As the school year gets started, now is a great time to evaluate all the communications your school is sending and make sure that your brand is being represented properly in all channels. Many schools could benefit strongly from having a centralized set of brand guidelines that all faculty and staff can reference when creating communications, but we have found that most have either an incomplete set of guidelines or none at all!
Below is a list of things to consider standardizing for all outgoing communications moving forward:
- Logo: Make sure that the logo being used on email signatures, letterheads, promotional items, athletic department communications, and everything in-between is consistent. If you find several variations of your logo in the wild, it may be time to think about updating those communications to a streamlined look and set standards for both the logo itself, its usage in materials, and how it can be adapted for various needs (Different sports teams, clubs, etc).
- School Colors: You may be surprised to find that many schools only have a vague idea of their school colors! Make sure you establish your school colors in both pantones as well as RGB and Hex so that no matter the format they are being used in, the same exact colors shine through and strengthen your overall brand.
- Font Treatments: Believe it or not, font treatment can have a huge impact on the way someone perceives your school’s communications. You wouldn’t use Comic Sans in an obituary, would you? Make sure that you establish exactly what fonts should be used across communications, both for digital and print.
- Tagline: If your school doesn’t already have one, develop a brand tagline that can be used across communications. If your school does have one, make sure to list it clearly in your guidelines, and give notes on its usage and how it pairs with your logo.
- Brand Voice: This one is a bit harder to get your hands around, but brand voice is an incredibly important part of you overall communications. Make sure to include tonal words to associate with your brand, words like “warm, competitive, or welcoming” can help guide how you address parents and students in your communications.
- Image Guidelines: A picture says a thousand words, and you should include guidance on what images can be used across your digital and print communications. Can students be shown? Are there certain colors or activities we should avoid displaying with students? What about landscape shots of the campus? Consider what images you want your audiences to see, and more importantly, what images you don’t want them to see, and list them out for all to go by.
Feeling overwhelmed? We are brand experts here at Sanger & Eby and would love to talk with you and help you begin building your school’s brand, as well as codifying and solidifying it into a set of guidelines that will keep all of your communications in sync and on message. Interested in learning more? Reach out to us to get the conversation started.