So in the last post about creating your brand you went through the process and made some decisions about your brand.
You should have:
– a logo – just one logo that you use all the time. There may be some variants – ie. you might have it in a couple of colour ways or so it can be used in a square or in a rectangle, but essentially it’s the same.
– you should have picked some fonts out that you feel complement your business and read clearly.
– you should have picked out some colours and have a palette put together with colours that speak your language
– you should have a collection of images that relate to your business and are all the same style. All black and white, all with a white background, all with something blue in them, all taken at the same angle… whatever it is, images that help to communicate your business. They might not be the images you will actually use, they might just be for reference, that’s fine.
– if you have created additional elements for your brand – i.e., a band of colour here, a graphic there, you’ll have them all to hand too.
This part of the process is all about collating this information so that you have a point of reference, something you can look at again and again and use to make sure that you keep your brand consistent. This is great for you, but if you employ other people to manage your brand image, then it will be great for them too.
So, first off, arrange all the items above into nice neat files so that you know where everything is and it’s easy to find.
Once you’ve done that you’ll need to create a document for yourself and write down some rules.
This can be as simple or as complex as you like or need.
These are the things you might like to include:
This is especially important if you’re working with other people. Write down who the guidelines are for and why they are important.
2. YOUR LOGO
In this section include images of your logo and consider the following:
– different versions, which version should be used when?
– what size should it be used at?
– placement of your logo. Where do you want it to go? Top right? Bottom left? It’s up to you. Make a decision and stick with it.
– Clearance space. You don’t want your logo to be squished, squashed and overlapped by other items – how much space should be left around it? The best way to do this is choose an element of the logo and make this element the measure for the space around the outside. This means that the spacing should work no matter what size the logo is used at.
List the colours you’re using in your brand and the colour codes that relate to them. You need to know the CMYK and RGB and HEX codes for your colours so that you have this information handy when you need it.
CMYK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Key (black)) is for printing. This is four colours with up to three numbers for each colour. Ie. C 0 M 0 Y 0 K 0 = white.
RGB (Red, green, blue) is for screen use. This is up to three numbers for each colour. Ie. R 255 G 255 B 255 = white.
HEX stands for Hexadecimal and is a web safe colour for use with html – you’ll need this for your website or if you want to change your colours on Twitter for example. This is a collection of 6 letters and numbers with a hashtag. Ie. #ffffff = white.
One way to find this out is to go here and input the information you’ve got for your colour in order to find out the other codes.
– you also need to decide what colours your logo is allowed to sit on – only on white, or is it OK for it to work over other colours? If there’s a pattern will you need a box to sit it in?
– you might like to give your colours names so that they feel more personal to you
Here you need to list your typefaces. Show examples and decide:
– white typeface is for which purpose? Do you have different ones for your body text, headings and sub headings?
– What size should the type be?
– What weight?
– What colours can you use it in?
– What should the spacing be like?
– Should it be left justified, centred, etc?
– It’s fun to do a bit of research on your chosen typeface too. Who designed it, what for and when? (this bit is optional but I like it!)
– Create an example, i.e.:
This is where you pop your images. Describe what makes them special, why they look the way they do (if they’re photographs – for reference in the future) if they’re illustrations or other elements then consider them in the same way you considered your logo. Think about all those things and also think about how they might overlay and be overlapped, what can be done with them? Can they have an opacity added to them? How can information be placed around them?
This part is where you’d keep the things you’ve done using your branding pack. So if you design a letterhead or a flier, put a copy of it in here. We’ll be looking at creating these in the next post.
The important thing now is to make sure that you are happy with the rules you’ve made. Remove anything that’s not relevant, add in anything that’s been missed. If it’s not just you that’s going to be using this guide then make sure you give everyone who needs one a copy, along with all the files of the elements they’ll need. Don’t just stop there though, make a big deal out of it, explain why it’s in place, go through it with them and make sure they understand it and know how to use it.
Also, remember that this is a GUIDE. That means that it’s there to help you get things right, but if it looks better or makes more sense to do something a bit differently from time to time then that’s OK as long as you’ve got a really good reason for breaking consistency.
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