Brand Style Guide 101: Creating a Guide in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s start with the basics.

What is the difference between a brand style guide and brand guidelines? And why does your business need one?

There are two different guides your company can use depending on the complexity of your brand strategy – a brand style guide and a brand guide. A brand style guide, which I’ll discuss in a minute, is a one-page document that shows a quick overview of your company’s logo, colors, and fonts, as well as their correct usage. Whereas brand guides are more in-depth explanations that include the company’s brand strategy along with a style guide. Often, you’ll see the two guides talked about interchangeably, but either option will help with brand consistency. The complexity of your brand will determine which type of guide is needed.

Now, you might be thinking that you don’t need a style guide, but I can tell you from experience how helpful it can be when working with a designer or agency. Many times, a style guide will suffice for what your business needs, and it’s easy enough to put together on your own.

The Following 5 tips will help create a well-rounded brand style guide for your company or creative team:

 

  1. Brand story – This sets the tone and will include your company’s Vision and/or Mission. Here are some great examples of brand stories from well-known brands.
  2. Company logo(s) – Be sure to include all logo formats, including one that will work on all social channels.
  3. Color palette – This includes colors to be used for print, as well as digital viewing (Pantone, CMYK, and RGB). Want to go more in-depth on the difference between these color types and when to use them? Check out post here.
  4. Typography – Includes a primary font and secondary font that work well together.
  5. Graphic elements – Includes any images or graphics used and shows how they are laid out – especially on different marketing channels.

 

Ready to create your own brand style guide? Download your FREE copy now.

 

Download InDesign template here.

Download Word doc template here.

 

So why does your business need a brand style guide? Two words – brand consistency! You want your audience to recognize your brand no matter where they’re seeing it (i.e., print, social, digital). There’s nothing worse than having inconsistent fonts, colors, or different logo versions. A brand guide is a clear and quick way to help your team stay consistent, and it’s easy to share with outside designers or agencies.

 

 

 

Direct Mail in 2021

What’s in store for your 2021 direct mail marketing strategy?

For many this is the million-dollar question. 2020 was either a great time to go full speed ahead with direct mail with great success, or it was the exact opposite. It all depended on your pitch and your target audience.

As we continue into the unknown, there is one thing that people are missing more than ever –personal communication. Now’s the time to create or maybe recreate a new version of your current strategy as many businesses search for the best way to reach their consumer.

Here are 3 direct mail easy add-ons for 2021. These steps will help to create engagement every time and make the experience more personal.

 

  1. Personalize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it personal. This is key to making your viewer feel important and connected to your message. It’s more important than ever to engage personally with customers. Make each direct mail piece look as though it was designed specifically for that person! Better yet, use your data to provide different offers or images based on the personal relevant information you have for your customers. This is a great way to test offers and designs!

 

  1. Target the Right People

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether your company is B2B or B2C, it’s important to remember that the decision to take action is being made by a singular individual. So, whether you’re targeting households, locations, or businesses with a certain number of employees, determine your ideal persona and your end action goal ahead of time. This will help get you in front of the right audience.

 

  1. QR Code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a custom QR code to your piece. With one scan, you’ll be forwarding recipients to your website, donation page, Google Maps locations, or social media accounts. Plus, in most instances, there’s no need to download an app. Newer devices have a built-in camera that will read the code. This works for both iPhone and Android users.

 

Not sure what type of direct mail route to take?

 

Check out our FREE downloadable Guide to Direct Mail. This guide will help you decide which type of mailing is best for you. You’ll have access to direct mail sizes, the new 2021 postage ranges, and USPS delivery goals.

 

By leveraging these digital, personalized, and targeted enhancements you will be better positioned to make your direct mail more successful in 2021.

FREE 2021 Desktop Wallpaper and Printable Calendars

Cheers to a new year everyone! One of the keys to getting the new year off to a good start is getting organized, right? So we found a way to make it fun! We created a desktop calendar and printable calendar wallpaper for you to download and update monthly! We even have all the designs in letter size in case you’d like to print and laminate them to use at your desk, or just pin on the wall.

We’ve included something for everyone, using a wide color palette and eye-catching scenery. Some of our personal favorites are July and August – the colors are just amazing! Or maybe we just wish we were the ones floating in the tube!

Here’s to a great 2021, filled with all the things that bring you joy!

Click Here for Desktop Wallpaper Calendars. Click Here for Printable 11″ x 8.5″ Calendars

At-a-glance wallpaper designs

Celebrating Women In Print

Today we are celebrating two things — women who print and women in manufacturing! Connecting and empowering women in the print community.

Here at Econoprint we are proud to have many women working to move print forward. As part of our celebration we are excited to share a fun video featuring the women of Econoprint as they give you a little behind-the-scenes look at who they are. Of course, we’re hoping to bring a little fun and laughter to your day, but we really hope to connect and empower all women in the print community as well as anyone thinking about joining a strong team of women already making a difference in the industry.

The women of Econoprint are a dedicated team with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, from both our Madison, WI and Lake Delton, WI offices. They’ve been working in print anywhere from a few years to almost their entire adult lives. Yes, they love print that much! They are incredibly smart, hardworking, and excited to be able to support our female pals at work who contribute daily to the success of Econoprint.

You’ll find women from Preflight, Graphic Design, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Management, Signage, Proofreading, and Production. And what better way to support our women than by showcasing a snippet of who they really are behind the job.

 

Check out the women of Econoprint. These videos will be sure to put a smile on your face!

 

 

 

 

Our female friends and colleagues make us feel powerful because the more we support and amplify women, the more successful we all will be.

#womeninprint #girlswhoprint #womeninmanufacturing

The Difference Between CMYK, RGB, and Pantone for Print

If you have ever done any kind of design work, you’ve most likely used the color profiles CMYK, RGB, and Pantone. But when designing for print, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider, especially when working on a branded project. The design style, paper selection, and product distribution are always top of mind; but you also need to make sure you’re designing in the correct color profile for how the finished product will be printed or viewed. All of these things must be taken into consideration to make sure your color selection is spot on.

So, let’s talk about the difference between CYMK, RGB, and Pantone colors, especially when preparing an artwork file for print.

CMYK, RGB, Pantone … How Do You Know Which One to Use?

 

Download FREE Reference Guide HERE

 

CMYK: Use this build when designing for print and signage.

CMYK uses a series of dots (composed of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create the illusion of different colors. CMYK color builds won’t always be an exact match a Pantone color, but they will create more colorful photos.

CMYK Dot Pattern

CYMK and Patone Swatch Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantone (PMS): Use your PMS color(s) when printing 1 or 2 color, and for consistent logo branding.

When using the Pantone Matching System (PMS), your brand’s PMS color(s) are created using a precise formula, so the color always looks the same.

Pantone 691 Color

Pantone Color Mugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

RGB: Use this color profile when designing something that will be viewed digitally.

**** When designing for print, even though you’re designing on a screen, your color builds should all be in CMYK or Pantone. ***

RGB is the standard color profile used for on-screen design. It combines red, green, and blue light in different combinations to create the colors you see on a screen.

Bicycle image in RGB

How Your Eye Sees RGB on Screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing the difference between CYMK, RGB, and Pantone, and when to use them, will help to keep your branding consistent. Of course, the process used for each project varies, depending on the nature of your print job. Our team is here to help and answer any questions you might have to ensure a successful print project!  info@econoprint.com

 

 

 

Free Social Distancing Graphics and Signage

Now that many in our community are adjusting to the new “normal” and returning back to work, it’s important to communicate how you’d like your employees and customers to practice social distancing with clear and concise messaging.

Our awesome creative designers are here to help! To make this time of transition a little bit easier, they have created floor graphics and signage designs for you to use in your business.


Download your Free Floor Graphics below:


Stand Here – 24″ Circle
Download: Print | Web


Keep 6-Foot Distance in Every Direction – 24″ Circle
Download: Print | Web


Friends Don’t Let Friends Stand Close – 30″x12″
Download: Print | Web


Stand Here – 24″x4″
Download: Print | Web


Download your FREE Graphic Clings below:


Wash Your Hands – 4″ Circle
Download: Print | Web


Wash Your Hands – 4″ Circle
Download: Print | Web


Masks Required Beyond This Point – 8.5″x11″
Download: Print | Web


Open for Delivery & Takeout – 8.5″x11″
Download: Print | Web


Now Open for Delivery & Takeout – 8.5″x11″
Download: Print | Web


Download your FREE Signs below:

Reduce the Spread – 11″x17″
Download: Print | Web 

Contactless Greetings Are Best – 22″x28″
Download: Print |Web


Download your FREE Retractable Banner below:

Welcome – 31″ Retractable Banner Stand
Download: Print | Web


Do you need any of the above signs printed, or maybe a custom design? Please call 608-845-2800 (Verona), 608-254-4202 (Lake Delton) or click here to get a quote. Our team is ready to help!