I’m driving down the M6 and notice the sign for the services. In between the Little Chef and M&S logos sits Costa coffee. And it is squashed! The logo has been elongated in order to fit the specific area, and if I’m honest, it prompts within me a surge of irrational anger.
But why does this annoy me? Someone has spent time, effort and money making considered decisions about Costa’s logo – decisions that have been neglected by the sign creator.
Creating brand guidelines
Brand guidelines, or style guides are essentially a set of rules that explain how your brand should be managed. Guidelines become important when there are a number of different designers / creatives making decisions around outputs. They can be flexible or strict depending on the audience and need of the company, but in essence tend to touch upon type, colour, positioning of the logo, stationery design and photography / illustration style.
Brand guidelines exist to help maintain quality control. Being purposeful with how you are perceived is a vital part of engaging with your intended audience.
The next step
Once you’ve created your brand guidelines – and they are a useable document – rather than a hardback book equalling 300 pages – what comes next?
Visual rules are important, they ensure your brand is consistent, and becomes recognisable. But, especially in large teams verbal / written rules shouldn’t be forgotten. Mailchimp are a great example of this, and Michelle has written a blog post that delves into tone of voice, and how to make it work for you.
Branding is about communication – and at a dozen eggs we believe that a brand has a greater chance of success if each type of communication has been taken into account. Jo and Fran have teamed up with Professor Elizabeth Stokoe of Loughborough University to launch CARMeggs – which joins up Liz’s thinking around conversation; the patterns and behaviours and a dozen eggs understanding around branding and the importance of visual communication.