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The Voortex Guide to Graphics

 

A critical component to successful engagement through video is an intentional consideration for graphics and design that align with the style and aesthetic of your brand. This guide will inform you about the key aspects of graphics, style, and design to be aware of regarding video.

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Brand Style Guide

 

The primary purpose of a Brand Style Guide is to provide creators with a set of guidelines to use that will ensure consistency for anything that represents the brand visually. In the same way that our DNA serves as the instructions for how our bodies replicate our cells; a Brand Style Guide is a document that identifies all of the elements that comprise your Brand Identity and may even offer insight or reasoning to Style or design decisions.


Anatomy of a Brand Style Guide

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Cover 


The Cover of a Brand style guide summarizes the main elements of your brand.

Logo

 

Colors

 

Typefaces

…and shows off your branding style in a simple, yet striking way.


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 Content


Whether your document is a few pages or a few volumes, it’s always a good idea to include a Contents page as part of your style guide. This helps readers orientate themselves, and transforms the document into a brand manual that readers can use to find guidance on fonts, for example, by simply looking up the relevant page.


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 Ethos


Ethos describes who we are and what we stand for. In marketing, ethos is the connection between a brand and its audience. It succeeds when the perception of what we stand for matches our behavior. A strong ethos is what makes us authentic. The more authentic we appear, the more trusted we are.


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Logos 


A logo is the most instantly recognizable component of your brand identity. It might be type-based (perhaps a signature or simple typeset design), symbolic (just a graphic) or a combination of the two, but you’re definitely going to want to lay down the rules for how your beautiful logo should be used.


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 Typeface


It’s important to define the fonts you’d like to use for branded materials, as well as define rules for how the fonts should be used. Consider including guidance on:

  • The typefaces and weights of each (e.g. Regular, Bold, Light) that make up your typeface portfolio. 

  • Do you have one font for headings, and another for body text? If so, make it clear!

  • Do you have size specs for your text, i.e. this font should never be larger or smaller than…

  • Do you have preferences for typography (e.g. drop caps, paragraph alignment, tracking etc)? Remember, if you don’t say it, no one will know what your ideal brand typography should look like.

  • You might have a typeface that you use exclusively on your logo. Spell it out if you don’t want it to be used anywhere else.


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Color


Color can breathe life into a brand, making it exciting, approachable, luxurious, serious or light-hearted, amongst so many other emotive qualities that we associate with particular colors and color combinations. 

Color can also be sadly and unjustifiably abused. To avoid anyone applying a neon ‘glow’ to your brand typeface or reworking your beloved logo in shades of pastel, devote a page of your style guide to the correct application of color.


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 Usage


No brand exists in a bubble. Successful brand design responds flexibly—most good logos will be just as effective teamed with graphics and/or photography as they would be on their own.

But you do need to specify in your style guide how images should be used alongside other elements of your branding. 

Be sure to think about the following, and provide some images to demonstrate good (and bad) examples:

  • Can your logo and/or brand type be set over the top of graphics or photography? Advising others to avoid setting your logo over busy backgrounds is usually a good standard tip that will apply to any brand design.

  • Do you have graphic elements that can be lifted from your logo design, and can be used in a flexible way across materials?

  • Should the photos and graphics that are chosen to run alongside the logo have particular subjects or emotive qualities?

  • Are there photos and graphics that should be avoided?


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 Examples


You may have included a couple of examples of your brand in action here and there, but it’s also a great idea to devote a page or two of your style guide to showcasing examples of best practice.

These can be real-life examples of posters, exhibition materials, flyers, etc. Or you could include some simple mock-ups of business cards and other items, showing how your brand assets (logos, type, color, etc.) should be positioned and printed.