Most people start thinking of branding as a logo and color palette, but just a little research will reveal that it’s much more than that. There are dozens of elements you may need while doing business, and while you can start a business with just a few brand elements, you need a full brand guide if you want to grow.
A full brand guide (also sometimes called a brand book or style guide) is an essential tool for your business, as it allows anyone working for or with your business to perfectly capture your brand, without any additional support and guidance from you. All you need to do is send them your brand guide and assets (such as logos), if necessary, and they’ll be able to produce on-brand content for your business.
Any time you work with a professional, you’ve got to spend time communicating with them and, of course, pay for their time. If you don’t have a full brand guide, you’ll have to do a lot more back and forth to get what they’re producing for you right, and you’ll have to pay for the additional time it takes them to change things according to your feedback.
A business with no branding will have no cohesive look to the content they produce, but even if you have a handful of branding elements to use, you’ll leave all other elements to interpretation. For example, if you have a logo and colors, but little else, your team may use different fonts, a different voice and tone, and different shapes and patterns to produce your content. Customers respond best when they can instantly recognize anything from your brand, and that’s not possible if all your content looks like it may be from different companies.
This can differ somewhat depending on your company’s needs (for example, one company may need 5 different versions of their logo, while yours only needs 3), most full brand guides contain:
- Logos and submarks
- Color palette
- Fonts for headings, subheadings, body text, and any other applications – some will include a web-safe alternative
- Brand identity, values, and voice
- Any styling elements and guidelines (such as straight lines vs. curves, certain design assets as accents, style of buttons on site and landing pages, and so on)
Some brand guides also include things that team members should avoid, but making sure you’ve clearly defined what people should do is key.
There are so many elements that go into a full brand guide that it can be overwhelming – especially if you’re not a designer. Graphic designers can create unique assets for your business and have the expertise and eye to know what works and what doesn’t, which can be a big struggle if your expertise lies elsewhere.
If you need help creating your business’s branding, we’re here to help. Our branding services will support you as you establish your brand and as it continues to grow. To find out more about our graphic design and branding services, click here.