• Vinay Kalliat

Branding guidelines - the glue that binds creative thinking

Why we LOVE brand guidelines
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels.com
Context

Brand guidelines are often seen as ‘party spoilers’. They are rigid, don’t allow much innovation and may not always align with our views of what looks good and what does not. They are generally enforced with an iron hand; if there is one thing the ‘creative types’ have a problem with, it is enforced rules.


However, we have seen that Brand Guidelines play a very important role in the creative field. Brand guidelines help more than hinder the design journey.


Brand guidelines come in all forms

We have worked with guidelines that have been loosely defined and open to experimentation, as well as rigid guidelines - down to the number of pixels that gaps between the lines were allowed to have. We have worked with vibrant, neon colours of young, early-stage startups to more mature and ‘grown up’ colours like pastels and greys for legacy companies. We have experienced how fonts can change from playful and open source/free fonts and font families that can cost tens of dollars each.


From our experience in helping our clients achieve breakthrough success with their communications projects, we have always enjoyed working with their branding guidelines. We see branding guidelines as a powerful ally in our quest to design amazing collaterals and content. It is a powerful tool to ensure that everyone on the design and content teams stays on track as they work towards successful outcomes.


Psychological underpinnings

Our faith in brand guidelines has a psychological underpinning.


Dealing with multiple moving parts, when clicked and dragged across multiple projects, can result in what is called ‘neural fatigue’. In this situation, multiple choices overwhelm the creator’s ability to think clearly.


Brand guidelines eliminate this clutter and clarify what is not allowed - focusing creativity and outcomes towards the project's goal.


Advantages of having brand guidelines

Brand guidelines help focus creative efforts.

Branding guidelines have multiple components and sub-components. Keeping everything together without a formalised structure can look like herding cats.


Without a clear shepherding of multiple moving parts, different communications pieces can look like they belong to multiple companies!


Brand guidelines bring consistency across collaterals.

One thing stands out when we reflect on the work we have completed for our clients. The stricter the branding guidelines, the more consistent the collaterals seem on the brand.


Whether it is a DEI initiative, improving the Recruitment Experience or even a celebration targeted toward key employee groups - the branding guideline is the glue that holds everything together.


Brand guidelines provide continuity in working.

Brand guidelines help set the path for seamless adoption of projects irrespective of the people running them - both from the Agency and Client side.


Since the creative framework is already in place, it is just a question of ‘plugging in’ and aligning the content with the brand guidelines.


This is very important in the post-Covid world where people and their loved ones suddenly fall ill and are rendered out of circulation for extended periods.


Conclusion

Brand guidelines can be a powerful ally if understood and adopted well. Many companies we have worked with have appreciated our alignment with their branding guidelines. This has been evidenced by them sometimes even letting us push the envelope on their brand guidelines because they know the guidelines are in safe hands.


Talk to us

If you’re looking to create branding guidelines for your company or are looking for an agency that can work along with your brand guidelines, look no further!


Give us a call at 9845450877 or write to vinay.kalliat@qonfidi.com

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