How do you represent your brand on video?
As a video production company, we always ask for brand guidelines at the outset of a project so that we can instil a feel for how the video elements would fit within the guide and carry that through with the video content. The important thing to remember is that brand is not just about colours and fonts though, it is as much as about culture and ethos – something we work hard to incorporate into our work with clients, so that they have ownership and are invested in the content. It’s a strange phenomenon that frequently, when we get the Brand Guideline from a new client, video is often never mentioned. There may be many parameters set for print, web, events; from dress code to how to answer the phones – but video is often forgotten about and when we look at the colours and fonts requested we frequently find that these are not ideal for delivering through the medium of video.
The areas to consider are:
Voice and Tone
What will draw out the best response from your audience? Should the voice be male or female, neutral or soft or perhaps even using another accent, such that regional accents have now become de rigueur. Should the tone be friendly, professional, approachable, humorous etc. These things are often considered for the written word, but can be equally as important on video. Your vocal representation on video can depict you in many different ways. It’s vital that you allow contributors to be represented in a natural way and carefully blend their voice and tone to harmonise with the company brand.
Looking at the reference colours in the brand guideline – these are also often mainly aimed at print and on-line media so we usually need to consider how these can trans create into the video format. Colours register differently on video, so even when a pantone reference is used correctly in the preparation of the graphics, it will often register differently on the video screen or mobile device. This is because all monitors, tv sets and visual display systems depict colours with inconsistency due to the nature of the way the colours are generated by electronic systems. We always seek to follow the Brand Guide as close as possible when depicting colours but are ultimately at the mercy of the technology.
There is a current style to use fancy or unusual fonts, or even ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS. On video this may cause issues with accessibility for those with learning difficulties and can be perceived to be shouting at the viewer. We would always recommend using a font that is easy to read within the limited resolution of the video image, so that means avoiding serif fonts with fine lines which can become fuzzy on a small screen and make it difficult for those with visual impairments to decipher. A san serif font that complements the Brand Guideline is often the answer here. In fact, as Brand Guides are generally developed by graphic designers they very rarely consider the use of their chosen font with respect to use within video media.
This often comes down to three things:
- What you call your viewers, i.e. customers, colleagues, clients etc.
- How you refer to your company, i.e. first, third person
- Your style – is the company persona aged 50 and above, is the style of your communications flexible, direct, quirky, casual, professional?
This is covered in the main meat of the video content by considering the questions asked by an interviewer, or the statements given by contributors which ensure the audience will engage with the core messages.
It should go without saying that a company logo is sacrosanct, and must be used at the highest quality possible, placed in accordance with the Brand Guideline and never changed, mutilated or degraded. However, you’d be surprised at how often a company logo is manipulated and degraded by someone who perhaps has a little knowledge of photoshop and needs to fill a space on a page quickly!
Brand Guides usually provide strict parameters as to the placement of a company logo, where colours may be reversed so as to work with either light or dark backgrounds, when it is permitted to be used as a monochrome image and so on. For video, we would also discuss it’s placement within video content, for example where it may appear on the screen, and what is allowable in terms of it’s animation. Generally speaking if we are animating a logo it will always resolve into the final agreed brand.
So, a lot of things to consider to keep a company’s brand strong and consistent across all of their content, be that print, web or video; these considerations are the things that a professional video production company will be fully aware of and consider before even the first frame of video footage has been shot. If you’d like help ensuring your video content is on brand and delivering great results, just get in touch.