Whether you’re just starting up or you’re an established business, it’s important to get a brand style guide set out early on to ensure consistency and quality. While it takes time and effort to decide what needs to be included and getting it styled up; without one, it might take longer than required to get the result you want, and you could end up with inconsistent branding. If a designer has to assume what they think is required because it hasn’t been specified, you could end up with dramatically different results based on the individual and their background.

Why they’re important

Think about your favourite meal at your favourite restaurant. Would you be happy if every time you went there, the meal tasted different? Sometimes it might be better than you expected, but other times it might not quite fit the bill. While it’s still essentially the same meal, there’s plenty of components which can change the final result. Would you want to continue to eat there knowing that you might not get what you want?  

Starbucks is a great example of a brand who gets this consistently right. By putting out exact guidelines to each and every one of their stores, their customers can expect the same cup of coffee wherever they go, wherever that be in London or Lisbon.

The same applies to your brand. If you’re constantly putting out a consistent look and feel which always hits the mark, you will establish trust within your customer base. Having brand guidelines in place means that no matter who is designing the collateral, as long as they abide by these, every piece of your marketing will speak the same language.

When it’s time to end a relationship

If you’re working with a designer who wants to do their own thing or ‘put their own mark’ on your brand, without taking into account the strict guidelines you have in place, they’re putting your brand at risk. No matter how talented they are, if they’re creating work which doesn’t fit in with your wider marketing efforts, it will only work to diminish your brand. Ensure that you choose to work with others who align with your own values and understand the importance of working to a set of guidelines. While it’s great to be flexible on some elements, when it comes to your style guidelines, you should consider them as set in stone.

How Skein can help you

At Skein, we work with businesses to help develop their own set of brand guidelines, to ensure that whoever works on your brand has a clear idea of the spec that they’re working to. Our team understand the importance of communicating clear and consistent branded materials and ensuring these extend across both your printed and digital efforts. This includes aspects such as logo placement, fonts, colours, tone of voice and more. With these in place you can ensure that you maintain your brand identity while reducing the amount of amends you need when working across designers. To find out more, get in touch with us today.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash