Creating brand standards

By Jim LaDoux
Your brand is what others think on you. Part of what influences how others see you are determined by the components and consistency of your visual identity. To organize your visual brand identity it’s best to build a brand identity guidelines for your church that clearly describes how your logo, visual elements, colors, type, and other design styles should and shouldn’t be used for print, screen and other forms of media.

The Benefits of setting Brand Standards

Creating brand standards can be beneficial for churches in several ways:
  • 1 - Consistency: Brand standards ensure that all church materials, from signage to publications, maintain a consistent and recognizable look, reinforcing the church's identity.
  • 2 - Professionalism: A well-defined brand creates a professional image, making a church more appealing to potential members and donors.
  • 3-Unity: It helps unify the congregation by giving everyone a common visual language and message.
  • 4 - Memorability: A strong brand can make the church more memorable, aiding in attracting and retaining members.
  • 5 - Clarity: Brand standards clarify the church's mission, values, and messaging, making it easier for people to understand what the church stands for.
  • 6-Community Building: Consistent branding can foster a sense of community and belonging among members.
  • 7 - Fundraising: A strong brand can enhance fundraising efforts by instilling trust in potential donors.
  • 8 - Outreach: Well-defined branding materials can be used effectively in outreach efforts and mission work, helping to spread the church's message.
  • 9 - Social Media Engagement: Consistent branding helps in building a strong online presence, allowing the church to engage with a broader audience.
  • 10- Event Promotion: Brand standards simplify the promotion of church events and activities, ensuring that they are instantly recognizable and associated with the church.
Creating and implementing brand standards takes time and effort, but the long-term benefits for churches can be significant.

Elements that Define Your Brand

Creating brand standards for an organization typically includes:
  • Logo Usage: List guidelines on how to use the logo, its size, placement, and clear space requirements.
  • Color Palette: Define colors, both primary and secondary, with specifications (e.g., Pantone, RGB, CMYK) for consistency.
  • Typography: List specific fonts and their usage for various materials, such as headings and body text.
  • Visual Elements: List rules for graphics, images, icons, and other visual elements that align with the brand's style.
  • Voice and Tone: List guidelines for the brand's communication style, including language, tone, and messaging.
  • Mission and Values: Include a clear statement of the organization's mission, vision, and core values.
  • Taglines and Slogans: :List rules for using any slogans or taglines associated with the brand.
  • Stationery and Collateral: Create templates for business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and other printed materials. Some organizations include the weight of the paper and its sheen.
  • Digital Assets: Offer guidelines for website design, social media profiles, email templates, and other online presence.
  • Photography Style: List preferred photography style, image selection, and any filters or effects to maintain consistency.
  • Usage Examples: Provide visual examples and case studies demonstrating how to apply the brand standards effectively.
  • Legal Considerations: Include trademark information, copyright guidelines, and disclaimers as needed.
  • Accessibility Guidelines: Ensure the brand is accessible to all, including guidelines for accessible design and content.
  • Brand Governance: Procedures for maintaining and updating the brand standards over time.
  • Print and Production Specifications: Technical details for print and production processes to ensure quality.
  • Marketing Materials: Include templates for brochures, flyers, advertisements, and other marketing collateral.
  • Social Media Guidelines: List specific rules for social media usage, including profile and post guidelines.
  • Merchandise and Apparel: Guidelines for branded merchandise and apparel design and production.
  • Event Branding: Include instructions for maintaining brand consistency at events and conferences.
  • Feedback and Approval Process: Outline clear procedures for reviewing and approving materials that use the brand.

Consistency in applying these standards helps build a strong and recognizable brand identity for the organization.


  1. Do your publications and communication platforms have a similar look and feel to them?
  2. If you already have brand standards, how are they shared with those who create and distribute content?
  3. In what ways does your current brand reflect your mission, vision, and values?
  4. In what ways doe your current brand reflect your church's personality?
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