What is a Brand Style Guide?

We’ve all seen it. Someone hands you a business card with a great logo, but when you go to check out their website (or other marketing vehicles) they don’t match the look or quality. Situations like this are why understanding the importance of having a strong, consistent brand identity is essential in today’s marketplace. Making sure that your marketing tools have the same overall look and feel not only reinforces your credibility with your customers, but it also makes you stand out from the crowd. So how do you make sure your brand stays consistent? Well, this is where having a well-crafted Brand Style Guide comes into play.

What Is a Brand Style Guide?
A Brand Style Guide (also commonly referred to as a “brand guidelines,” “brand standards,” or a “brand book”) is essentially a set of rules that explain how your brand works. These guidelines typically include basic information such as:

– An overview of your brand’s history, vision, personality and key values.
– Logo set-up specifications — including tagline usage
– Visual examples of your correct and incorrect logo treatments
– Your chosen color palette
– Your chosen type style(s)
– Business card and letterhead design

If you’re just starting out and you only require a few key marketing tools at this point, focusing on the above areas may be enough. However, to make sure all your bases are covered, you may choose to go with a more detailed Brand Style Guide that also includes:

– Photography style
– Supporting graphic elements
– Design layouts and grids
– Social media profile page applications
– Brochure/flyer layout options
– Website layout
– Signage specifications
– Advertising treatments
– Merchandising applications
– Copywriting style (a.k.a. “tone of voice”)
– Editorial guidelines

These brand rules should be flexible enough for designers to be creative, but rigid enough to keep your brand easily recognizable and stylistically consistent. Occasionally, situations will call for rules to be bent — but never broken. Continuity is key, especially if you need the brand to extend across multiple media platforms.

When Should You Have a Brand Book Developed?
Ideally, your brand style guide should be developed by an experienced graphic designer or marketing agency at the same time your logo is being designed. This will help to ensure that all of your promotional channels are aligned — no matter who develops them for you in the future. Even if you’ve already had a logo designed, you can still hire a designer (preferably the same one who created your logo) to develop a Brand Style Guide that flows well with your existing logo.

Your finished Brand Style Guide should be a user-friendly PDF document that can be conveniently provided to any contact that needs to better understand your brand. Some businesses also include their brand guidelines on their website or via an online link that is only accessible to those designated to view them.

How to Use a Brand Style Guide
When promoting your brand you often need to hire third parties (i.e, advertisers, designers, photographers, printers, etc.) to help convey your company’s image, message and services/products. But there’s a strong chance that these vendors do not fully understand the brand. By meeting with them to discuss your objectives and supplying them with a copy of your Brand Style Guide, they will be better prepared to create tools that work as a cohesive unit.

Here’s a reminder of what often happens when you DON’T provide your vendors with your brand guidelines:
– Inappropriate use of your logo and tagline
– Incorrect used of colors, typefaces and design elements
– A lack of cohesion in the handling of the logo and overall design that gives a piece a cheap or confusing appearance
– Inconsistent messaging that result in poor sales

The Bottom Line
It’s important to understand that your logo is NOT your brand, but rather a key component in your overall brand strategy. How that logo is rolled out into each aspect of your business operations is really where the branding magic happens. By developing Brand Book in conjunction with your logo, you can help to ensure that all of your customer touch-points (i.e, brochures, advertising, invoices, Twitter page, etc) are carried out in a high-impact, consistent manner — no matter which designer, agency, photographer, or advertiser you hire to create your materials.

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By guest contributor, Matilda Jackson
http://brandmakernews.com/top-stories/7209/why-your-business-needs-a-brand-book.html

Team work makes the dream work

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Today is a thrilling day. I am so excited to announce that the new Modern Femme Movement website/community is up and running! Katy and Somer have been working tirelessly with the amazing team over at Carii to combine a site where a community can thrive away from social media but still be connected to their tribe. The site was built by the incredible Tracey French of Indalia Design. She’s done a bang up job combining the branding with her skills to bring to life this part of the Modern Femme Project.

Over the past seven months I’ve been working closely with Modern Femme to refresh their brand and help take it to the next level. It’s been a fun run of brand marks, media kits, sponsorship guides, brand style guides, buttons, icons and everything in between. Growing their brand and watching them thrive has been nothing short of a joy.

However it isn’t about me. I love seeing a brand being used and loved as much as I pour into it, but this has been a HUGE team effort. The collaboration of the tribe is what has made this successful. When you get to collaborate on this scale you don’t often see all the bits and pieces as they’re created as a final cohesive piece. So for me today feels like the birth day of a vision, that is seven months in the making for me but a couple of years for the co-creators.

I’m really proud to have been part of their movement to date and I’m really excited to see where it’s going to in the future. You both mean the world to me and I still have ‘pinch me’ moments when I think about what you saw that I didn’t and encouraged me along.

I can’t wait to join you both in May and celebrate our year together

Congratulations ladies!!!

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Check out these cute buttons!

 

Vision Boards with Kathy Eckhardt

I spent my Saturday taking part in Kathy Eckhardts vision board play shop here in Virginia Beach. I found a lot of interesting things about myself that in the spirit of transparency I feel I want to share.

So here goes… What’s strange with this board is it feels so familiar. It just evolved so easily and didn’t come from writing down any goals on the papers we were given. In fact that’s something I struggled greatly with on the day and everyday life. It’s something I’d love to crack open and see what potential and dreams could look like but the fact these images fell out of magazines I was looking at so effortlessly and easily, blew my mind a little.

The board below is a big fat crazy dream I’ve had for many years and having gone into the playshop with no pre-thought of ideas of what id create made it even more surreal.

The workshop was very impactful. I loved hearing Kathys stories and creating was complete therapy for me. It always has been. On the drive home with my friend Gale, I shared a story from my past and we have decided that ‘therapy time’ in my week will from here on in be called “Roxy time”. Roxy was a lady who worked with my dad many many years ago and lived near our home. She allowed me from an early age to go around anytime I wanted and just be. We crafted a lot. We made bears, jewelry boxes, painted, drew and talked. Dad at one point tried to stop me as I would be seen as a pest and Roxy said to him, don’t stop her coming- do you realise this is an outlet for her? I did end up going far less than I used to but it continued into much of my teenage years.

My grade one teacher, Mrs Young was one of my earliest memories of being impacted by art. She taught much of our first grade using art as the medium. So learning fractions we made pottery penguins, for spoons cups and measuring we baked bread. I still remember those lessons SO clearly. I’m not sure that educators these days really truly realise the impact their lessons can have on those they teach.

So in all I do now, I thank women like them for shaping and encouraging my creative side when others couldn’t see it or discouraged it. I will caviat here and say not all my creative classes were positive ones. I had a number tell me I was terrible and should be taking art. I had one ruin my major assessment and then try to blame me. I had design tutors think that stripping away their students confidence and shattering their ideals was the best way to ‘create’ and that industry demanded that. For me it made me see that again I was being shown what my path wouldn’t look like.

So for me, this board is a completion of that circle of learning. In my eyes this place will be a  retreat and family home for us to grow, create and inspire others in their own art forms. A place to grow the light bringers, world changers and love creators. A place where kids can come and share in playshop, adults can come retreat and paint, draw, sew or write. It will be away from the noise and hustle of town and exchanged for the deafening noise of the bush life. It will be light, airy and near a river/waterway.

Peace is not hard to restore, it’s sometimes just hard to allow into our lives. To quiet our brains and relax is considered a luxury which is not allowed for so many.

So whilst I spend some “Roxy time” this week creating for myself, let me know how you speak yours! I’d love to hear what your therapy time looks like.

The Perfection of Imperfection

After branding Megan Hall Motivation late last year, it solidified many things for us. Our undeniable friendship, business ventures, love of wine but most of all our love to talk.
Megan came to me early in December and put to me a proposal to create a Podcast with her where we talk about topics and share personal stories close to us that inspire us to do and be better. We wanted to find women of inspiration whom we could also interview to share their journeys also.

Fast forward to January 1st and our first podcast was launched on The Inspired Women Podcast. Before the week was up we were also being cast on iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud and a few other platforms. This blew us both away.
After listening back to the first episode I had a major panic of uncertainty and messaged Megs in a panic. “I can’t do this, you sound so professional and I don’t and you don’t want me part of the show”
In typical “Jules freaking out and Megan comes to save the day” she told me to calm down and relax. She had already been sent feedback about our first episode and it was ALL positive. Wait… What? Someone listened? Insert continued mix of above freak out mixed with excitement.
Fast forward three weeks and we now have heard My story, Megan’s Story and on Monday will launch my incredible friend and life coach, Amy Latta. Her story is about being Brave, Silly and Worthy. Three words that are so lost as we grow and are crucial to the whimsy and joys of life.

We then get a glimpse into the incredible work of Rockstars and Royalty in Australia and how Vicky is pivoting and growing her brand into an international powerhouse. She’s creating from a space of truth like no other designer. Her story is also incredibly inspiring!

Today after casting with Katy Blevins Calabrese, Co-founder of Modern Femme, there were words spoken that have echoed with me all day…
“Nothing will ever be perfect, it’s finding joy in the imperfections”
You’ll have to wait to hear her and her story but it was electric for me to be part of her interview and witness her truthfully speak about her journey to date.

The beauty of what I get to be part of, is that I hear and see myself in SO many of these incredible stories and learn from each of our guests. I get to hear my inner critic come knocking and I can now tell them to go away; for today, and tomorrow, all the way to never coming back again.

The confidence it’s creating in me means that I’m also shifting and pivoting. As you’ve seen from my last few blogs, I am now branding internationally from start up business through to globally expanding companies. It is something I take great pride in being part of and I have realized my service within creating truly sets me on fire. I still create Fine Art pieces as my outlet but my awesome clients are keeping me busy!

What does this mean growing forwards? It means learning to be ok with Imperfect Perfection. It means the washing may not get done every day- but most days, It means juggling non work life and life, being present for my family and showing up as my BEST self. It means planning, scheduling and learning about things I haven’
t always been comfortable doing. It means imperfect progress and being ok with failing forwards.

It means getting over myself and pursuing what makes ME happy and listening to my intuition. It means finally feeling like I can provide again and not self sabotage what I build and create. It’s stepping into my potential and enjoying the ride!

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Authentic imagery in your brand

I know I’ve been writing a little lately about capturing an authentic brand for your business, or yourself in life. Your brand is WHO you are not what you are. That does help to know your what and why but the WHO is often the part that eludes us the most.

Megan Hall Motivation and I have been working together a lot recently to authentically brand her thriving business and getting to the WHO of what she does. It has been a journey for the both of us. Even though shes a kick arse motivational mindset coach and entrepreneur, I still managed to make her stop and think whilst we were developing  her branding style guide. These guides need to speak to many different vendors who you work with in corporate life and for them to be able to truly ‘get’ your business and who you are.

Megan is my butterfly of life. She exudes bright, shiny happy light and an energy that is infectious. When I first met her I remember thinking, she’s my person. We WILL be friends. The second time we met I was able to talk to her much more and we hit it off. Now it feels like our friendship is centuries old and that we were never not friends. I love having those people in my life and I’m realising quickly that they are few and far between. However when I find them I keep them with all I have. They help ME to grow and help me realise that it’s safe to be me around them.

So this morning, after two reorganizations of our session due to sickness and hurricane Hermine, we met at 7am. I wanted her to feel safe, enabled to be herself, and to have fun and ignore the camera. In order to do this I need to be a clean slate and create a very open environment to ask questions from a place of no intention. To reflect back and feel how my client is in that moment.

I had my mentee and new addition to JCC (more to come soon!) Jossan Urban on location to enjoy and see how my shoots run. They are filled with love, laughter and a LOT of talking. It is a conversation between two or more people, via some glass (the camera).
Today is the first time I have welcomed my ‘client’ and anyone else back into my work space to look over the images as they are and talk about them all. Say ‘yes or no’ before my own personal cull. I am teaching Joss my version of how I work and want her to see how fun and enjoyable culling of images can be. Especially seeing real time expression while we shoot through to it being captured in a file on my screen.

I can’t show you all the images, but we certainly have a few silly out takes I would love to show you. There will be many many more to come, but for now I will share my favourite image from this morning of Megan in her genuine, smiley, authentic self… No cheese here!
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And a couple of fun outtakes- which always happen :p

Megan, you have HUGE things ahead of you. You have an incredible team around you who are here to lift you up and support you, every step of the way. I love the way you love everyone around you, your heart and compassion. I respect that you don’t take rubbish from ANYONE and I strive to grow to be that way too. To my phenomenal friend, you ARE enough and I will find you every life, especially if it means we get to laugh as hard as we do. Here’s to a huge future, love, laughter and hilarity ahead.
Always be you.

Love Jules xxx

Re-Certifying my love of Photography

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Dear Jesh De Rox, (Creator of Moment Design, gentle soul and awesome mentor)
I write to you today to thank you. Thank you for stepping out far beyond the ‘conventional’ to create, inspire and empower those around you. Thank you for being inquisitive enough to research and search for why your clients rocked some sessions and not others. Thank you for being the first to see a vision and then sharing that vision so the rest of us would be able to share that passion and vision with others. Your education and love is incredible. May you continue to grow and follow your whimsy.

I am re-certifying myself with the updated and new Beloved Movement which is growing into Moment Design. I have been so fortunate in my photography career by being introduced to beloved in its early days so I was able to utilize the skills and grow with them. I was asked to re-certify with Moment Design just after the Modern Femme Conference in May. Me being me, couldn’t wait to sign on so I did.
With the amount of things going on for me at that time, there were many many late nights followed by days jam packed full of kids, planning, creating, painting, educating and household tasks. I think I may have been slightly crazy but I completed everything!
The weeks flew by and it was SO great revisiting so much of what I had learned previously and hearing new content for the first time too.
At the end of the course, we were asked to put into real time use what we had learned to date.

I put out a model call on my business page and had a few game responders. Joss & Tyler were the two who were able to do the ‘pre-work’, be there on the day we planned and were willing to come open and ready to experience something very very new and different.
I gave them their homework and waited for the day.
As it came around to 5pm, our sunny bright and gorgeous day turned into the darkest, rain storm ever. I called Noah and asked him if he had been building an arc lately it was so bad.
We rescheduled (with much apologizing for my homework being eaten by the torrential rain) and we re shot the following Wednesday.
I am SO glad we waited.

Taking a couple through a photographic session like this is physically and emotionally impact-full for all involved. You have to be careful to warm them up, work with them and remain completely open yourself or you can lose every last ounce of work you put into their session up to that point. I felt Tyler blocking me a couple of times but with some gentle encouraging and a whole lot of laughter we progressed.

I had THE hardest time culling their images down after their session. Each one had ‘something’ I wanted to sit and stare at or giggle at, but I know the rules and that can’t happen haha. Moment Design is so fitting for what this is all about. Designing beautiful, authentic, genuine, loving, laughter filled moments with two beautiful souls.

Thank you 1000000000000 times for allowing me into your relationship for an hour and showing me around your love. It is truly an honor and I’m even more grateful for the friendship and love you share with our family.
Here’s to many more shoots together and far more glasses of red afterwards!

 

Ghosts of War

I woke this morning to a Facebook FILLED with death, shootings, war, violence and saddness. It got me thinking. If this cycle continues without people standing strong, united as one, it will never change. Change is hard, undoubtedly but in this instance doing nothing is far worse for everyone involved. For us as a race.

People are people where I’m from. Race, religion and labels don’t matter so much. If this world continues down the path of fueled fear, our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children will soon be ghosts of time and circumstance. How many people are we willing to lose before we truly get it? How many black armbands, graves dug, hospitalizations from wounds do we need before we wake up and take some positive action?

This subject is truly taboo and I know how sensitive it is right now. Our leaders aren’t calling for love, peace or helping us see that we are all human and deserve the right to be treated equally. No. Worldwide there is a fear campaign in place to hate your neighbour- fear someone who doesn’t look like the person in the mirror. I am making an effort to smile at strangers, create conversations with people I have yet to meet and NOT post the negative that is all over our social media pages.
As an artist I feel that I CAN make a difference. I can use my art to shake, stimulate and start the train of thought. Why can we not be positive, why can we not induce the changes we wish to see?

This image was created today after a long consideration on what I had witnessed today onilne. It’s called “Ghosts of War”
You can’t see them but there are 9 ghosts in this image, two ruined buildings, a dragonfly (which I promise you wont see him) and a helicopter. “Ghosts of War” was created today and I think it had a great deal to do with my Facebook feed. I tend to absorb life and what’s going on and this was on everyone’s lips today. We are fighting wars with each other, with strangers and all fueled by fear.

I know I choose peace every time.

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