A guide for working with designers on creating creative without a brand guideline:

Your company’s brand guideline is important for designers and developers to maintain a strong brand identity. A strong brand is essential to communicate to consumers and users to promote brand loyalty and recognition. Often, though, smaller companies and startups need creative work produced by an outside agency before first developing brand guidelines.  

Although it is valuable to have a brand guideline, it is still possible to create brand-cohesive creatives without them. 3Q Digital’s Creative team has worked with numerous clients in this situation and has several pointers to help you produce amazing visuals that resonate with your brand’s existing body of creatives.

An example of an unofficial brand guide created for a client

When designing creative, a designer wants to know several key things about the brand. What are acceptable uses of the logo? What are the company’s fonts or colors? What type of photography or imagery does the brand use? When this information is not located in one convenient place, your website, social media, or any other online presence are great places for us to reference. The goal is to have as much consistency as possible across all platforms. We standardize the look and feel and decide what elements are essential to portraying the brand.

In addition to any existing assets, we’ll examine information such as current and past creatives, and those of competitors. One great resources is Moat.com, which allows us to browse all past ads that have run on GDN (Google Display Network) for any company. Referencing other work can help us to decide if your style is consistently geared towards your target audience and can act as a springboard for future creative work. All these details consolidated into a neatly into a document make up the core of the brand guideline.  

Moat.com shows current and past GDN banner examples.

Need a Brand Guideline?

We can help. As a designer, I frequently assemble unofficial guides when working on projects as a reference tool.  This streamlined document makes it easy to ensure that all visual elements are standardized and that your brand’s digital face has a consistent, cohesive style. 3Q Digital’s Creative team can help you craft an elegant brand guideline that takes the detective-work out of the design process for all your future creatives.  If your brand needs a reboot, we can help revamp the styling and increase its appeal to the modern audience. For more information, please contact us here.

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Amanda Trieu
Amanda was raised in the East Bay, and that's where she currently resides. She studied Graphic Design and Fine Arts at UC Davis. She enjoys sunshine and the outdoors and loves relaxing on the beach, hiking, swimming, camping, and sightseeing.