You might have a brand board, but do you have brand guidelines? You might want to have brand guidelines on your radar this year. Let’s talk about why!

Episode Highlights

  • What are brand guidelines?
  • Why are brand guidelines important?
  • What makes up a brand guideline?
  • Should your business use brand guidelines or a brand board?



Kirsten 0:04

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hey there, and welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast. This one is a topic that I have not yet talked about on the creative teacher podcast. But it is something I have talked about extensively on my private podcast in the creative teacher lab. So if you happen to have the creative teacher lab bundle, this is an episode I've kind of already touched on. So I'm going to kind of do like a little small splash into what brand guidelines are, why they're important, what makes up a brand guideline and like general things that you would add into brand guidelines. And also, if your business should use brand guidelines, or something that's probably more familiar, a brand board. So we're going to talk just a little bit about the pros and cons of using both the brand guidelines and a brand board, and all that fun stuff. So let's go ahead and get started.

So what exactly are brand guidelines? Well, simply put, brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that define how a brand should be represented across a variety of channels, and platforms. They can provide clear instructions on how to use the brand's visual elements, the tone of voice and messaging to maintain consistency, and coherence. Essentially, it's a roadmap for how our brand should be represented, both visually and verbally.

Now, you might be wondering why brand guidelines are so important. Consistency is key when it comes to building a strong brand identity. And by adhering to brand guidelines, businesses can create a cohesive and memorable brand experience for their audience. Consistency can help establish trust and credibility. And it also reinforces that brand recognition over time you want people to be able to see, like some type of element or design from your store be like, Oh, I think it's that I remember that brand. It's so and so's brand. That's kind of what you want to evoke from your ideal audience. It also helps differentiate your brand from competitors. It's just really, really detailed way to make sure those guidelines are establishing trust and credibility with your customers and kind of like sets you apart from potentially competitors in your niche.

So let's talk about what could be included in brand guidelines. There's a lot of different things that could be included. But I'm just going to talk just briefly about some of the things that you could have in a brand guideline document. This document I recommend, of course, to be online digital, maybe in Canva, or in PowerPoint, or Google Docs, something where you can easily insert pictures to show the right visuals and aesthetic logo usage is important. These are all of the specifications for logo variations and sizing and spacing. And how much you know spacing should be around in that logo, what colors should be included with that logo, what colors should not be used and all that good stuff. Color Palette is also important. This is like all of the primary and secondary colors, all of the hex codes for digital. And also really like which colors are utilized for which platforms maybe you have certain colors on one platform versus another platform TPT store, you use these certain colors, and then maybe your website, you use maybe those same colors, but maybe additional colors just to kind of make the website more user friendly, depending on what you have. So there's a lot of different ways you can go about color palette, but definitely make sure you're listing all of them depending on where they're at typography. So thinking about guidelines for font family sizes, sizes for websites, maybe like what body font size are you using on your website? what fonts are you using on your TPT resources? It might vary. I know personally in my TPT store, what fonts I use in my resources will vary for what I use on my website. So that's something that's really great to put on. All in that brand guidelines template that you might have, and also just how the typography is used in different contexts. Imagery style is another one, the guidance on the types of images or illustrations that aligned with your brand aesthetic. So what types of photos maybe not the, you know, of course, you're not asking them like, Okay, we need to use these exact same photos, you might have a style. And just having that in your brand guidelines, it's important to have, or even if you have, you know, the license to use a certain authors, clipart, or stock photos and like, those are the only kinds you can use for your resources or website or whatever it might be. Then make sure you list that in the brand guidelines. Also tone of voice describe your brand's personality, and also your guidelines for how you communicate what your tone is, in your emails or in your social media. Do you use emojis? Or are emojis and oh, no, whatever it might be, make sure you list that there as well. Another part that might be in a brand guideline would be brand assets. So any additional elements such as patterns, or icons, or textures specific to your brand, whatever visually might be needed on your website or background in your website, you want to make sure you make it known in your brand guideline. So as you can see brand guidelines are very much it's much more detailed than what you would see on a typical brand board. Typical brand boards are usually one pagers, brand guidelines can be like pages of things. So it could be a whole slideshow in itself if you want it to be.

Now let's talk about whether you should utilize a brand guidelines or a brand board or maybe a little bit of both. If you can probably guess where I'm going, I think you should use a little bit of both, I think you should make sure you have both just on hand, it's always beneficial. One of the main differences is that, you know, it has similar purposes, we know that one can be more comprehensive and detailed, that would be the brand guidelines, they're typically covering a wider range of elements, and also providing more specific and explicit instructions. And then on the other hand brand boards, it's more of a condensed visual representation of the brand. This is like a quick reference, and could be a starting point for design project. So maybe you have somebody working with you. And they see that brand board and like okay, I get it, got it, we're good. That kind of thing. If you're, you know, have a VA working on us, you know, one quick resource or something like that. But if you have something like a bigger project that requires more detail and attention, then the brand guidelines can be really helpful as well. So I think there's a place for both in your business. But overall, I do think brand guidelines are important for maintaining consistency and coherence in your brand identity. It provides a framework for how your brand should be presented across all channels. And it also helps to build trust and recognition with your audience.

So if you have not already, it's time to establish clear brand guidelines for your business. So hopefully you're thinking about that. Coming into the next quarter. We're in q2 right now. And it's almost may hard to believe it is something to think about and it could be really beneficial to your business. If you don't have it already. I recommend taking a good look at it. Alright, that is the end of this episode. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.