When I tell my clients who are looking for logos, that I also do branding books, more often than not the response is “oh.”
My clients don’t really know what it is, or why it’s important so that’s what I’m going to focus on today. so first… let me tell you what a branding book is.
A branding book is literally a library of digital files that accompany a logo. It can include many things from specific fonts, backgrounds, badges, social media banners, advertisements, mailers and all of them are designed to go with your logo and your brand. The book gives you instructions on how, where and when to use the graphics for the best results. Want to see a sample? I’ve got a PDF version of a “short” branding book I made recently for a local ad campaign. It’s limited because, as a short campaign (literally a month) they didn’t necessarily need a complete branding book. There is also an additional branding book for a fictional company, Advise, just to demonstrate a powerful branding book.
Now that you know what a branding book is… here are 5 reasons why I think it’s an essential tool for any business investing in branding.
- A Consistent Identity. No matter what you decide to use the graphics for being consistent in branding is absolutely key. Already established brands will nearly always use the same fonts, the same colors and design policies to establish a visible brand. When you think about Facebook you can easily recall the signature blue color, and the “f,” it’s not only the logo you think about, it’s the identity as a whole. These established companies look to visibly solidify the brand using a variety of design tools. A branding book gives you the ability to do the same thing. Establish and maintain a consistent brand.
- Make Anything. That’s right, with a complete branding book you can make just about anything. Want to make a professional T-shirt for your employees? Need to revamp your business cards? Want to make a new decal for your front door? Well there is no need to hire another designer, no need to start from scratch or to wonder what might look good. The library of designs are a tool for you to use just about anywhere on just about anything. It gives you long-term usability and gives you, as a business owner the freedom of choice.
- A Branding Book Makes it Difficult to Mess Up. I’ve done work for clients who later requested a design for a locally circulated magazine or newsletter ad. Many of them said they tried to do it themselves first, but it wasn’t looking right and they didn’t really know what to do. A branding book makes arranging these things simple and easy. The books give instructions on fonts to use, where to use badges and really makes DIY advertising efficient, fast and still beautiful. These elements are all designed to look great together anywhere and simplify the experience for the business owner. So if you’ve got a new promotion you want to start on Facebook, you can rest easy because you have all the tools in your tool box to make something beautiful that will sell well.
- Your Average Business Owner is Not a Designer. While this may not be true for every business owner, it does apply to many. Your every day business owner needs to focus more on how their business runs than how a business looks through design (leave that to us!). A branding book is a great way to consistently have a professional look without having to pay a designer for every single ad or every single post. We create these branding books to really be a cohesive identity no matter where you decide to use it, it reduces the risk of having images, ads or social media that doesn’t reflect the brand.
- Keep Everyone on the Same Page. As a business grows, as the number of employees increase and responsibilities are delegated you may have many people involved in doing advertising or increasing exposure. Having a single branding book that everyone pulls from keeps that cohesive look alive. More people involved can often mean that a look can get watered down or distorted. These branding books keep everyone on the same page and goes back to reason #1: maintaining the brand identity.
So there you have it. My five reasons why branding books are not just useful but also incredibly necessary in the branding of a business today.