I am looking for some input/advice on building Branding Standards and Guidelines. I’m currently putting together new branding guidelines for my company. I know a strong brand relies on consistency of branded elements—ie. colors, typography, photography, voice, etc. I understand that the further you stray from the guidelines, the more fragmented and diluted your brand image becomes, so I don’t want to do that. But since I’m building new guidelines for the company (it’s been way overdue), I feel like I have an opportunity to have a sort of fresh start. So my questions are—
When is it appropriate to stray from branded colors or fonts? Is it ever appropriate to stray from brand guidelines to use special colors and fonts for:
- Themed pieces, ie. seasonal ads,
- Designs inspired by historical art/design (like Art Deco, dadaism, etc.)
- Special advertising pieces, like a quarterly print publication, infographics
Since I’m building these new guidelines, should I just build these exceptions into the guidelines and define them?
Also, is it common to have different standards for print and digital? For example, all primary fonts and colors will always be consistent throughout, but maybe print guidelines may have a few extra secondary colors or fonts for flexibility in its wide variety of print assets.
There’s a lot of information about how to build branding guidelines and standards, but I haven’t found much information that talks about when to break these rules.
I see so many amazing graphic designers making incredible art and there are all of these wild design trends and techniques being used—so how do you apply some of these things while keeping on-brand?
Any resources, links, or advice is greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time and knowledge!