How can a set of Brand Guidelines help your business?

Brand guidelines, corporate identity guidelines or a brand book? Whatever you want to call it, having a solid creative and strategic foundation for your brand is extremely important.

Extreme Brand Guidelines

Turquoise Creative can help you strengthen your branding by planning, designing and implementing your corporate identity guidelines across all your marketing materials and channels.

There’s a good reason that larger companies create brand guidelines. Some larger brands even have publicly accessible brand websites. Check out Uber’s brand guidelines, Audi’s Brand Appearance, or Google’s visual guidelines for some examples.

Ultimately what you are looking for in creating a set of brand guidelines is guidance and control over how your brand looks, what it says and how it is perceived. Brand guidelines are equally important for internal users and customers alike. Brand guidelines offer a set of clear rules for how your brand identity/logo, colour palette, and messaging are represented to your audience.

But they do so much more; they create consistency for your business or brand. They act as a point of reference for your Design Agency as they create your marketing collateral, website, and social media presence. They explain to the world what to expect from your brand. Let’s look at the value of brand guidelines and why you need to create yours.

How do you define your brand identity?

The best place to start clarifying your business’s personality is with your mission statement, differentiators, tone of voice and values. Each of these will help you establish what your business stands for, and will create a framework for the visual elements in your brand guidelines. As they evolve over time, you’ll be able to update your brand manual.

Now, think about your target audience and how you speak to them. Who buys your product or services? Why do they choose your business over your competition? Is your tone of voice professional and traditional or playful and unconventional? Now, consider your brand promise, attributes, and vision statement. How can you underpin each of these with how you’ll be represented to your audience?

What are Brand Guidelines?

First of all, brand guidelines (or brand book, brand manual, or stylebook) are the standards required to represent your branding correctly. These standards are typically laid out in a document that details each of the following:

  1. Primary Colour Palette: the exact colours used in your logo including colour names and codes for different uses such as CMYK, HEX, and RGB. Think Coca-Cola red or UPS brown or Apple white.
  2. Second Colour Palette: any supporting colours that can be used to add variety or interest for other components like text, lines, or other assets. Think about complementary colours that will add to your primary palette and enhance it.
  3. Colour Variations: any colour variations of your logo that are allowed include black, white, transparent background, etc.
  4. Tagline logos: any versions of your logo with your tagline included. Think Just Do it from Nike.
  5. Abbreviations or acronyms of your company name: any version of your logo with a shortened version of your name. Think Coke, NCAA or TCM.
  6. Typography: a list of the main fonts or typefaces associated with your brand as well as any secondary fonts that can be used for headlines and body copy. This should also include direction on if or when you use all caps or only lowercase for each.
  7. Logo space requirements: will you require “padding” around your logo for certain uses? For instance, “our logo should always be surrounded by one inch of clear space on packaging.”
  8. How will these coordinate: how will you require that all these components work together? Think about anywhere your logo and branding could be including your website, social media, stationery, advertising, and more.
  9. Brand tone: should your brand always be speaking in a lively, fun, and energetic way? What about sophisticated, elegant, and stylish? Or perhaps bold, creative and rambunctious? (We like that last one best around here.)
  10. Grammar: will you require an oxford comma in your content? Should bullet points always have punctuation? Get specific about what you’ll expect from your copywriters.
  11. Examples of use: show instances of your logo, colours, and fonts applied to items like business cards, collaterals, advertising, packaging, T-shirts, and more. When in doubt, sample it out.
  12. Unacceptable uses: it’s important to show examples of what not to do with your logo including what colours not to use (You can bet that Pepsi never wants to see a drop of Coke red near its logo.): never stack the logo and name, don’t make it transparent, minimum size requirements for use, etc.

Why do you need brand guidelines?

Because everyone needs them. Skip the time you’d waste making these decisions as they come up one by one by simply determining the rules for your brand from the beginning. If you’ve ever had to figure out whether your business name should appear in ‘black‘ and ‘red‘ or just ‘black‘ or part ‘red‘ throughout your website, or fix all the instances where it doesn’t have a registered trademark symbol in your collaterals, you’ll thank us.

If you have a large sales staff who often have to create their own personalised collateral pieces, brand guidelines will be a lifesaver. Does the tagline always have to follow your business name? Your brand guidelines will make that plain. Cut down on the calls to Marketing today! If you often sponsor events and require that your logo looks a certain way on the fundraiser’s promotions, brand guidelines will help the charity get it right every time.

United Washrooms Brand Guidelines

How should you share your Brand Guidelines: PDFs or presentations?

Now you know what they are and why you need them, so how do you present your brand manual? Should they live as PDFs that can easily be distributed and updated? Do you need something more formal that can be sent out to franchisees to share with their teams? Take some time to figure out what makes the most sense for your business. Don’t be afraid to flaunt your style and design aesthetic as part of your brand book with your colours and tone throughout. Not only does it lay out your guidelines clearly, but it also reinforces your brand every step of the way.

Future-proof your brand with a properly planned out and implemented set of Brand Guidelines.

Whether you are just starting out or are an established brand, as an experienced brand agency. If you still feeling stuck when it comes to how to communicate your brand and all of the elements that go with it? Turquoise Creative is here to help you design your brand identity/logo, clarify your branding, and create a set of guidelines for your business. Please contact us today to see how we can help.


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When is it time for a brand refresh?

Refresh, Revitalise, Rebrand

What is a brand refresh?

Firstly, you are probably wondering what exactly is a brand refresh. A brand refresh can be thought of as a facelift or renovation of your brand. It is not a total overhaul of your brand (that is always an option) but something far simpler.

Why would you consider a brand refresh?

We all know that change is a fact of business life. Businesses evolve. New products may be introduced appealing to a new types of customers. So whatever size your business is you must adjust to reflect your changing business and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Branding is all about distinguishing yourself from your competitors. But in marketing, it’s not just about differentiation, it’s about setting your brand apart and standing out from the crowd. Is your brand an asset or a liability in that endeavour?

So, to change the way your company is perceived a few tweaks here and there to your branding will help.

By making simple alterations to your branding and positioning, you can:

  • Maintain your brand’s integrity
  • Inject a new energy into your business
  • Iron out any brand inconsistencies
  • Ensure your company’s image is current in an ever changing world
  • Generate a buzz among existing customers and employees

Many businesses are taking this route as it requires far less risk than a complete brand overhaul and can get you the results you desire.

Your business may already have a logo that works well, but things change with time and you need to make sure your business doesn’t become out-of-date.


How do you know when it’s the right time to refresh your brand?

If your business is facing one of these 5 scenarios, a brand refresh (or facelift) is definitely worth thinking about.

1. Is your branding out-of-date?

Your logo might have been revolutionary when you started your business, but now it has aged and your business’s image is suffering as a result. Take an honest look at your visual branding and assess whether it’s moving you forward or holding you back.

2. Have your products/services changed?

Is your brand messaging an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today, or is it outdated? Most companies grow and evolve over time to stay relevant. As an example, Starbucks originated in 1971 as a retailer of coffee bean roasting, and their brand identity up until 2011 featured the word “coffee” but over the years they have expanded their business to include espresso beverages, teas, ice cream, etc. which ultimately led to dropping “coffee” from their name.

3. Is your branding inconsistent?

Perhaps you use one version of your logo on printed materials and another on your website, along with all the various strap lines because you can’t decide which work. This can be detrimental to your brand. You need to be consistent or your clients won’t understand what you are offering and to make it worse, you may be seen as sloppy and unreliable.

4. Are you reaching your target audience?

Has your target market shifted since you created your brand, or maybe you have changed the audience your product and services are aiming at? In this case, a refresh will allow you to reach exactly the people you want.

5. Is your business preparing for growth?

If your business is adding in new product lines, or considering a merger, then this is a good time to reassess your brand and make sure it has the strength to carry your business through such changes.

If you recognise any of these scenarios and feel that it’s time to review whether your brand is a true reflection of your business, give us a call.

We’d love to hear your story and perhaps we can help. Call on 07813339789 or email us.


Click on the Alkira logos below to see have we made a difference


Growing your business, through creative thinking

Turquoise Creative
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9 Reasons to use a Brand Design Agency

A good brand design agency is more than just outsourcing the design of your company logo and branding. The success with a design agency partnership is driven by your design agency taking a holistic view of your business. While considering all of your branding touchpoints; such as marketing material, website and communication systems.

A good brand design agency will work on devising a design strategy to attract your ideal customers. They will take the process completely off your hands, leaving you free to do what you do best: run your business.

We have taken a moment to identify the key areas that we feel separate us from the competition, we strive to work with clients over the long term, understand the business motivations and ethos while focusing on the following elements. We feel these areas are where a design agency can add real, tangible value to your business.


Brand Strategy

It is important to plan your branding strategy, it is common to position a sales or marketing strategy, but who thinks about branding and design strategies?

We do, design agencies, that’s who. 

Your sales and marketing efforts can be driving all the necessary business interest but if they don’t find your brand appealing, it’s can all fall apart at the first interaction. Getting the right look and feel to everything you are putting out, along with a plan for how, when and why this will be implemented, is essential to the overall marketing success.


Brand Consistency

Being consistent in business is, for many the key to long-standing client relationships. If your service offering is of consistent quality with a close eye on attention to detail, are you reflecting those same values with the consistency of your brand? Brand consistency is about more than ensuring everything you put out is the same colour and has the same logo. If you have the exact same shades of all the colours you use, in addition to a wide variety of small details being the same throughout the branding, it will create a professional image and make your brand more easily recognisable. This is also an important consideration when exploring your tone of voice and company ethos.


Brand Audit

At Turquoise Creative we encourage all of our clients to really take a moment to explore exactly what they want their brand to convey. Our Brand Audit is designed to ask you the questions that you had potentially overlooked when building your brand.

Does your brand have a story?

Is it appealing to exactly the sort of customers you want it to?

What is your choice of colours saying about your business?

Is your logo effective?

Our brand audits are free, we find them to be an amazing talking point for initial introductions and are always happy to talk to any business that is taking their brand seriously.


Rebranding

It is very common for clients to approach us saying their branding is missing “Something”, the overall concept has a history and is generally well-received but does not reflect how their business has evolved since its conception.

This is especially common for a business going through a prolonged growth. It is likely that that the brand was part of the initial business set up and not given the attention it now deserves. Turquoise Creative can undertake all that work for you to create a new brand that truly reflects your business, while retaining your company’s identity.

Advertising

Expert Knowledge

Turquoise Creative is founded on decades of experience and countless successful projects. It is this expertise that is the fundamental reason we are able to offer the quality design service we do. A design agency is able to offer you the experience of working with brand designers that grow brands. We have spent years getting to know businesses to find the perfect branding and design solutions for websites, printed materials, social media, etc. to get brands recognised and to appeal to the right kind of customer.


Fresh Ideas

It’s very common for business owners to feel they are too close to their business. As a result, they have set ideas about how it should be represented to the outside world. This can limit a company’s branding making it seem old fashioned or not quite an accurate reflection on the entire company. It can be very useful to have an outside eye cast over it to bring in new ideas to reach new customers. The right design agency will bring a range of ideas and trends that could have been previously ignored.


Complete Service

This is an important one for us.

Using a design agency gives businesses the true peace of mind knowing that they have one central point to manage all of their branding.

Working across multiple partners and managing a logo, a colour scheme, a website, printed and online promotional material while keeping the branding consistent sounds like awfully hard work to us.

We have the capability to do all of this for you, keep your brand consistent, eliminate errors and ensure the highest possible quality.


Storytellers

Your brand should be more than your choice of colour and font. Your brand should reflect your companies’ values, its place in the industry and its history. Your design agency should be able to build this story into the branding and give you the tools needed to tell your story.

Exhibition design

Future-Proofing

A good design agency has years of experience and has seen several brands win and lose. It is this experience that allows them to ensure you have a really good brand that has room to grow. Successful brands manage to move with the times and still remain consistent. If you’ve built a good brand reputation, the last thing you want to do is to have to completely change your brand to stop it looking dated. We can create brands with the ability to morph, grow and move with the times.



At Turquoise Creative we take the time to get to know your business. This helps us to create a look and feel that will appeal to the kinds of customers you’d love to reach.

We understand that your brand could have a personal, emotional attachment and we want to help tell that story while reflecting your true values. Our brand designs are proven to stand the test of time through careful planning, creativity, management and strategy.

Whether you are looking for a brand design agency to build and maintain your brand or just need a little advice or guidance, we are more than happy to help.

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know where we can help. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how we can build a brand that truly reflects your business.


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Branding through a Crisis

Branding through a Crisis

The unpredictable impact of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on businesses all over the world. The lack of social interaction has really changed the way a lot of businesses navigate and poses a lot of new challenges.

Businesses are going to have to adapt and build new communication channels to meet the change in demand. Your brand and its perception in the marketplace has never been more important, but what can you do?


Maintain awareness and keeping your brand alive

During this economic downturn, it is vital that you keep the awareness of your business and brand alive. You need to adjust to the current climate. Research shows that your brand is key to your business communication and function. It is important that you work to maintain your brand and show business resilience during difficult times.

Branding through a Crisis

Time to review, don’t hide away

Businesses need to adapt by focussing on building their brand awareness through information and communication channels. In this current pandemic, new online searches will be prominent, and businesses should react to create content to target those searches. Consider what content and messaging you’re highlighting. It is appropriate, timely and relevant for the current climate.


Despite this global crisis use your time wisely to review the following:

Your Brand

Look to see if your brand is still as fresh as the day you set it up. Is the businesses name still relevant and up-to-date? Consider evolving the font within your logo or tweaking the colour palette to become more modern can re-invigorate the business and give staff a renewed sense of purpose.

Your Social Media Channels

Is your brand consistent across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram? Do your graphics reflect your business message?

Your Website

Review how your website is performing? Can it be improved? Is the content up-to-date and relevant? Is your website being found and is the metadata up-to-date? Online sales are on the increase so make sure your website isn’t left behind. 

Your E-Marketing

Trigger your e-marketing without overloading your customer’s inbox with sales emails. Communicate your plans for the future, keep them engaged and how they can get in touch if you’re working remotely. 

New Channels or New Technology

Consider new technology to assist your business like YouTube. Give your customers advice online. Hold virtual meetings via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Now is a good time to explore all options.

Branding through a Crisis

We cannot predict the future, but we must embrace the challenge and stay as creative as possible.  If you are looking for help with your brand, online graphics and digital communication, we are here to help.


Contact us for a FREE Brand Audit

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you during these challenging times.


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Breathing new life into the PRS brand

It was evident that after 13 successful years the PRS brand no longer reflected what the business was all about. When PRS Recruitment created a Facebook page they realised something was wrong, but couldn’t put their finger on it.

PRS

Their logo was distorted and the cover photo didn’t work. The image of lots of people dressed in work attire represented the variety of candidates they placed, but it looked more like a crowded platform of angry Southern rail commuters!

It was at this point that George Parker, Director at PRS Recruitment had a conversation with Steve Oakes of Turquoise Creative.

Why rebranding was necessary

PRS Recruitment services two distinct markets:

  • Temporary and contract staff to the transport, office and industries
  • Executive search in the fire and security industry
PRS

In order to appeal to these two different markets, PRS needed to develop a brand for each division, but one that still stayed true to the ethos of the company. A group of businesses was created and PRS Recruitment became PRS Group.

Turquoise Creative created 2 brand identities for each stream of the PRS business. A crisp, clean and fresh logo which represented the business in the modern world with the streamline: Matching the right people to the right jobs. The brand style and imagery was created to reflect a creative, forward-thinking established business.

Turquoise Creative worked with the PRS Recruitment team to develop a template for displaying jobs on social media. The template made the process of creating the job advert quicker, and at the same time ensuring brand integrity.

From the design concepts, the website was built and social media channels defined. The other marketing collateral came online, which included flagship company brochure, business cards, stationery, advertising and signage.

PRS

PRS not only thought about their candidates, clients and prospects. Their offices had a refresh too! They redecorated and hung new signage and posters displaying the new images and key messages.

Benefits of the rebrand

The rebranding not only helps PRS with a clearer digital marketing strategy, it also provides them with flexibility for future business growth plans.

They can now easily expand their business by creating a new brand to reflect a different market sector. If they wish to sell parts of the business a division can be easily separated from the others.

“Steve’s ability to see the bigger picture and ask us questions about our business and plans for the future has been a hugely useful exercise. We’ve certainly gained a lot more than we ever anticipated. We now have a brand that puts us in a very strong position today and will also stand us in good stead for the future.”
Darren Hinton, Director at PRS Group

Next…

Has your business evolved over the years?

Does your brand reflect your business as it is today?

If you feel that your brand could do with a refresh so that it appeals to the right types of customers, please give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.


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Investing in a brand identity

Investing in a professionally designed brand identity makes business sense. A successful brand identity is built around 9 characteristics.

Click here to find out how many of the 9 characteristics your brand has.

Q: What do an autism awareness charity and an accountancy practice have in common?

A: They both invested in creating a brand identity.

Autism Parent Empower wanted to raise awareness among families with children with autism letting them know that they could access key interventions locally.

Sigma Partner’s challenge was very different. They needed to communicate a change to the business name, as well as stand out in a crowded market. So investing in a new logo was an important step for Sigma.

Investing in a brand identity

Click here to find out how Autism Parent Empower’s brand identity evolved. Autism Parent Empower

Investing in a brand identity

Click here to find out how Sigma’s brand identity evolved. Sigma Partners

They both had very different challenges, yet the solution was exactly the same …to invest in a stand-out brand identity.

Creating a stand-out Brand Identity

A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and email signature. This basic set of materials can be extended to include: brochures, folders, flyers, website, exhibition stand and vehicle livery.

If you feel that your brand identity some attention, please do get in touch. You can call us on 01293 886805 or email ideas@turquoise-creative.co.uk


Contact us for a FREE Brand Audit

Turquoise Creative has over 25 years in Brand Design, Logo Design and Brand Strategy. We have the tools you need to build and maintain a brand that enables you to control how your business is perceived, builds trust and enables an open dialogue with clients.

Please give us a call on 07813 33978 or 01293 886805 and let us know what you need. Alternatively, complete our FREE Brand Audit and let us talk through how your brand can work for you.

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Brand case study: Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners is a firm of experienced and qualified Chartered Certified Accountants with a long record of excellence. From our base in Mid Sussex we are well placed to meet the accountancy needs of any small and medium sized business.

It’s a competitive world!

The results of a Google search for ‘Accountant in <your county> returns pages and pages of suggestions. This just confirms how competitive the accountancy industry is. Add to this the emergence of cloud technology, accountancy practices need to adapt and add value in order to stand out from the crowd.

Out with the old…

We met a forward-thinking team of partners in July 2016, whilst they were still trading as Wilder Coe. At the time, they were going through a restructure of the business. The evolution meant a complete name change was required and a new brand identity design that could incorporate two parts of the new business; the accountancy practice and the payroll bureau.

Sigma Partners

In with the new…brand identity

The steps to create a brand were completely unknown to the partners, so they were extremely happy to be guided by us throughout the process.

The name…

Firstly, we needed to come up with a new name. The name needed to reflect the firm’s experience as qualified Chartered Certified Accountants and their long record of excellence. It had to appeal to their target market; budding entrepreneurs established businesses and individuals in vocational fields.

During a fun and energetic meeting, which we facilitated, the partners decided on the name Sigma Partners.

The logo…

The next step was to develop a series of brand identity designs playing on the sigma symbol.

Sigma Partners

The uppercase sigma is familiar to those regularly using spreadsheets, however, the lowercase sigma symbol is not so well known and this is what we incorporated into the logotype to create a subtle but memorable identity.

Sigma Partners

The colours…

Research reinforces how important colour is when developing a brand identity:

  • 60% of the time people will decide if they are attracted or not to a message – based on colour alone!
  • Colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.

The dominant colours for the Sigma brand are green and blue. Green symbolises life, vitality, balance and energy. This gives Sigma’s clients the reassuring feeling that they are qualified to assist their business.

Green is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and the environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking and ambition.

Blue is a calming colour that denotes security, confidence, intelligence and trust. Deep shades of blue are a sign of expertise, further endorsing the comfort that Sigma’s clients are in the hands of a qualified and skilled accountancy practice.

Imagery…

To reflect the local area where Sigma’s clients are based, landscape photography from around Mid Sussex has been used on the website, creating an energy and balance to the brand.

Sigma Partners

Consistency across all communications…

The new logos have been implemented across all communication channels, including stationery, advertising, website, signage and social media.

Sigma Partners

The lowercase sigma theme can also be seen throughout the website.

The future for Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners now has a clean modern image and a new face to promote to their target market. Their new brand identity underpins how they help small and medium-sized businesses in the Mid Sussex area to plan their business, handling all aspects of taxation from self-assessment to corporation tax, assisting in financial planning, audit and provide business consultancy.

“ From the beginning, Steve was fully engaged with the project and completely understood what we wanted to achieve with the rebrand.

All of the design concepts he produced were excellent and produced a considerable amount of dialogue between the partners!!

His vision and creative input was excellent and also keep the project moving and on track, whilst also advising on other items around the rebrand. We are all delighted with the outcome.”

What does your brand image say about you?

In order to flourish and grow, businesses need to evolve, just as Sigma Partners has done. If you feel that your brand no longer represents your business and you would like an informal chat to see how you can refresh or completely change your image, feel free to call us on 01293 886805 or email us.


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Brand case study: Autism Parent Empower

When Turquoise Creative first met Jo-Ann D’Costa-Manuel of Autism Parent Empower, other than an amazing vision, she had no tangible means to share her powerful message.

APE case study

Autism Parent Empower was founded by Jo-Ann and Wayne and inspired by their own experiences as they dealt with the challenges they faced as parents with a child with Autism. One of the main problems they wished to address was that there was nowhere to access key interventions immediately.

Having collaborated with some of the best professionals around the UK, they created a 12-week programme, including all the elements they wish they’d had at the start of their journey but didn’t.

Autism Parent Empower – The Brand

With so much energy and planning already gone into Autism Parent Empower they desperately needed the means to raise awareness among families facing similar challenges.

So, to do this Jo-Ann commissioned Turquoise Creative to create the brand. At the initial branding meeting, our discussions included the name, logo design and brand values. Turquoise Creative then went away and created the brand identity, brand styling and creative direction, which needed to be engaging, bright and memorable.

Following the branding meeting, the Autism Parent Empower brand identity emerged.

Since then, Autism Parent Empower has built up a big following of 13,080 likes on their Facebook page and spread awareness through the local and national community.

“Steve didn’t just hear our story, he listened to every detail. He felt our emotion, he witnessed our hope. He created an identity and brand which is simply amazing.” Jo-Ann D’Costa-Manuel

Turquoise Creative – The marketing collateral

As part of the awareness campaign, on 21st January 2017, the very first ‘Quiet Hour’ in a UK food supermarket was launched.

A variety of marketing collateral and exhibition materials was required for the promotion of the Quiet Hour as well as the programme and on-going brand awareness.

“Steve’s exceptional creativity and professionalism makes him one of the very best the industry has to offer.” Highly recommended from Autism Parent Empower. Jo-Ann D’Costa-Manuel

APE Calendar 2017 v.2

In addition to the brand identity and marketing material Turquoise Creative created:

  • Launch invitation and leaflet which was held at Houses of Parliament
  • Stationery
  • Social media branding
  • ‘Because I can’ a 16-page booklet – full of ideas, strategies, recipes and positivity
  • Promotional A3 Calendar
  • Pull-up banner
  • Flashmob postcard and posters
  • Corporate folder
  • Leaflets
  • Website design

You can take a look at some of the Autism Parent Empower marketing collateral here.

Steve, Creative Director of Turquoise Creative said, “This has been such a fulfilling branding project to work on. Jo-Ann’s enthusiasm is infectious. You can’t help but be inspired by their dream to help others. They now have a means to spread their messages, grow their community and provide the help that families need.”

Are you ready to put the U and I in AUTISM…?

Jo-Ann says, “It is time to put control back in the hands of the people that matter the most – Parents. We will work with them and their child in the home, in the community and even in the kitchen. We will be by their sides to guide them, teach them and empower them. I have walked this path with my own family and feel privileged to share their journey and watch their children reach their full potential.”

For more information visit www.autismparentempower.org

Check out the coverage we got on the ITV News
http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2017-02-06/supermarket-first-in-the-country-to-introduce-quiet-hour-for-autistic-shoppers/


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How can Brand Guidelines help your business?

What are Brand Guidelines?

Brand Guidelines are a set of rules that explain how your brand works. You may have heard brand guidelines also referred to as brand standards, style guides or a brand book.

These guidelines typically include basic information such as:

  • An overview of your brand’s history, vision and personality
  • Brand identity guidelines including brand colours, brand typefaces and brand application.

Every brand, from the smallest business or startup, to corporate giants such as Adidas or Apple, need a set of brand guidelines and rules to maintain their brand identity.

Brand guidelines can be a couple of pages, or a few hundred. It is the thread that holds together what the client / customer sees from a company.

What is a Brand Book?

A Brand Book establishes the personality and visual elements of your company. It governs every aspect of communication from the company.

The Brand Book includes everything from the design of an identity or logo and how it must be used, to stationery design, marketing literature and the look of your website.

brand-book

The Brand Book is the basis of all communications on behalf of your company, including social media, advertising and graphic design. It is a document that establishes guidelines on how all aspects of your company’s brand will be handled. It establishes rules for creating a unified and identifiable presence for your brand or business.

The Brand Book helps staff correctly use and communicate the brand message. It outlines brand rules and company philosophy. It also answers key questions such as: What is the correct use of the identity or logo? What images are associated with the brand and products? What are the brand colours and colour breakdowns?

A Brand Book outlines all the basic design tools that are needed to create all company communications.

Identity / Logo

Once your logo has been designed, it is vital to maintain its integrity across all media platforms. This includes how the logo is to be used, from placement to sizing.

Our Extreme Brand Guidelines do a great job in defining exactly how the logo can be used, outlining placement, size and surrounding white space. Remember, your logo is the one thing clients have to identify your brand. Make sure you maintain a consistent use of that image.

Typography

Brand guidelines - Typography

There should be a defined style for every bit of type used by your brand, in print and digital applications. Typography rules must be clear and distinct.

Select a few typefaces that will be used in design projects. This may include one set of rules for print projects and another for digital applications. But make sure the typefaces have some common links. For example, many web designers prefer sans serif typefaces for body text whereas you may prefer a serif style for print. Find a commonality between the two. Consider a headline or ‘big type’ style that you can use for both types of design projects.

Most brands use one of two primary typefaces. Then select a complimentary typeface and substitute typefaces. Ideally, the brand should include no more than five typefaces and their usage.

Colour

Brand guidelines - Pantone

A defined colour palette is one of the most important aspects of the brand book.

For example consider the Golden Arches of McDonald’s. Would you clearly recognise McDonald’s if the giant M was another colour? The Brand Book should outline each colour and how it should be used. The brand book must clearly define each colour by name and value. Give each colour values: (CMYK for print) and (RGB, HEX for digital projects). Also, specify Pantone colours for each of your primary brand colours.

Imagery

Guidelines for images are more than just whether you will rely on photography or illustrations or other types of graphics.

The Brand Book should explain how images will be sourced, edited in Photoshop and applied. Image guidelines should also define when and how certain types of images are used. Will the brand use photography or illustrations or a combination of both? Is clip art acceptable? How will images be edited? Will they be reproduced in duotone, full colour or black and white? All of these questions should be answered within the imagery guidelines.

Brand Book Checklist

Here’s a list of areas your Brand Book should cover:

1. Overview of brand, including history, vision and personality
2. Identity / Logo specifications
3. Typography
4. Colour palette, primary and secondary colours
5. Imagery specifications, including photographic style
6. Letterhead and business card design examples
7. Design layouts and grids
8. Printed brochure guidelines
9. Signage and outdoor advertising
10. Social media guidelines
11. Visual applications

Brand Guidelines Conclusion

In the creation of your Brand Book, think of how it will be used. Your Brand Book is a guide to how your business should be portrayed to your clients and customers.

Keep the guidelines direct and simple, but also think about how restricting they can be. Guidelines that are too strict can limit the creativity of designers. Guidelines that are too loose may result in multiple or disjointed brand identities.

Use your brand book as a starting point and establish a culture around it that allows designers room for creative thought, while maintaining the aura of the brand in a variety of projects.

Remember the ultimate goal of the Brand Book is to create a distinct and unified presence for your brand.

If you would like to create a set of Brand Guidelines, please contact Steve Oakes on 01293 886805 or  07813 339789 or email us.

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Your brand is more than your logo

Your brand is more than your logo. In a commercial context, brands are all about connecting customers to businesses. Your logo and its ability to send out the right signals about your brand and what it represents is an all-important connecting tool in your business armoury. But it’s not the only tool.

your brand

To make that logo as powerful as possible and to give it an appropriate context, it’s essential to first identify and define the heart of your brand, its purpose and its cause. This is what branding means in the truest sense.

I’d like to share with you, exactly what that means for your business. 

There are five key points to consider about your brand:

1. If marketing is how your business goes-to-market, then your brand is your Marketing Director, informing the focus of all marketing activity. From the products and services through to your people, your environment, processes and support systems – it encompasses your entire business proposition! Marketing without brand clarity is like playing the lottery, characterised by the highs (when you get lucky) and the lows (when you’re not) and having no idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s a frustrating and inconsistent approach which doesn’t need to happen. Is your brand’s proposition clear and compelling for your most valuable customers and advantaged versus competitors and reflected in all your brand does?

2. Brands are all about making the right connections for your business. The right connections allow your business access to the right customers, the right channels, the right prices, the right territory in the market. Is your brand set up to make the right connections? Is it better at making those connections than your direct competitors?

3. Who are your most valuable customers? What are their needs? How does your brand address these needs, so it becomes the best solution for these people? Brands (not blands!) are defined by their actions. They stand for something clear and valuable to some and stand out from their competitors as a result. A powerful brand can clearly project what it represents and why that’s valuable to those it wants to connect with.

4. A brand is a promise, it’s not a logo. What does your brand promise and does it keep to it every time? What is its sense of purpose and how does that resonate with your most valuable customers?

5. What is your strategy to create tribes of Raving Fans – customers who love what your brand does for them, so they not only do they keep coming back for more want more but will also, crucially, willingly and strongly recommend your brand to others. Businesses that successfully and profitably create Brand Fans typically grow 2.5 times faster than those businesses in their market that don’t. Now that’s worth having and exploiting!

So, there’s a lot more to ‘branding’ than that all-important logo. If you correctly gear your brand to your business, it will become one of your most powerful growth enablers and you should be using it for all it’s worth.

Is your brand working as hard as it could be to take your business to the next level? We’d love to discuss that question with you and explore what more could be done – why not get in touch!

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Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition

Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition – when you’re planning to spend a significant amount on exhibiting at a show, how can you make sure you gain the maximum possible return on your investment?

Getting your graphic designer involved at an early stage makes a huge difference, as GEW found out this year.

Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition

GEW (EC) Limited designs and manufactures UV curing systems for printing, coating and industrial applications. They have just returned from exhibiting in Brussels at LabelExpo Europe, the world’s largest event for the label and package printing industry, attracting in excess of over 35,000 visitors.

This was a significant event for GEW. Not only were they a major sponsor, but they were also launching the new ArcLED hybrid UV curing system to the international label industry. Their stand and supporting graphics needed to deliver maximum impact and appeal.

Turquoise Creative: working with us

Planning started 8 months before the exhibition, where creating the overall concept through to stand design and build was crucial to the success.

The Product: branding and design

At this early stage, there was merely a fantastic product. Together with the marketing team, we had several creative brainstorming sessions to create the brand. ArcLED was born along with the visual look and feel for the new product branding. We now had a starting point for the advertising and production of all marketing material for the exhibition.

Pre Exhibition: advertising design

The promotion started prior to the exhibition, which required the design of a targeted advertising campaign to ‘tease’ the new product into the marketplace.

The Stand: space planning and design

As well as the stand being eye-catching, which was achieved through lighting, imagery and suspended banners, we wanted visitors to feel comfortable about stepping into the space and engaging with GEW.

Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition
Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition

Off-stand: sponsorship brand design

As sponsors of the exhibition, this gave GEW a number of other promotional opportunities, from floor tiles to the amazing Backlit Astrid Walkway billboard. The design of which all had to be consistent in both terms of brand styling, imagery and message.

Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition

Turquoise Creative : Delivering maximum impact at an Exhibition

Much of the success of the show for GEW lies in their foresight to engage with Turquoise Creative many months prior to the exhibition. This enabled us to really understand what our client’s objectives were and the messages they needed to convey. This insight allowed us to create the design that reflected GEW’s brand, values and products.

You hear about people going the extra mile for their clients. In this case, it was literal. We jumped on a plane to Brussels and visited GEW on their stand! It was immensely satisfying to see many months of hard work come together.

Turquoise Creative’s tips for a successful exhibition

If you are planning to exhibit at a show here are our top tips:

  1. Planning – plan your exhibition design and all supporting graphics well in advance
  2. Message – create a strong consistent product message
  3. Listening – does your designer listen to what your objectives are?
  4. Asking – do they ask questions to really understand and then listen again?
  5. Direction – listen to what your designer has to say (it will keep you on the right track!).

If you wish to gain maximum impact from exhibiting at a show please give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.


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