Brand guidelines - why have them?

12 Oct 2016

No one denies the importance of strong branding in the context of business growth and long term success.  With public perception of business branding growing all the time the ‘competition of the name’ has never been so fierce.  However along with a great name and accompanying artwork why would you need brand guidelines?  

Brand guidelines ensure the good maintenance of your business name in the face of change.  This includes changes to your services, changes to your staffing, changes in your customers, or any one of a number of other changes that are common in a fast paced business environment.

What are they?

Simply put brand guidelines detail how your brand is put together.  Depending on your logo design and name this could include specific colour codes, font type information, the ways in which a logo can be put together in different situations (clothing, print ads, banner ads etc) or other rules that are specific to your logo design.

What makes them so important?

Control.  Your brand can indeed change over time.  Brand guidelines maintain this process by offering a centralised mechanism for evolving how your business is portrayed.  Without this control your brand will evolve in multiple directions and your identity can quickly become diluted.  Dilution means the consistent message you are trying to create surrounding your business and its visual identity will be lost.

Why do I need them?

Often we hear people say things like ‘I’m a small business and I know every instance of my logo’s use and maintain consistency through my judgement’.  That’s great.  What happens when your business grows?  What happens when you have different people getting different things with your business logo on them made up?  Your business will (hopefully) reach a size where you can’t monitor everything like this personally.  Any business experiencing growth will have staff coming on rapidly, business areas growing naturally.  In this environment as one area of the business needs t shirts for a marketing event, another will need a print ad, whilst another might have an online project or need a badge creating.  All these different requirements will have different constraints.  The badges that people might want could be circular, this might lead to them distorting the logo to fit the badge when they should be searching for a rectangular badge.  Before you know it you now have two logos: one circular and one rectangular. In such circumstances dilution follows quickly as different versions of your logo come into existence, with different shapes, and even different colours.  Brand guidelines stop this from happening.

What are the other benefits?

Time/cost savings - without guidelines things will be done, someone will notice that some artwork is not consistent with other artwork and some bit of marketing will have to be re done.

Work with more people - proper brand guidelines free you from having to use the same designers to maintain consistency.  Proper brand guidelines free you to let your staff produce marketing resources without having to monitor everything that is produced.

Want to know more?

If you want to find out how your business will benefit from proper brand guidelines Get In Touch.

Blog archive