Facebook recently revealed a new corporate identity to differentiate the main company, from it’s app. It was created to bring in line other apps that Facebook owns such as Instagram and Whatsapp with the brand and make it clear on Facebook’s involvement. Although the logo itself has been met with some ridicule due to it’s seeming lack of originality, it is clean, clear and easy to read which means it is effective in it’s aim to create ‘A new system designed for clarity’. There is also no doubt that it is the Facebook brand so all in all aspects other than pleasing the eye; it works.
But why when looking at this image, aside from the name, do we have no doubt that it belongs to the ‘Facebook’ and not someone else? That is because, in producing this new logo, the designers have followed Facebook’s branding guidelines.
What are branding guidelines?
Branding guidelines are a set of rules that not only dictate how a brand should look across products and mediums but also the brand promise, tone of voice and personality and they are important to business for a number of reasons.
Firstly, when followed, they create consistency within a brand in not just one but two aspects.
They create visual consistency which helps a brand to stick in the consumer’s mind more easily than a brand that regularly changes how it looks. Memorability is an important factor in competition as consumers are more likely to repeat business with or refer to others the brands they can remember. This is why guidelines will give specific colours, typography, styles of photography and more with how and when they should be used.
Guidelines also create consistency is a brand’s ethos by clearly outlining the brand’s promise to be projected or expressed through every piece of copy and design. This is crucial especially for small businesses as when a brand is consistent in this it builds trust with the consumer as they know that the brand will meet the promise it makes.
Secondly, having or not having branding guidelines can also have a significant impact on the running of a business. Why is this? Because when a business has solid branding guidelines they have considerably more choice in the designers, writers, videographers and agencies they work with. As branding guidelines demonstrate the look and feel of a brand as long as they are followed, no matter who creates the work, it will feel like it belongs to the brand. This allows a business to shop around for creative work without fear of the brand being compromised.
So how can businesses go about creating branding guidelines?
Basic guidelines are not complicated and can be created by business owners by simply choosing brand colours, typefaces and so on. However, we would always recommend commissioning a professional such as a graphic designer or creative agency for the best results as they can recommend colours to work together, typefaces not to use and what really works for a specific brand.