Branding: A guide to your guidelines

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If I asked you to picture a robot manufacturer you associate with the colour orange, who would you think of? You probably considered KUKA. What about red? Did ABB or FANUC spring to mind? And turquoise? You’re surely thinking of Siemens. These connections and recognition demonstrate why consistent branding is so important. 

By Elise Elston-Thompson, work experience at Stone Junction

Finding the right colour to represent your company distinguishes your brand from competitors and forms a customer recognition. Essentially, your branding makes a first impression — and first impressions last.

The psychology of colour must be part of establishing a company brand, as colour is so closely associated with sense and emotion. For instance, the colour of a political party’s logo gives you an immediate idea about their policies. Always know what messages you want to convey and choose colours that match your desired brand image.

When inventing or altering your style guide you should avoid any changes that would cause customer confusion. For example, don’t introduce a range of font options. By sticking to a single font in every piece of communication your company will appear reliable and trustworthy. Your font should also tie in with the mood you want to create. For example, companies like the BBC would avoid using Comic Sans.

Struggling to catch customers’ attention? Consider using images and icons to tell a story, perhaps in an infographic. All the pictures in such a document should look attractive as a collection and follow a theme. Nonetheless, it is necessary provide an indication of distance between the image and text — a chaotic layout is never inviting.

While designers are always bringing fresh ideas to the table, you don’t want to give them complete freedom. Always establish some basic regulations. Things like stretching, tilting and dramatically recolouring logos should be a strict no-go in brand guidelines, but each company will vary in what other rules they outline, such as where on a page a logo should be placed.

We recommend including your company’s context in your style guide. This will stick in the designer’s mind and help them to produce a layout just as your company had envisaged. Another top tip from Stone Junction is to use online tools to assist your formation of brand guidelines.

If you need a hand on your next design project or with refreshing your branding, you can call us on 01785 225 416 or e-mail carlas@stonejunction.co.uk.

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