Your Guide to Consistent Branding and Why It’s Important
Do you have clear branding guidelines for your business? Do you know exactly what font to use and when to use it, or what Pantone colors have been used in your logo? If you’re like most businesses, you probably answered no. When it comes to print and design, many businesses do not have a clear policy for keeping their branding consistent. Often, they will try to match the colors of their logo by “eying” it and fonts are selected based on what is available in the software they are using, often not the same as what was used previously. This results in inconsistencies from piece to piece that can lead to frustration and disappointment.
In addition to making it easier to choose fonts, colors and logos, brand consistency also establishes your business identity and makes you instantly recognizable to customers. When you think of a major brand such as McDonalds, you more likely than not think of the golden arches that make up their logo. This is carried through to their take-out bags, napkins, cups and so much more. Imagine if McDonalds used a different font or a slightly different shade of yellow or red with each piece, or worse, used an entirely different logo on each piece. It would start to look disorganized and inconsistent. Consumers would pick up on this subtle difference and the branding may not hold as strongly in their minds, wasting millions in marketing efforts and print products.
These inconsistencies can easily be avoided by having some basic guidelines to establish and maintain consistent branding standards that will result in a positive experience in both your print marketing, and your customer experience.
How to create consistency in your branding and designs
All great business products begin with a well designed logo. It is important to work with a professional designer who will not only create a beautiful logo for you, but will also create your logo in various sizes and file types so that you will have a logo for every purpose. In addition to designing your perfect logo, a professional designer will give you branding standards which will outline where and when each logo should be used. You will never again have to guess which logo or file you should use, or end up using a logo that doesn’t fit the piece you are creating.
With over 16 million possible color combinations and variations from monitor to monitor, eyeballing colors simply doesn’t work. A professional designer will give you the Pantone, RGB or CMYK color codes you need to ensure consistency in print and in digital designs. These universal color systems are used and recognized by all computers, printers and design services ensuring you will get an exact color match in your digital files every time.
There is nothing worse than having on font used for your logo or business name then spending hours trying to find a match to the font in a design or word processing software. Avoid this frustration altogether by having no more than 3 fonts in your design projects and having standards for which they are used. Example, font 1 is used for business name, font 2 for tagline, font 3 for everything else. A designer will give you the font names used to create your logo and can work with you to establish standards for using each font for future applications.
Having a dedicated print provider that you work with for every print job will go a long way to establishing consistency in your printed products. A good print provider will keep your font library, colors and logos on file so that they will be consistent with each job. When switching between print providers, inconsistencies are more likely to occur and it can be challenging for one provider to know what the other did on a particular job in the past.
Putting it all together
It can be very helpful to create a guide that is distributed to all individuals who will be tasked with design or print jobs for the business. This includes anyone who will be managing work online or using social media sites as well. Your guide should clearly state the branding standards for your logos including which logo should be used and when it is appropriate to use it, the proper colors for your brand and the appropriate fonts. In addition to the branding standards, it is helpful to include the preferred print provider in your guide so that any individual tasked with ordering print can easily do so.
Taking the time to create clear branding guidelines for your business now will save you hours of frustration and wasted money on time and print products down the road. It will make both design and print more efficient and hassle-free.
Need more information or assistance? Contact us, our professional designers are happy to help.