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 the variations of your logo that you have, depending on the use).
Step 1 - Build a brand style guide
This is your go-to source for everything vital to your brand from the color palette to the typography. At Creative Bloq you’ll find some stellar examples of great design style guides from brands including NASA, Apple, Skype and DC Comics. Looking at the best can help inspire your own style guide.
A Style Guide is your branding bible. Usually presented as a book, this protects your identity from being used incorrectly (smashed, stretched, etc) and provides a good legal footing for ownership your work. It details authorized usage including brand/corporate introduction, logotype and variations therein, appropriately defined fonts (serif, sans serif, script, display), primary color palettes, logo uses in any color scenario, do's and don'ts of logo arrangements, some legal copy, extended use guidelines, and any other important information regarding your branding.
Step 2 - Create a brand kit
“A brand or identity kit is like a press kit that meets a style guide. It includes things like the colors used in your website, logos, and more.”
Our service book breaks this down nicely and gives details on what to include in a brand kit and the complimentary tool, your style guide.
A Brand Kit contains your logo and variations of your logo to work in a variety of media, color spaces, size constraints, and specific formatting scenarios. It will also contain a number of files (formatted correctly for a variety of media - web, print, spot printing, etc), all labelled for their intended use. Here is the complete list of items in this kit:
- Files formatted to be used for various forms of media, i.e. spot printing, print and web
- Extended iconography
- Fonts used for your logo and graphic design
- Any stock photography that is used for your content
- Deliverable as a .zip file that allows you to upload all of the graphics and designs with ease
Step 3 - Use your brand tools
Having a successful brand kit along with a style guide for your brand is important to success in marketing. Using these tools is paramount. So often we see companies who have brand kits and style guides but don’t use them. Their in-house (or sometimes outsourced) teams either think their own creativity is more important, or they just don’t know these tools exist.
The purpose of this kit is to manage and standardize your brand. It includes everything you need to ensure that your logo and graphics will be the same whether you use these for print, web or other forms of marketing. These will help you to keep your brand consistent and on message no matter who you are working with.