Today, I’m sharing about how I recently used a brand style guide while creating an email graphic for a client, and how creating your own guide can be an asset to your business.
As I’m writing this post, most of US is under stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus. It’s definitely been a weird couple of weeks as we adjust to this new normal. I hope you’re staying safe and well!
I am an alumna of Campbell University (Go Camels!) The Campbell Alumni Association contacted me in need of a graphic to include in birthday emails that are sent to alumni.
As a former Campbell student, I am pretty familiar with their brand. They are known for their orange and black color scheme, and have recently rebranded using contemporary fonts. Even though I am familiar with the university, being able to review Campbell’s brand style guide helped me to be more precise with the fonts, colors, and logo style that I used in the designs.
A brand style guide typically covers the visual aspects of a brand, like the fonts and colors they use, as well as how they do (and don’t!) want their logo displayed. It can also cover topics such as brand voice and brand character. Here are a few examples from Campbell’s guide to give you an idea of what a brand style guide looks like:
Now, let’s take a look at how I applied the information from their guide to create an on-brand birthday graphic.
Below are the two graphics that I created for the Campbell Alumni birthday emails.
You’ll notice that the colors and fonts are exact matches to those listed in their guide. Both photos have the same “feel” as the photos used on their website. The on-brand message “Happy Birthday from your Campbell Alumni family,” will resonate with their target audience, as Campbell is known for being a close-knit community that feels like family.
As a small business owner, you should have a brand style guide to help you, your team, and any outside designers that you might work with stay true to your brand. Consistent branding is a key part of having professional, powerful, and clear communication with your audience.
Developing a brand style guide might seem overwhelming at first. I recommend starting simple and building upon your guide as your business grows and your brand matures.
Start your brand guide by including the information above, and soon you’ll be on your way to better understanding and applying your branding!
I know that branding is a topic that can feel hard to grasp, so I want to leave you with a bit of encouragement:
When you are starting out, you might not have the budget to hire a professional designer to do all of your branding, create every single social media graphic, or make a last-minute flyer.
However, I don’t want this to stop you from moving forward with your business. Remember that showing up as you are is better than not showing up at all. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?!
Also, if you or your team are struggling to design your business’ social media graphics, take a look at my tutorial 8 Tips for Creating Social Media Graphics Using Canva. It’s a great place to start if you want to learn how to easily create graphics that look professional.
You can do this! I’ll be over here, cheering you on.
And when you’re ready to invest in professional design, take a look at my Brand + Showit Web Design services. I’ll help you take your brand to the next level. You’ll walk away feeling confident in your branding and empowered to apply it in your business. (I’ll even create a brand style guide for you!)