Brand Identity: Make your Mark31 July 2018
Your personality traits make you unique. Just like a company’s brand identity, it’s a set of characteristics that give a business individuality and persona.
There are many different areas which make up a brand identity. It’s not just about logos and taglines, but color palettes, imagery style, fonts, and typography too. Interior décor, graphics and a business’s tone of voice are also essential to make up a company’s identity. Anything that resonates with a consumer, is the definition of your brand.
So how do companies regulate their brand to make sure it is consistent and recognizable, with a clear message to their audience? Simple; Brand guidelines.
Brand guidelines are a written manual that explains how a brand should be used both internally and externally. These guidelines provide very specific instructions about how tangible elements of a brand should be used in all forms of communication. In other words, by following specific brand guidelines, your brand can leave its fingerprint across all communication touch points.
One of the biggest challenges is getting the right balance right between providing enough rules to ensure consistency, but not being so restrictive that it kills the chance for the brand to grow and naturally flourish. All of these elements come together to create the essentials of brand guidelines.
“The main aim is to make sure that we are creating rules that are easy to follow and make sense to the end user. While the majority of the time they’ll be read by professional designers it’s not always the case so it’s important to make them as clear as you can.” – Darren Jaques, Brand Design Director
These guidelines, help to keep a brand’s message and integrity, preventing any mistakes such as a logo being used incorrectly, off-brand color or tones of that color or a font that doesn’t evoke the correct emotion from the recipient.
Agency TK was recently tasked with creating a brand identity for Cityview, a premier investment management and development firm dedicated to redefining urban living. Cityview is focused on developing multifamily and mixed-use projects in high-growth markets in the Western United States.
Upon completing our OUTHINK™ process we uncovered Cityview’s true brand values. The words ‘purposeful, straight-forward, impactful, spark and bold’ clearly represented Cityview’s internal brand values and demonstrated what the company stands for and what they stand for when communicating to their investors, employees, and residents.
Armed with this key piece of information, and more much, we created specific guidelines for their logo, color palette, typography, photography and tone of voice.
A logo is an incredibly important part of any brand, it’s the primary visual representation of any company and it needs to be reflected consistently across all communication platforms. When working on refining a brand logo, TK explores how the brand will be used in different scenarios including web, print, and other design collateral. It allows all the brand’s elements to come together, to compliment the logo. While this is important to document in the guidelines, designers are creative by nature, so it’s central to show what you’re not supposed to do alongside what you can do.
Colors can be easily shifted from designer to designer or program to program. It’s important to give the exact hex code for web use as well as CMYK values and Pantone colors for items intended to be printed. Another great example of TK’s is Parris, earning a reputation for being one of the UK’s best personal injury, employment, and environmental law firms. Challenging TK for a rebrand, the first step was to create new brand guidelines.
To maintain a consistent and recognizable brand appearance, it is important that not only are the colors reproduced correctly but also that each one is used to the correct degree. We provided a basic guide on the different usage of each color (e.g. primary vs complimentary) that should be used when producing Parris’ collateral. (Insert Color guide)
“It’s usually a good idea to have them sense checked by someone who has had no part in the branding process as sometimes what appears crystal clear to you as the creator isn’t so obvious to someone who hasn’t been through the process from start to finish.”- Nicole Levings, U.S. Director.
Fonts are a large part of any collateral produced, and it’s essential to be consistent with typography in order to look professional and recognizable. Often there will be many different typefaces each for a different purpose. Creating primary and secondary typefaces help to distinguish between your headlines and body copy – not forgetting print vs web safe fonts. With Cityview, this illustration shows how the typography can be laid out for their brand.
Tone of Voice
Having a brand voice is just as important as having a brand style. A brand should sound and look a certain way. Being able to hand guidelines that convey a certain voice to writers dictating dialect for a brand will help avoid any instances of sounding off-brand. Parris needed to sound a certain way; assertive, loyal yet instructing with headlines such as, ‘Shoulder to shoulder.’ ‘Together we’re stronger.’ And ‘Passion. Pride. Protection.’
Brand guidelines are essential to keep your brand identity consistent, recognizable, and ownable. Whether it is sending out newsletters or designing a landing page, they all have to follow the same guide. Since a brand guide defines the guidelines for maintaining a brand’s identity, it’s important to spend the time and resources to get it right.
Need to amplify your brand consistently and effectively? With over 17 years of creative experience, let Agency TK create your ideal visual and verbal brand identity.
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