Branding is one of the most important parts of any business, from a growing start up to a global business, that’s why Pepsi last spent a cool one million dollars on their logo in 2008. So why wouldn’t you protect it? That’s what brand guidelines do, they stop people from hijacking your logo and using it in a way that conflicts with your brand style or from just making a hash of it by stretching or distorting it (we’ve all seen it happen and it makes designers cry a little inside when they see it). This is where instead of breaking the rules, us creatives start making them.
There are all different kinds of guidelines some are based all around the logo, whereas others will go as far as to describe the type of photography to use and page layouts. Earlier this year we put together the brand guidelines for Appetite Stoke, an Arts company who bring arts events to Stoke on Trent. We started working with Appetite a few years ago and last year won their design tender. Since then we have worked on everything from their logo design to promotional materials and everything inbetween. So it was time to put all our knowledge about their brand together to create their guidelines, we stipulated everything from logo use to design layouts.
So here’s how…
When creating brand guidelines there are two things to keep in mind, information and visuals. So it’s all about telling people what to do and showing them how. The copy should be informative but limited, its important readers get to the end and don’t miss anything. It should also avoid ambiguity and be completely clear (so when you write a rule make sure it works every time). The first thing to do is go back to the basics and work out what needs to go into the guidelines and how it should be laid out. I find a good piece of paper and pen are all that’s needed here!
Remember all kinds of people might need to use these guidelines, so don’t bog it down with design jargon, keep it clear on things like how and when to use colours and fonts for non-design applications, this is where clear visuals can come in very handy.
Although this is an informative document rather than a marketing material its important to reflect the brand, since that’s what you’re writing about. We added in quirky sub headings, colour graphics and clear type settings to create a document that reflect the Appetite brand.
For more information on Brand Guidelines and help with creating yours contact us at:
“Starbots listened to our ambition and have created a logo that amplifies the 3 cornerstones of our business. ” Clare Barnett - Managing Director,