Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials | Building A Photography Brand Made Easy – 6 Expert Tips For Creating Your Own Brand Bible
Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials | In a recent post we did on branding, we talked about the importance of consistency when trying to build a solid brand, and we mentioned branding guidelines as the ideal tool to ensure consistency throughout your materials, both online and off. This document will establish the visual identity and personality of your photography business, help you stand out from the crowd of other photographers, and influence the way your potential clients perceive you. Yet, you’d be amazed just how many photographers out there decide to design their marketing collateral without this critical document.
We create branding guidelines for every client we design a logo for, but if you haven’t received the branding guidelines from your designer, or you designed your logo yourself, you can create your own styling guide that will help you quickly build a cohesive and memorable brand. To help you get started, we’re sharing today our favorite tips for creating effective photography brand guidelines. Keep in mind that even though we’re focusing on photography brands here, all these tips can be applied to any sort of a brand, so read on to find out everything you need to know about creating your own brand bible!
No Business Is Too Small For Branding | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
One of the most common excuses business owners use not to tackle branding is that their business is too small to think about branding, which couldn’t be any further from the truth. Branding is just as important for a new photography business as it is for corporate giants such as Nike or Apple, and branding guidelines will definitely save you a lot of headache down the road, especially if you’re in charge of designing everything right now, but decide to hire a professional that’s not too familiar with your brand to design new materials for you later on.
Branding guidelines are just as important even if you don’t plan to outsource the design – they will allow you to quickly create any marketing item that perfectly fits the rest of your branded materials, even if you get caught scrambling last minute before a big marketing campaign. Now that we covered the why, let’s dive right in the how and see what you can do to get the most out of your guidelines.
Prepare Your Logo | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
Once you have the perfect logo, it is important to use it across platforms to boost brand awareness. To get the most out of your new logo, you will need to define how it can be used, covering everything from placement and acceptable alterations, to size and surrounding white space. Remember, your logo is the face of your brand, so it needs to work on any material, in every size, and even when the color is removed, so prepare a few different versions. For example, when we design a logo, we prepare a black version, a white one, and an alternative layout of the logo elements when applicable.
Define Your Colors | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
Color is one of the first things the human eye sees, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the colors you use can make or break your brand, especially if you don’t clearly define your brand’s colors from the get-go. Remember that each color has a different meaning, so you’ll want to do your research to make sure you’re using a color scheme that will help your designs stand out from the crowd, appeal to the right audience, and communicate the intended message. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to include specific colors in your branding guidelines – “dark red” doesn’t mean much when it comes to design; instead, you’ll want to use the exact color codes and formats both for print and Web: CMYK, Pantones (if they exist) and RGB (or HEX).
For The Sake Of Fonts, Pay Attention To Typography! | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
Another important brand element that most photographers completely overlook is typography! We get it, you’re a part of a visual industry, but keep in mind that not only can fonts boost brand exposure when used consistently, but they will also allow you to showcase your creativity and convey the nature of your brand. When it comes to defining the typography you’re going to use for branded materials, the fonts are not the only things you need to choose – you’ll want to pay attention to sizes, line height, spacing before and after, colors, headline versus body font, etc.
Watch Your Language! | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
A critical element of any brand’s personality is its message, and defining the tone of voice used to deliver that message is a great way to keep your brand consistent. This is especially important if different people are in charge of writing the copy, because your brand can start to sound like it has multiple personalities. When creating guidelines for text and tone, think about words you want to be connected to – cool, trustworthy, hip, beautiful, efficient, top-notch. Use those as the outline for your rules.
The Devil Is In The Detail | Branded Marketing Collateral Essentials
And there you have it – we went through the most important elements and aspects of branding you’ll want to pay attention to. However, it’s important you keep in mind that this is by no means a complete list, but merely a starting point. Nother thing worth mentioning is that you should always try to include examples and specifics for each regulation, and keep the guidelines direct, simple, and not too restricting.