Branding is one of the most important factors for a business’ marketing and the key to a business’ success. The success is mainly a result of clear communication between clients and the designer. Apart from branding, a branding kit is the next important factor that helps you craft an identity.
Whether you’re part of a large or small organization, brand kits are essential assets that you should have at the ready. That’s where this guide comes in. In this article, we’ll unpack what a brand kit is, how it is different from brand guidelines, and why it’s so important to your company?
Let’s start with the basics!
What Is A Brand Kit?
A brand kit is a resource containing the rules of your brand and how people should apply it holistically to maintain brand consistency. It includes critical visual assets and information, such as where to find logos, how to use them, approved colour palettes, typography styles, and other visual attributes. It helps your employees, branding agencies, stakeholders and company express what it is. Your brand can describe everything about your products or services.
For an agency or designer, a brand kit can prove to be a lifesaver as it helps the client to understand what kind of journey they are undertaking. They can relate the design to the brand vision and goals in a clear, simple, straightforward way. In short, a brand kit allows the client to see design concepts in a way that they can instantly understand and visualize.
What’s The Difference Between Brand Guidelines And A Brand Kit?
While bothbrand guidelines and a brand identity kit fundamentally believe in upholding consistency in design and voice, they aren’t the same. While a brand kit speaks more to the visual elements of the brand, brand guidelines comprise a set of standards, instructions, and details that explain how the brand should communicate –– in written, visual, or audio mediums.
Why Should You Invest In A Brand Kit?
Now, when the basics are clear, the next big question is why should you invest in a brand kit? The answer is simple- consistency creates identity. With freelancers, branding agencies, internal teams, and many others using your brand in communications and content, it’s easy for inconsistencies and misuse to arise. A brand identity kit can help these disparate groups and individuals with the tools and information they need to uphold your brand consistently.
Here are some more reasons that highlight the importance of having a brand kit.
With numerous promotional & branding materials going out weekly, it helps your team create a standard and people can easily recognize your brand which further helps them feel at ease in purchasing your products or services.
Helps You Stand Out From The Competition
When the world is overflowing with information and overcrowding with brands, how much do you stand out from the crowd? Whatever the competition is, an effective branding kit increases your brand image and makes your business stand out.
Improves Your Communication
Marketing is an important factor for every business. The key to understanding and communicating your brand identity to those who matter most is a brand kit. Wrapped in a neat little package, the kit can be sent to external stakeholders, internal teams, and advocate partners.
Helps You Win New Business
The branding kit presents a perfect opportunity for you to stand apart from the crowd and win new business. People always love to tell about the brands they love. So an effective branding kit for your business can provide motivation, direction for your staff and generate footfall or sales.
- Branding Kit Is An ‘Identity Kit’
Large or small, a brand kit is useful within the organization as it reflects company identity. For one, as your business grows, you want to make sure your brand image and message don’t become diluted or misrepresented. A brand kit creates a consistent, memorable brand identity.
What To Include In A Brand Kit?
“Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration” – Jeffrey Zeldman
Every brand begins with a vision. And every vision is to be encapsulated in a logo. This is not a small task. This is where the designer needs to listen to the client and ask valuable questions like what is the vision of the company? Who is the audience? Is there any inspiration, vision, or story that has influenced the evolution of the idea? This is the part where all of the ingredients are thrown together and experimentation begins.
As a company, while developing your story in form of a brand kit include technical details like all logo and wordmark variations like vertical, horizontal, and tagline versions. Protect against incorrect colours, pixelation, and modifications by detailing use cases and instructions so that there is no room for interpretation.
“A colour is as strong as the impression it creates” — Ivan Albright
While the logo becomes the symbol for the brand, the colour works as an unspoken backdrop on which brand image is built. Clients and designers at times can easily fall into the trap of randomly picking their favourite hues unaware that Psychologists have repeatedly demonstrated that colour influences mood, so tethering the palette to the personality of the brand is crucial.
In a brand kit rather than mentioning common words like ‘red’ and ‘ sky blue’, assign a CMYK, RGB, and PMS color code. As such, your brand identity kit must include your brand’s color identifiers. Take care to include your brand’s primary colours, as well as the secondary and tertiary colours that support and complement your main colour palette. Lastly, be specific and provide directions on when it’s appropriate to use colours, and combinations from the palettes.
A harmonious palette allows the client to experience their brand through the eyes of the audience.
“Typography is two-dimensional architecture, based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability.” – Hermann Zapf
The beauty of a typeface lies in its utility; prettiness without readability serves no one. The fonts and its thickness, curves, and size should communicate your brand, a contribution to its identity — the people, products, and culture that it embodies.
For a brand kit, think through all cases and scenarios to provide type treatment guidelines around size, hierarchy, and font-weight. For instance, in the case of blogs as a category, specify approved font sizes for blog headlines versus sub-headline and body copy.
It is crucial to have strict typography rules for advertisements and sales collateral. Striking a balance between the creatives and marketers is the key. As a brand you allow creative freedom to push the envelope but control the critical elements that can directly affect the identity.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
Just as your brand has unique character traits, it also has a look, feel, and visual identity that plays a role in the recognition and perception of your brand. Brand Starter Kit is the road map opportunity to show the client exactly how their solution will lock together and work across various channels. This can be as simple as the basic range of devices.
For larger projects, it can include promotional and merchandise material, as well as any advertisements that are already in the pipeline. The kit helps you put your brand’s visual identity into words. Figuring out what mood, feeling, or emotions should your brand elicit from your audience are some of the core purposes of a Brand Starter kit.
For those who are planning to launch a new startup or rebrand an existing one whether it is a logo redesign, a website redesign, refreshed messaging, or a complete brand makeover, it’s time you get in touch with professional branding agencies like Vowels to make your vision come true. We specialize in brand consultancy, strategy, brand guidelines, CI manual, brand presentation, and corporate branding.