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What Are Brand Standards?

What Are Brand Standards?

“Brandards” {brand standards} are your friend.
So, what exactly are brand standards? They are the guidelines that bring your the entire look of your business, as well as all of your marketing materials, together. Brand standards help you to set your business apart, while creating exposure to your brand. Brand standards can be thought of as keeping consistency, which helps strengthen brand identity. It’s important to remember to not be too strict when it comes to these standards, though, because that could limit creativity.

Here are the components that define brand standards:

1) Logo

This is one of the most important factors; more specifically, keeping your logo unaltered across all platforms. One guideline should be to never redraw the company logo. Another aspect of the logo is to keep the same sizing and placement for every media and print format.

2) Colors

Our eyes associate colors with emotions and the world around us. I’m sure you’ve heard of the psychology of color, but here is a website that explains the differences between colors: http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours. So, when creating brand standards, it is a good idea to research what colors mean and how you want your brand colors to affect your clients. Once you’ve chosen colors, consistency of shade, transparency and vibrancy are the next design decisions you need to make.

3) Graphics

Keeping graphic elements consistent can include shapes, symbols, backgrounds, borders, and patterns. This doesn’t mean that they have to stay the same in every design, but customers should be able to recognize that they go with your brand.

4) Photographs and illustrations

Do all of your photographs have a vintage style? Do they have a crisp and natural feel? In both photographs and illustrations, whatever tone and emotion they evoke, it should be similar to the rest of your branding. Also, sticking to using only photographs or only illustrations can be a great idea, rather than a mix of the two.

5) Typefaces

Two fonts walk into the bar, and the barman says, “Sorry lads, we don’t serve your type.” Bad typography jokes aside… You should include both a serif and a sans-serif font in your brand standards, and then continue to consistently use the typefaces you choose. There can be variation between what typefaces you use, but it’s best to keep what ones you work with as a select few.

Check out how Michigan Creative keeps consistent with their brand standards at www.michigancreative.com!

– Siobhan Findlay