Most will argue that having a professional looking logo is key and by far one of the most important aspects of any business/individual. Whilst we agree with this, it’s easy to forget that from the logo comes your branding style, your ‘design guidelines’. Consistency in all your elements is key to a successful brand, this applies to everything from marketing material, to your website and even your social media presence!
Maintaining consistency within your brand may seem like a tedious and repetitive task that you’d rather leave until a rainy day, but the truth is if you keep your branding consistent then it will grow in strength and be unified. Understandably, this kind of ‘detail upkeep’ is not everyone’s forte, and not many have experience with it or even know where to begin. Consistency is a process; you need to look at it as a carefully considered plan, not something that just needs to be done like tax return forms…
It is very easy to slip out of consistency within your brand, due to a number of reasons. Most commonly this begins due to loss of original files, or wanting new marketing materials and just settling for anything due to urgently needing them. Another guilty party for inconsistent branding is Vistaprint, the amount of business cards we have seen with a variety fonts and imagery that have nothing to do with the business is quite high.
Whilst you may have all the necessary materials to pass out to customers and raise awareness to your brand, you’re just going to be confusing them with all the inconsistent branding. With no consistency, you weaken your identity and begin to have a light above your head flashing “amateur”. You may have the next best product/service since sliced bread, but your audience won’t think alike and your business/product won’t be remembered.
If you find yourself slipping into this scenario, don’t begin to panic. This can all be remedied but it won’t be a quick fix and it certainly won’t be cheap. Remember, consistency needs a plan! If you can’t do it all at once, work by order of importance. This will be different for every business; there is no generic step-by-step plan for everyone to follow like with Lego building!
To begin, you will need to collect together all of your current business elements with branding, and then assess whether they’re consistent with your envisioned brand or not. Once you have established what needs changing and what is fine as is, then you can move on to establishing what you need to make consistent. For example:
Whatever your branding collateral, they should fall under two main categories – printed and web-based. We could continue to list the different types of branding material, but you get the idea. Now I bet you’re asking, “how do I go about making my material consistent?” This is where if you’re a perfectionist it really comes in handy, as you will already be accustomed to wanting everything to match. If not then here’s a quick guide on where to concentrate the consistency.
Think of your content as ‘blocks’, and about the way you organise these blocks. You need to arrange your ‘blocks’ so that they can successfully interact together. The use of Lines, Shapes and Size can completely change how your material is read; you need to balance your ‘blocks’! Once you have done this for one element of branding, keep to the same layout when creating other elements where possible. This isn’t always possible but is a good method to keeping your branding a bit cleaner; the last thing you want is to have a cluttered appearance.
The use of colour throughout your branding needs to stay consistent. It’s important that your choice in colours isn’t an afterthought, as colour is both an aesthetic and a cognitive tool. Too many colours can be a distraction and only sticking to one or two won’t spark much interest. You need good contrast! The best way to try and avoid your branding looking like a ransom note is to restrict yourself to say, a pallet of 2-4 colours that compliment and work well together. Not only that but you must be strict with yourself when applying the colours, note down the CMYK/RBG values for accuracy every time!
Choosing a consistent font palette is a guaranteed way to ensure consistency across your collateral and ensure familiarity for your customers. You’ll want to have a bold heading font, clean subtitle font (if needed) and clean body text font. Factors such as your font choice, line spacing and type size have a massive impact on readability. What would be the point in creating marketing material to advertise your business/product if it is not comfortably read across your collateral by the general public?
Is your branding suffering from inconsistency? Do you need help but don’t know where to begin? That’s where we come in! NMC Designs’s Graphic Designers understand all about consistency and can help you to achieve this across all your marketing collateral to help you unify your brand.
Contact us today! Call us on 01884 220030 or email email@example.com