• Ignition Collective

The importance of brand guidelines

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Since 2008 there has been a huge increase in self-employment. In the rocky economic climate companies were reducing head counts, forcing people to consider setting up new businesses with others or going it alone. I myself was one of those.

With this rapid increase it has never been more important to make sure your brand stands out amongst the many others competing in this expanding trend.

When a client approaches us asking for a brochure, or a website, or business cards, the first thing we’ll ask is “do you have any brand guidelines we can work from?”

More often than not the answer is “No”. Sometimes this can be good as it give us a blank piece of paper to start from and it’s become nice little design project. However a lot of the time there are already half started presentations or websites or brochures with no continuity with collateral already in public circulation.

A key factor in any new or existing business growth is to look professional. If you have multiple employees or locations it’s no good if Bob from the US office is doing his presentations using purple Helvetic Bold, and Sarah from the UK office is using green Times New Roman for hers. As a company - you don’t look like the same company. If this has been going on few a few years or even a few months, the work involved in putting this straight will be huge. That’s why it is imperative that you have corporate guidelines in place from day one.

Your logo will obviously form a key part of your brand guidelines and we’ll go into logo design in another blog….

When coming up with your brand there’s a few key points to consider:

Sit down and work out what type of image do you want to portray?

Is it a fun, quirky type of brand delivering something a bit different or a high-end luxury brand where less is more? Look at potential rivals and see what they have done and whether you could do something differently. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and think about how they might perceive your brand at the first point of contact.

A lot of our work is client presentations for promotional purposes and new business. Sadly many companies will still use Microsoft Powerpoint as their go to presentation software because it’s simple to use - and it shows. Fonts are often different throughout, images misaligned and no consistency from slide to slide. If somebody asks for a presentation template in Powerpoint we will always try and steer them to an alternative option where we can have complete freedom on regulating the design, with versatile layouts and include interactive elements to keep users engaged. That’s not to say never use MS Powerpoint - but it will limit you.

Choosing a colour for your brand isn’t as simple as picking your dogs favourite colour. Colour can be very technical and evoke different emotions or feelings. For instance red not only conjures up power, passion and energy, but also anger, danger and aggression. You’ll need to pick colours that compliment your ethos. A fantastic site for a few pointers on colour selection is iconic fox:


Next is a font. And this can be a minefield. There is a lot to think about when picking what font to use across your business as not all fonts work across all mediums. There are so many fonts to choose form and the right font can really take a piece of work to the next level, however some can make work look really basic and unimaginative.

Take for Eurostile for instance. Looks great within a logo, however it doesn’t translate well when using it in digital applications.

You can try out lots of different fonts and see what they will look like here: https://fonts.google.com

So you’ve picked your colours and font what’s next? Think about what mediums you’ll be using. Is your main focus going to be print, digital or both? We have experience in everything from websites to vehicle liveries so if you ran a cleaning company for example, it’s vital that your visual identity from your website carries through to your printed flyers and business cards, to your staff uniforms and company vehicles.

At Ignition Collective we will work closely with clients to create a strong visual identity and supply you with a comprehensive set of brand guidelines and resources.

Why not get a complimentary brand audit? Contact us and see how you can improve your company presentation.

Why not get a complimentary brand audit? Contact us and see how you can improve your company presentation.