We all hear stories about ‘going the extra mile’ and how important it is to put in a bit of ‘extra effort’. Nowhere is this more true than when working on brand design.

The client has finally got their perfect logo, matched up to a set of painstakingly chosen colours, fonts, straplines, boiler plates and 100 character phrases that are #catchy. All are to be used across offline and online marketing collateral on all channels…but how exactly?

Where are the guidelines?

In a world where irretrievable mistakes can disappear into the ether in the blink of an eye, it’s paramount that brand usage guidelines are made accessible to both internal and external users. All too easily, common errors such as mistaken colour choice and wrongly placed content, can significantly degrade the brand value.

Why does it matter? A company’s public perception (illustrated by the branding) must be treated with the utmost integrity. Getting a colour wrong might only seem small, but it’s generally the start of a massive slippery slope – resulting in the brand being seen as sloppy and uncaring and which can impact on consumer activity. If you don’t care, why should your customers?

So how can brand integrity be preserved? For most companies, issuing a proper set of brand guidelines to staff and suppliers, as a pdf file, should be all that’s needed. They can be a simple or as detailed as is necessary, but most of the time they only need to make clear what the chosen colours/fonts are, what the necessary sizing should be and how and where logos should appear on a variety of backgrounds/page sizes and layouts.

Search engines allow us to simply find images of anything online, including logos. When was the last time you googled a company name to stick their logo in a presentation? LinkedIn now puts company logos next to where you’ve worked on your profile – and not always the right ones!

OK, so a decent of branding guidelines may mount to simply being good housekeeping and it might not be very sexy, but it is a key part of the foundations that should reinforce a company’s name, brand and perception.