Logo & Brand Identity Guidelines

Branding is all about recognition through consistency in marketing and advertising. Companies don't spend hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars a year on branding just so that the company can appear uniform on the inside. They do it to become a recognizable figure in their specific marketing space. When you think of a company like McDonalds, you instantly think of the Golden Arches and Ronald McDonald. How did this happen? How did these companies so fix their imagery within our minds? What does a clown have to do with hamburgers? On the surface it's really quite simple, they did it through consistency in marketing. McDonalds never sported a bright red D and Ronald was never Jerome the happy elf. Every successfully marketed company follows a strict set of rules which under no circumstances are to be deviated from unless the rules themselves have been re-evaluated.

The Guidelines

Typically known as a companies Logo & Brand Identity Guidelines, this document lays down the law in regards to acceptable visual marketing. It covers everything from logo layout and design, to allowed typefaces, when to use them and what colors are acceptable on all marketing materials. At times this can seem a little silly or something that should be covered by common sense. If you work for a company whose logo is blue and white, wouldn't it make sense to advertise in blue and white? Of course it does, if your a designer. Many people just don't understand the importance of constancy in marketing materials and most of the time, it's because it's not their job.

Churches and Volunteer Organizations are typically where this stands out the most. Let's say a volunteer, not necessarily trained in their field, offers to design a flyer for an event. They take the blue and white logo off the website, stretch and skew it (causing distortion) to fit their flyer, add some wonderful, eye catching, multi-colored headings and bam, you have a flyer. Here we can begin to see the degradation of the brand happening in real time. You have a distorted logo, absolutely no color coordination and it's most likely typed in a font that has no direct relation to the brand itself. This scenario happens time and time again all of the world when companies do not attempt to clearly identify the acceptable use guidelines of their brand and as a result, there is no consistency in marketing.

Learn to Say NO!

Even from our simple example, you can begin to see why McDonalds never has, and will never, use a big red D on their marketing materials. Any advertisement for them in this manner would result in a violation of their brand guidelines, the removal of the ad and quite possibly some legal action, especially if the ad has effected the company negatively. Once your company has crafted this very important document, you have to learn to say no. If may seem harsh to tell a volunteer that you just can't hang their flyer for the company picnic or to shut down someone's "helpful" advertisement of your business, but if it doesn't fit the image you are trying to craft of your organization in the marketplace, it will be more damaging then helpful. You must learn to say no. As a side note, no can be said in a way that says, thank you for trying or thanks but you will need to modify this to continue. No doesn't give you permission to destroy your brand in other ways.

Essentially, this document governs how the company will appear in the marketplace at all times and in all locations. Nothing leaves the marketing department, no flyers get hung, no ads hit the paper unless they meet the criteria specified in this document. It's this type of consistency that provides a recognizable image. It's this type of consistency that has engrained the Golden Arches into our minds forever and it is this type of consistency that can have the same lasting effects on your business in marketplace. So don't waste anymore time, create your guidelines, stick to your guidelines and craft a Brand that is consistent and recognizable.

We would love to partner with you in creating a consistent marketing strategy. To get started, simply give us a call at 330.478.1551 or email us at info@archboardmedia.com we look forward to hearing from you!