand logos like these being so badly mistreated.
When you decide to invest valuable time, effort and money in creating your brand elements and establishing your brand identity with your target audiences and customers, why wouldn’t you also protect those valuable brand assets and make sure they’re used properly?
Whether you opt for just a single page brand guidelines sheet showing basic logo usage, or a comprehensive 100-page ‘brand bible’, your brand guidelines document should show everyone that works for you – and with you – how to use your brand elements…responsibly, consistently and effectively.
Your brand guidelines document can include sections on:
• Business Overview: explaining your history, values and vision of your company or organisation.
• Mission Statement: communicating what you want to achieve.
• Tone of Voice: showing how you should sound when you communicate with your audience(s).
• Logo Usage: specifying placement, colour variations, minimum sizes, space restrictions, usage on different backgrounds, and common misuses to show how it shouldn’t be used.
• Colours: providing specifications/breakdowns for online and offline use.
• Typography: showing the chosen fonts for online and offline use (if different), and styling guidance for headings, sub-heads, body text, quotes, small print etc.
• Image Style: giving explanations and examples of your brand’s unique photographic and/or graphic style.
• Implementation Examples: applying your brand to elements including business stationery, powerpoint template, exhibition stand and printed literature to really bring it to life.
• Contact Details: naming the best person to contact with any branding questions or issues.
Depending on the nature and size of your business, we can advise you how comprehensive your brand guidelines document needs to be, before working closely with you to make sure that every page of its content is clearly-worded and logically-presented.
And once your new brand guidelines are ready, we’d then recommend that you introduce your staff and any external suppliers or partners to them ASAP, so that using them quickly becomes a daily habit, and everyone learns to rely on them for their creative decision-making.
Whenever your team refers to your brand guidelines to produce new materials, or to check consistency across your existing brand elements, the results will always be better.
So we recommend always using protection.
Brand protection that comes from a high-quality guidelines document that’ll keep your vital visual business assets safe well into the future.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”