House style is a powerful tool that companies use to enhance their brand image. So what does a house style consist of?
1. Colour palette
Colours help set a mood - for instance consider these colours:
- Orange: Expresses energy, warmth, attention grabbing
- Blue: Seriousness, stability, trust
- Black: Sophistication, technology, power
- Green: Spring, generosity, health
So selecting a limited set of colours for all communication materials helps set a mood. Is this a serious company? A youthful company? A sophisticated company? A friendly company?
Can you think of companies that favour a particular colour? Do you think that the main colour they use is an accident?
2. Fonts and typography
Fonts help set the tone. A heavy, dense font conveys quite a different feeling compared to a fancy, curly script.
A house style will define the font to use for headers and body text in all formal communication - whether it is a brochure, pamphlet, PowerPoint presentation, poster and so on. Typography defines how all the other elements of text is to look : Capitals, italics, bullet point style and so on.
3. Margins and White space
The way words are set out on a page can help to build an impression. Perhaps wide empty margins are favoured or maybe a particular line spacing is defined.
4. Graphics and Logos
Logos are considered such an important part of a company's brand image that strong laws have been put in place to protect them. A company may have a number of 'trade marks' which they own. Logos are often placed on the products themselves such as the badge on a car or a logo on a pair of running shoes. They let everyone know of the company that made it. And woe betide someone who tries to pass off their fake product using that trade mark!
5. Tone of language
There are many ways of saying the same thing. This is the power of language. A house style may have rules in place describing what kind of phrasing and language is to be used in all communication material.
Professional advertising companies will understand the way a client wants to set out a promotion or expensive advert. Is it a serious tone? A light-hearted tone?
It takes real skill to put together 'copy' as it is called in the industry.
So all-in-all a house style is an important tool to help build up a brand image. And for many companies, brand image is worth millions. Indeed, the most valuable asset a company may have when being sold are not the factories it owns but the trade marks and brand image it has built up over the years - and that is all down to applying a consistent house style.
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you