Ever had a look at your instagram, blog, website, whatever and wondered how that got there?
Maybe that thing is way off brand with its not-quite colour palette, stiff stock imagery or maybe it just generally feels wrong.
This inconsistent branding and content creates an uneven personality for your business.
A brand is more than just plonking a logo on something – it’s how customers perceive your identity and reputation across all platforms. Because of this, every piece of your content that makes its way into the world needs to communicate your brand consistently.
However, it’s easy to struggle to control the look, feel and tone of your content. How do you ensure your content remains faithful to your original vision? And how do you ensure it looks distinctively you without sacrificing innovation and fresh ideas?
Well there are a bunch of practical things you can do to safeguard the integrity of your brand’s look and feel when it comes to visually rolling out a variety of content.
Template everything that can be templated
It’s important for your brand to be visually recognised and experienced consistently. You want your content to come together to feel related even as it’s rolled out to different mediums and platforms. One of the easiest ways to do this is to template everything that can be templated.
Now we’re not saying to repeat your great idea until it goes stale – we’re saying get the essentials to behave like they’re related so the innovation and ideas of your content can really shine.
Create templates using your brand typefaces, brand colour palette and, if possible, use a graphic device that is uniquely your brand (more on this below). Be sure to consider all the ways these templates will be used including different dimensions, average copy applied, logo usage/placement and imagery.
Templating is a great chance to ensure your brand is being communicated in a way that customers come to trust and feel familiar with. You are then free to create content that is fresh and unique in its idea and messaging but reinforcing your brand in its structure and essentials.
- Instagram posts
- Website pages
Use a clever and consistent graphic device
Some brands are easier to roll out than others for a variety of reasons and often one of these reasons is often because a brand has a flexible graphic device.
‘What’s a graphic device’ we hear you thinking?
A graphic device is a secondary visual that supports your primary logo and branding particularly in roll out. It can be applied to stings, animations, used as framing devices and just generally assists in creatively rolling out copy and content.
A graphic device can be directly inspired by your logo or image style so long as it doesn’t break any of your current style guide rules and supports the current brand.
Rightmove is a good example of a company taking their logo mark and adapting it into a clean and adaptable graphic device.
My Maths is another great example of a rebrand that emphasised the inclusion of a strong graphic device.
Make a do’s and don’ts document with visual guides
Once you’ve created your templates and considered graphic devices, place the templates alongside any evidence of past design offences (or have fun recreating them). Release your angst by placing big red crosses on those that offend and slap a friendly green tick badge onto the well-executed like so…
These visual guides are for stuff that can’t be templated like photography and whole social feeds – they’re a great way to communicate the look and feel of content which can be the most ambiguous and hard to pin down.
We’ve found these guides are particularly helpful for our clients when they are creating on the fly or working with content creators that don’t have an intimate knowledge of their brand.
- Typeface treatment
- Photography treatment (no glossy stiff stock imagery!)
- White space/ ideal content ratio (avoid clutter!)
- General look and feel
Consistency is key
Consistent design supports your brand’s key messaging and feels familiar for your customers. Inconsistency erodes trust and causes confusion.
By rolling out a beautiful suite of content that is consistent to your brand you’re boosting your brand presence and customer confidence.