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Why having a strong brand guideline can help you succeed

Why having a strong brand guideline can help you succeed

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines are essentially a guide on how to use the elements of your brand. It can help designers, printers, writers and anyone who may need to use your brand’s assets to market your business.

A brand encapsulates not just your company’s image but also everything and everyone involved in your company, the values, the way of life and your mission and a strong style guide can go a long way to help to achieve that.

What do brand guidelines entail?

When updating an existing brand identity or having a completely new brand created, it is important for your brand guidelines to be as thorough as possible. Brand guidelines can cover a host of topics, below are some examples that they should cover:

  • The tone of voice – is your brand fun & playful or more corporate in style? Addressing the tone of voice can help ensure that your brand is communicated effectively and in the appropriate voice.
  • The logo uses – this helps to identify how one or all of the elements of a logo can be used, the correct sizes for varying platforms, the minimum height/width and margin spaces around the logo.
  • Prohibited uses of the logo – this is essential to clarifying what shouldn’t be done with your logo. This can entail using incorrect colours (imagine Facebook using red!), the use of effects like drop shadows or distorting the logo’s proportions.
  • Colour palette – an essential part of the guidelines. Specifying the exact colour codes for both print and web uses will help anyone who uses your brand’s assets.
  • Typography – this is as important as the colour palette, typography can set a brand apart from its competition and make it unique. Detailing the fonts used in creating the brand and how they should be used is vital.
  • Photography – do you use photography a lot? Specifying the tone/style of imagery used can also be helpful, especially if you ever need a photographer or finding appropriate stock images.
  • How the brand should be used for print/web – in some cases, some brands have different rules for web & print uses. As mentioned before colours can show differently on screen as opposed to print so defining this can be useful.

Why do you need brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines should be an essential part of any businesses brand identity to help ensure that your company’s image is communicated effectively and in the correct manner.

Leading brands such as Facebook and Twitter have extensive guidelines to help everyone who uses their logo of the appropriate usages. It can benefit you in such cases too as having numerous companies marketing your brand’s assets to ensure that the appropriate image and message of your company remains consistent.

How do I get brand guidelines?

If you ever rebrand your business or have a new brand created from scratch specifying that you would like brand guidelines or a style guide to support your brand identity would be essential for future business. It can help in so many ways such as marketing, printing, social media, building a website the list could go on.

Be aware that without the necessary guidelines it is almost impossible to keep your brand consistent. HeX have recently just rebranded a company’s identity and produced brand guidelines to help ensure their brand remains successful in the future. If you’re in need of a new brand or a refresh we’d love to help! It’s never too late to get them created and by recognising this you are aware of their importance.

Wrote for HeX Productions

How we refreshed Train Effective’s social media presence to optimise engagement

How we refreshed Train Effective’s social media presence to optimise engagement

Social media has become essential to the growth of any business in these digital times. Ranging from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn people and businesses can use it to engage with their client/fan base, to build followers and promote their products and services.

Graphic design has come to play an important role in many brand’s social media presence, I recently worked with the Bundesliga across their digital media graphics. Train Effective is an online football training academy who approached me with the challenge to refresh it’s brand’s image across social media.

The Brief

Their goal was to enhance their visual profile to increase their posts engagements and follower base. With the Effective brand active on all major platforms the template I produced had to be straightforward for their marketing team to update on a daily basis.

The brand has a multitude of daily themes such as #EffectiveTuesday, their daily motivational quotes and vlogs, all of which required refreshing.

The Approach

Assessing Effective’s existing social media graphics I looked at ways to incorporate their brand’s identity into their social feed so it had a distinctive image to their followers. The idea behind this was to enable Effective’s followers to immediately recognise their posts when scrolling through their Instagram and Twitter feeds.

The Outcome

I created a template that incorporated the brand’s primary colour and typeface, giving a consistent look and feel, tying together Train Effective’s brand identity on social media with all their other digital platforms such as their website and YouTube.

The only element, which would require updating every post, was the background image, which is usually of a football player accompanied by a suitable inspirational message.

The motivational quotes were designed to be emotive and inspirational to their target audience thereby increasing post engagement through comments, likes, shares and promoting the Effective brand.

Combining what I love with I do

Combining what I love with I do

Design & sport. Is there a better combination? Not that I can name!

Being obsessed with football from a young age I have always enjoyed watching the game and have been inspired by some of the greats such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi & many more throughout my life. Inspired by such figures, over the years I have experimented combining this obsession with my passion for graphic design. It was an inclination I acted upon a few years ago after seeing the amazing work of Zoran Lucic and his poster series Sucker for Soccer.

Pursuing this, whatever I design is an opportunity for me to practice new skills and tools in Photoshop & Illustrator and develop as a designer whilst having some fun. My first project was called Football Illustrated, which I published on my Behance profile. 

For the following two years I stopped producing these prints as I started my first role as a graphic designer until I was contacted by Patterns of Play who saw my football prints on my Instagram profile and invited me to design a series of posters that were to feature at their exhibition to be held in London called Group Stage in June 2016 to celebrate the forthcoming Euro 2016 finals.

Following this, I continued to promote my work on Instagram and started connecting with other designers/artists who posted their work on the platform. I connected with football-based artists and became inspired by the graphic design/illustration they produced and found that there is an obsessive community that produced the works just like I had, not just for fun but also for famous clubs and players.

At around the same time, I was contacted by the Bundesliga to work with them on a freelance basis. This was a dream opportunity for me and I jumped at the chance of producing football graphics for their social media platforms and digital channels. To see the works I have designed for the Bundesliga see my Behance page.

Motivated by this and hungry for more sports based clientele, I launched my second design brand alongside Matthew King Creative called Ninety Sport Creative. I regularly post my latest football/sport artwork that I have designed for clients and some fun on the Ninety Instragam & Twitter channels.

My aim is to build this brand and work with more footballing/sport clients in the future, alongside my valued existing client base.

New business launch fit for a King

New business launch fit for a King

Hello everyone, my name is Matt, the designer in chief at Matthew King Creative, welcome to my website and first ever blog post! On here you can find details regarding the latest exciting projects I have been working on, the design services I offer and my latest ramblings about design and business.

I have now taken the leap to launch my own freelance graphic design business after attracting global interest in my creative work. This started out as a little venture in my spare time alongside my first design job in February 2016 and has grown quickly! My first client was US-based startup Leveluxe whom I created a brand identity for.

Up to now, I have invested £3,000 into the launch of Matthew King Creative following growing interested in my creative work on social media sites such as Instagram and by networking, both of which helped me to secure over 20 clients in my first 12 months.

After studying graphic design at university, I worked in ticket sales for two years after graduating at Derby County Football Club. I even worked in a creative role at DCFC on a few campaigns, on an internship basis.

I initially found it difficult to get a job in the design industry after graduating as it is a competitive industry. After a tough few years, I got my first full-time role where I developed my skills for two years as a graphic designer. Most recently I have worked for a second Midlands-based creative agency, where I have enhanced my experience and skills while expanding my own freelance business, doing what I love.

I decided to start up my own creative business after becoming a regular reader of the entrepreneurial 1st-Man, which motivated me to be more ambitious with my career prospects. I have since had the pleasure of working with the 1st-Man team and created a new brand identity for them.

Working in a creative role for the last two and a half years has increased my passion for the industry, is an integral part of some great projects, on the back of these I felt inspired to dedicate more of my spare time to my own design ventures.

As a specialist branding, print, and digital design business, my aim for Matthew King Creative is to offer a variety of services in order to create exciting, professional design solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Since focusing on my brand I have had requests for design work from a range of clients – I have recently started working as a freelance graphic designer for DFL Digital a subsidiary of the German football league Bundesliga. I’m positive that this and all my client projects continue to be successful working relationships.

As a young designer, I hope to build upon these past 18 months working independently and bring further value to my clients and grow. I am thankful to have grown up in the Midlands surrounded by a strong creative region.