know that we have a number of students who are beginning to think about their business and whilst many of you may jump first to thinking about your details like; business name, colours, fonts, logo and how the business cards will look, I want to encourage you to put those things to side and first consider the thing that will inform all of those decision, your brand.
Back in 2014 the Academy went through a major re-brand, of all of its campues. It was an exciting, yet challenging process. With so many of our students about to embark on their own branding journey and some of our Graduates, now at the stage where it might be time to think about re-branding their business, I thought it was timely to revisit a post written by our CEO, Kylie Carlson, explaining just what the term, Brand Identity means. A lot of what we worked through with a brand specialist, you can actually do yourself and the process Kylie describes below is a great place to start. I also highly recommend a visit to the How to Style Your Brand blog and you may even want to purchase the book published by the same author of the blog.
Now, over to Kylie for more on just what a Brand Identity is.
Hands up who knows what a brand identity is? Hmm…I thought as much. Don’t worry you aren’t alone. In the wedding industry many people glaze over at the mention of branding and then hurriedly mumble something about already having a logo. As we’ve mentioned about a hundred times on the blog this month we are going through our own re-brand at the moment, and thought it would be good to share the process with you as branding is such a hot topic in the world of business, especially small businesses.
So a brand identity is more than just your logo. Whilst it does include your logo it also includes many other things such as your fonts, colours, images, graphics, patterns and anything else that defines the look and feel of your company. Below you will see part of our brand identity that has been designed for the Academy, remember though that we went through quite a process with our brand consultant to get to this point.
As you can see above we’ve created our logo and the variations on our logo that we can use in different formats. We’ve also got patterns that will feature throughout the design of things like our business cards, blog, website etc. It is these things that will need to be consistent through every piece of our marketing to put forward a cohesive image.
Next we move onto our fonts. Again it is about consistency of your brand. The last thing you want is to have one set of fonts you use on your website, another set on your blog, something different again on business cards etc. It just doesn’t look good and again doesn’t give you the cohesiveness you’re looking for. Work with a designer to develop a set of fonts that work with your brand. It may be that your online fonts are a little more general and your offline fonts, used in printing and signage, are more customised and elaborate.
There also needs to be a consistency with your colour. If you work with a brand consultant they will provide you with Brand Guidelines, which you can send to anyone who might be designing adverts, leaflets or promotional material for you. They will need to know the exact colour of your brand to ensure they get it right. As you will see below the page taken from our Brand Guidelines shows the exact colours used for all of our campuses ensuring that again everything is completely cohesive and consistent.
Now for a checklist of what you should have in your Brand Guidelines:
- Logo – there are a few versions of your logo you need to make sure you receive. Firstly you want a high resolution version to use for printing. EPS files are among the most versatile and widely used vector format for logos, primarily because they can be resized without compromising image quality. It is always advisable to multiple versions of your logo for different treatments.
- Fonts – your Brand Guideline must specify fonts to be used in branded communications, including typeface size. It should include header font, body copy font, secondary body font, any accent fonts and also web or device fonts.
- Colours – you will need the specific Pantone (PMS) colours of the brand colour palette
- Patterns & Graphics – you will require the art files for any of the patterns or images that have been developed as part of your brand identity and they should be included in the Brand Guidelines.
- Legibility & Usage – there should also be a section outlining how the logo should be used in different situations including print, website and anywhere such as social media where it will need to be substantially smaller than it has been designed to be
Finally make sure you store copies of your Brand Guidelines somewhere safe in case or emergency, accident or computer malfunction. It is always a good idea to have a copy in several places like Dropbox and Google Docs.
I hope this helps you to understand a little of what goes into creating a brand identity for your wedding business and we look forward to sharing our new website with you soon featuring our brand new logo, fonts, colours, patterns and much more.