3 Ways Teams Can Grow with Consistency and Brand Guidelines
What is a Brand without Consistency?
Without consistency and brand guidelines, your ideal audience might struggle to recognize your business or have difficulty associating it with your product or service. In fact, it might leave them unsure that they will have a consistent experience if they do choose to purchase. (yikes!)
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with small businesses that struggled with brand identity. I found time and time again that consistency in branding led to more awareness, a professional look, and a stronger presence among their customers and community.
In this article, I’ll use an example of a landscaping business I worked with. First, we’ll take a closer look at what brand guidelines are. Next, I’ll show you how to keep it consistent with the team. Last, I’ll share how you can create one for your own business.
What are Brand Guidelines?
A Brand Guideline, also known as a style guide, provides direction and set standards for using brand names, logos, fonts, colors, and other design elements for advertising, print and digital content.
Most importantly, it ensures that your team or business uses the brand elements correctly and keeps messaging consistent.
Using the lawn care company, All Season Lawn Care, here are the 3 ways teams can grow awareness with consistency and brand guidelines:
All Season Lawn Care
Don’t you love where they were going with this? I did! – but as a newer company with three other members on their team, each had used their own logos for things like their work trucks, email signatures, and flyers. Needless to say, it was really hard to identify All Season as a single company!
What they needed was a logo that reflected their values as a company. Additionally, the All Season team needed a color palette that’s legible for both light and darker backgrounds, and a font that spoke on behalf of the tone they were trying to convey.
1. Logo Variation
Your brand guideline should include a primary logo, secondary logos, and icons. While the primary logo should be used in most instances, secondary logos allow the logo to be used on a variety of background types.
Social media icons are usually condensed versions of your primary logo and housed in a rounded square container, at least 21 pixels tall.
2. Color Palette
The primary colors should be reflected in your color palette; be sure to note the Hex # so you and your team always use the right shades.
While using different shades of colors may seem innocent, it makes your brand look inconsistent and in some cases (*cough cough* All Season’s) it makes content look illegible and unorganized.
Keep typography styles to a minimum of two fonts – a serif and sans serif. Or just one style, boldened and regular. Too many variations throw off your brand voice and messaging.
Note that San Serif fonts are easier on the eyes for digital content, whereas Serif fonts are more ideal for long passages of text like books and newspapers.
After sitting down with their team, we solidified key components to their business to mold their brand guidelines.
In the end, the team wanted to keep the yellow and green but agreed on using shades that were clearly visible on both lighter and darker backgrounds.
Because they do offer services all year round, and it is in their company name, we adjusted the logo to spell out “All Season” as opposed to just the “A S” for clarity sake. (Imagine seeing a flyer for “AS Lawn Care” in the dead of winter thinking – “how silly!” – not knowing they were an ‘all season’ business that offered snow removal services!)
They chose the ‘Arial’ font family as their primary logo choice because it’s versatile, looked professional, and complimented the colors being used.
Berlin Sans was a close choice, but they ultimately didn’t like the way the ‘S’ looked.
Deciding on primary colors and fonts made their content consistent, saved them time, and valuable resources. Not to mention, it will avoid future crises like mismatched flyers, car wrapping, and uniform designs!
So – How did I do it?
Maintain Brand Consistency with your Team
In my case, I used Plexie to collaborate with their team using a few built-in templates, including the Brand Guidelines. I customized the template to fit their company. After inviting the team to my Plexie workspace, each team member uploaded their ideal colors and logo preferences in a the Content Library.
As a designer, this gave me a much better understanding of what the team liked, where they had similarities and had differences.
Click the link below to see the Team Collaboration and the final Brand Guideline.
Create a Brand Guideline for your Business
On Plexie, you can create an account to manage content, projects, and collaborate with teams. Signing up for free allows your team to get started but the PRO plan gives users access to premium templates, commenting and review features, and other notable highlights.
Easily create a brand guideline using one of Plexie’s Marketing templates – free.
To conclude, creating clear brand guidelines and setting expectations for you and your team works and will ensure that your brand is easily recognizable and primed for growth.