A Different Take On Consistency
Consistency is imperative in creating a brand that will stick with people. If you're changing up your styles, logos, colors, and design at the drop of a hat, your customers won't know how to recognize you out in the marketplace - no matter how cool your labels and packaging are.
Creating consistency doesn't mean that you use the same picture across every single application though. It's a much more nuanced and dynamic thing than that.
In order to create brand consistency, without becoming dull or watered-down, you first have to establish guidelines.
As your audience grows and you reach out in different ways, you can deviate from these guidelines in specific, well-thought-out ways. This will help you get your point across and keep your audience interested.
To start out though, you have to establish guidelines and maintain consistency across all avenues of your brand. The best place to start is with your packaging because this is where customers will have the most frequent interaction with your branding.
Here's one of my favorite examples of a consistent branding approach. I love this because it shows that consistency is not simply doing the same one or two things over and over, but instead establishing a guided style that governs all of the design choices. Digest the different packaging components in this image. This concept was designed by these students from Sweden, as seen on the packaging website, the dieline.com.
THIS IS WONDERFUL.
Consistency Isn't Duplicating The Exact Same Graphic Over And Over And Over...
If you'll notice in the above example, the exact same combination of typography, background, color scheme isn't repeated over and over again. Instead, there are some base guidelines that the company is following.
Here are a few examples to note:
1. Product Title Font Choice
There are three distinguishing characteristics about the heading guidelines.
- The typography is the same font each time.
- It's always in lower-case type.
- It always has the same amount of clear space.
The headings are not, however, the same size in each application. The guidelines allow for flexibility in the font size, based on the space allowed from the size of the product.
2. Text Alignment
The secondary text is always center aligned. This may seem small, but it creates a very distinctive look for the packaging.
3. Color Scheme & Background Images
This is the most interesting guideline for this design. The color and background choice for the labels allows a wide amount of flexibility, while still maintaining a consistent and branded look. Some of the labels have solid color backgrounds, while others have background images. Each background or background color is unique but is based on a marble theme. The backgrounds all have either the identifiable marble design or shades of cool grays, slates, and other marble earth tones.
By using these three guidelines, the brand is able to create a consistent look across all of its products. At the same time, they don't pigeonhole themselves into using a single combination of font, size, alignment, and background. Instead, they allow their brand to communicate a consistent personality and voice across a variety of different design combinations.
When you begin to design your logo, webpage, marketing materials, or packaging, start with a few base guidelines. Then you can designate different ways that you can surround those base, branded elements with unique, dynamic graphics.
All in all, this will allow your brand to communicate more effectively on the store shelves.
Consistency doesn't mean boring.
Consistency means connecting with your customers in the same voice, message, and personality in many different ways over a period of time.