Alastair Luke, MCE Public Relations

5 ways to manage your visual brand

Alastair Luke Blog

If your reputation is the sum of everything you and everyone else says about your business, the way your business looks is an important part of maintaining it.
Customer loyalty, public perception and eventually sales will all be influenced by the way you make your brand visible.
A consistent brand shows your customers that you have an eye for detail and can be trusted in whatever it is you do.
Here are five tips to keep your brand looking good.

1. Keep your brand simple and clean

If you’re creating or redeveloping a logo for your business always be sure to consult a professional agency, if indeed you don’t have the expertise in-house. Your brand should represent your work, instantly conveying your values and qualities. A good first step is to take a look at some of the iconic global brands and your competitors to gather your thoughts.

2. Your brand is sacred

Have you ever worked with a business and noticed how fiercely their communication staff guards the integrity of their brand? Most large organisations will have a brand guidelines document which provides instructions on how to use the company logo, and importantly, how not to use it. Insist on final sign-off before anything that includes your logo goes to print or publication. Things to consider are the background behind, the space surrounding and the positioning of your logo in relation to others.

3. Use the ‘High-Res’ version

If you’ve ever zoomed too far into a photograph you’ll see it’s made up of thousands of pixels. When you enlarge a photo these single-colour pixels will get larger and you’ll begin to lose picture quality. Images like this are known as ‘raster’ graphics. If you are supplying a photograph to represent your business be sure to choose the highest quality version available. You’ll notice your image file size may be upwards of a few megabytes in size. Always send a JPG file and avoid embedding your image in a Word document.

4. Use the right format

Your designer should provide you with a few versions of your logo, most likely JPG and EPS versions. An EPS version will require professional software to open (such as Adobe Illustrator). This is the highest quality version to use. EPS files are used for ‘vector’ graphics that can be scaled to any size without losing quality.

5. RGB vs CMYK

If your brand is being created professionally your brand colours and logo should be provided to you in both CMYK and RGB formats. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) are the four colours that make up a standard printing press, while Red, Green and Blue (RGB) are the colours mixed by display screens. Mixing the two up can result in your brand colours being off-hue. If you are supplying your logo to a third party, check the purpose – whether it is for print or screen use – and provide the correct version.
Ensuring your brand is used properly can often get quite technical, especially when you’re working with printers and designers. Always ask questions and if your logo is out of shape, off-colour or too close to the edge of a page speak up and don’t settle for anything less than perfection.
Your brand is a key element to the perception of your business, so manage it carefully and over time you’ll develop a strong visual presence in your industry.

Alastair Luke is client executive in MCE’s corporate PR team and an experienced graphic designer.  Connect with Alastair on Twitter at @al_luke.

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