A photography style guide will make your brand stand out.
It is used as a framework or guide when creating imagery and artwork, ensuring a similar visual aesthetic and style. It’s specific to your brand.
Take Apple for example, they have a visual signature. This is because they follow a strict brand style guide. It’s what makes Apple so recognisable and familiar.
No wonder they’re one of the largest brands in the world.
What to Consider When Creating Your Brands Style Guidelines?
You must know your target audience.
Start with demographics:
- Hobbies and interests
It becomes clear when we look at each end of the spectrum of demographics, how your brand style guidelines could differ. Your imagery for targeting young adults vs seniors should be miles different (hopefully!).
Developing Your Brand Guidelines
Once you’re clear on your target audience, the rest becomes easier. Consider their interests, your product or service and look at what your competitors are doing.
A pallet of brand colours
Choose a selection of colours for your brand, ideally no more than 5. Pick a primary, secondary and tertiary colour and use them consistently across your website and marketing.
A website like Coolors can help you quickly generate a selection of colours and give you inspiration.
Tone and mood
Think about what mood you want to create.
If you’re selling lamps, you probably want to give the impression of relaxation and warmth. If you’re a solicitor then you’ll probably want something more professional and reliable.
See some examples of my photography work with Nkuku – see how their tone and mood are visually expressed.
Brand Photography and Composition
Your website and social media photography also need to follow your brand guidelines.
This is all part of your messaging that potential clients will see. If you confuse, you lose.
Composition of brand photography
A easy way to start thinking about your photography composition is with colour. Black and white vs colourful and vibrate.
They give off such a difference in tone and mood, make sure you align with your product.
Key elements of photography
- Framing and perspective
- Use of negative space
- Rule of thirds (read more about the rule of thirds)
- Balance and symmetry
- Lighting and shadows (read more on natural vs. artificial light)
The subject matter and setting
Consider your subject matter carefully.
By this I mean your product, the setting and even the person modelling your product. What does this all unconsciously tell your customers? (Many things!)
Key elements to consider
- Age and style of your model
- Product setting and ambience
- Landscape and surrounding architecture
Copyright and GDPR for photographers
Ensure you have the correct permissions to reuse any imagery you create.
There can be serious consequences for not being GDPR compliant and having the correct authority to distribute images.
Read more on copyright and GDPR here.
Editing Your Brands Photography
You’ll need guidelines for your photography editor.
These days it’s possible to completely change the tone and mood of your images digitally.
- Amount of colour correction
- Retouching vs natural feel
- Filters and effects
Image usage guidelines
You’ll also want to create a set of rules around how your images can be used and edited.
For social media and your website (and even email signatures) you will need different file formats and sizes. By thinking ahead, you’ll ensure a cohesive and consistent look and feel – no matter which channels your customers find you.
Make sure this is communicated throughout your company, it’s not just your photographer and editors that will be using these images.
It could be the marketing department or even the sales team.
By sticking with a brand style guideline you’ll become familiar and recognisable, attracting more customers and clients, ultimately making more sales.
You never know, you could be the next Apple.