Let’s Talk Branding, Design and Style Guides

A brand is the hallmark behind your business. It communicates your organization’s message, spirit and identity. The vision behind your brand comes through via graphic design. By incorporating good graphic design into your brand management, you are one step closer to creating a strong and powerful brand. Here is a guide to assist you in bringing your brand to life using graphic design. 

Step 1 - Be honest with your creative agency

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Let your agency know what you want, what you don’t like and communicate directly. Do not be scared of hurting feelings - this is their job. Although polite & respectful behavior is required to maintain a long-term relationship with anyone. Remember that you have hired a professional to take your “look” to the next level.

Step 2 - What is a brand?

Your brand is much more than a logo. Understanding the steps to building a solid brand will empower you to support your creative agency and manage your own expectations. Your brand will include a color palette, fonts and directions for use along with your logo (and many variations of your logo, depending on the use).  

Having a successful brand kit along with a style guide for your brand is paramount to success in marketing. It will help you to keep your brand consistent and on message no matter who you are working with.

Step 3 - Build your brand equity

Your brand allows you to generate a centralized image for marketing purposes. Building your brand’s equity allows your business to do a few key things in marketing - get noticed, be found easily online and offline, manage expectations, and make a decision faster (to buy your services, of course).

Your brand equity includes:
  •    Searchable content
  •    Social presence
  •    Printed collateral

Your brand equity allows your message to be more memorable so that you can stand out in the crowd. 

Step 4 - How to manage your brand

Managing your brand is easy when you have all the tools. Once again, that style guide are going to be your favorite resource for managing your brand across all platforms and modalities. Using this guide will help everyone related to your brand, from your employees to your creative agency to the local media, on the same page.

Also remember, what works today will need to be updated for tomorrow. Plan to refresh your brand every couple years.  Stagnant marketing will cause your brand to become dated and out of touch. The goal here is to update your style guide as your business changes and evolves. It doesn’t always have to be your logo that is being updated. You might choose to update the typography or some of your marketing materials to accommodate certain consumer groups.

To wrap this up, remember that your strategic and proactive efforts to build and manage your brand, will result in manageable expectations and better clients. Your brand is your promise. 

“You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service.  In another sense, a brand is a specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, etc.”