The graphic charter is the essential element of the brand, but it may be sometimes neglected. However, it’s essential for the functioning and consistency of a brand. It gathers the norms and rules that can be used for your brand, as well as all the elements of your visual identity, in a single document.
The graphic charter is the first impression made on a customer. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to it to give an embedded and accepted image to your brand.
Brands and companies use the graphic charter to build an accepted brand image and keep their communication homogeneous. For web browsing, the creation of a well-designed website enables users to improve their experience as a complete entity and improve their intrinsic satisfaction.
This visual identity must be available on different print or digital communication medium later.
We will show you how to do correctly and quickly.
The brand is more than a logo or name. It stirs up an emotion and defines what people are thinking, feeling and saying about your business.
The first step for a successful digital graphic charter is a brainstorming session. Talking to your team or family and friends enables you to have a broader vision of your product and know the brand you want to launch.
It’s important to devote time to it because it is the first impression made on a customer.
The graphic charter enables a company to convey its values and mission (why was the company created). Therefore, it’s essential to determine these two points first, before starting the creation of the graphic charter.
It’s necessary to define your brand before starting your graphic charter to make sure of the message you want to convey through the visual elements.
Apart from the values and mission of the company, there are other essential points to define your brand totally.
Here are the 4 important points to define the heart of your brand:
Objective: It’s necessary to understand the objective of the creation of your brand. It’s essential to know why the brand was created to define your visual identity and the message you want to convey. Why did you create the brand?
Vision: what the brand is aiming to be and/or to do. It’s its vision to see the things in the future. The objective is to plan the future of the brand. What does the future look like?
Mission: Why are you on this market and what do you want to do? How will you create the dream future? This question is very important and must result from a single mission. What are you doing there?
Values: the brand has beliefs and dreams. They’ll give characteristics to the brand. However, don’t highlight too many values. A main and secondary value is enough. Which principles guide your behaviour?
One of the first objectives of a graphic charter is to convey the right message to the right people! These steps will enable you to get it clear.
You’ll save time to create your future communication means if you create a graphic charter. You’ll have the possibility to use it to create your communication means and be consistent in communication.
It’s important to know and understand your target audience for your brand, and adapt to your market.
To that end, you can create buyer personas. They’ll enable you to understand who are your future customers.
Real customers serve to create the buyer persona. It enables you to divide your customers and better understand their needs.
To distinguish yourself from the competition, you may use business intelligence to identify your competitors, their presentation, position, strengths, and weaknesses in comparison to you.
It enables you to distinguish yourself from your competitors, and get better on your market, and even be better than they!
It’s better to analyse at the beginning of your business, but don’t worry! If you haven’t already done so, it’s never too late to do it. To make business intelligence, first, you need to identify your competitors. Then you’ll take the most relevant information about them to compare them with what you do.
Don’t worry! If you don’t feel uncomfortable with creating your graphic charter by yourself, there are different service providers that can create your custom graphic charter.
A web agency or a specialist freelance can deal with this work. You just need to make a clear and precise brief with all you want for your graphic charter. This brief is important so that your service provider clearly understands the spirit of what you want to give to your website. They’ll give advice to you and create a graphic charter you'll be proud of.
The price will change depending on your service provider and the complexity of your graphic charter.
Once you have completed all these previous steps, it’s time to create the graphic charter.
There are copyrights for your images, fonts, and colours. Therefore, pay attention to your choice and check if you have chosen royalty-free design elements.
To that end, you can search your royalty-free images, pictograms on different websites such as Unsplash, Flaticon, etc.
You also have a copyright on your graphic charter thanks to the National Institute of Intellectual Property.
Your graphic charter is copyright and can’t be copied.
Where to start to build my graphic charter? Don’t worry, here are all the steps to follow:
Logo: it works with the graphic charter. Therefore, it’s better to deal with them together. The logo must adapt your website and communication means. As it’s the main element of your visual identity, it’s important to pay attention to it and define all its characteristics.
Fonts: They are essential for the visual identity of your website. Your fonts will contribute to make browsing user-friendly.
Colours: choosing colours is important for your graphic charter. They must be related to your business and target audience. Each colour has its sense.
Iterations: there are images, photos, icons. Icons are essential on a website as they immediately speak to the visitor of the website.
Use rules: it gathers the prohibited use of the logo, the possible changes in terms of colours, position… They are essential so that your charter be respected and consistent.
These steps are the heart of your graphic charter, the obligatory steps to follow for a complete charter. It’s possible to make it more complicated, depending on your business and wishes.
For the smooth running of the creation of your graphic charter, here are some tips to avoid mistakes.
Norms and rules
There are many rules and norms for the colours, fonts, etc. in a graphic charter and the visual identity of a brand.
Each colour represents an environment, values or a specific image. Therefore, it’s important to choose them carefully.
For example, green colour often is for ecology and health. In general, this colour is related to the ecological signs.
And it’s the same thing for all the colours! Each colour has its meaning!
There are rules for almost all the colours. Therefore, get information about the significance of the colour you want to use.
Moreover, it’s important to choose a few different colours for your graphic charter. A main colour and two/three secondary colours are enough. In this way, your website will be clearer and more pleasant for your customers.
The fonts are the key elements of your graphic charter for your website. Pay attention to your texts that are important on a website. The fonts convey messages that may not correspond to your brand.
The fonts are essential for the readability of your website. Your internet users will flee from the illegible fonts.
Moreover, remember that people will also visit your website on mobile devices. Ensure your texts are easy to read on each mobile device (tablet, mobile…).
It’s important to choose a font for your titles and another for your texts.
For example, you can find royalty-free fonts on Google Fonts.
Pay attention to the fonts you use and select them carefully!
Let’s see some examples and let’s move on to the practice.
The graphic charter of Scrimshaw Coffee enables you to have a basic and refined brand. However, their colours offer a friendly and welcoming aspect.
Wolf Circus Jewelry has a minimalist graphic charter related to the minimalist jewellery of the brand. The graphic charter shows a current and modern image.
See their graphic charter
It’s important to improve a graphic charter for a website. Indeed, it’s possible to edit your graphic charter after its creation.
You don’t like your graphic charter anymore, and you want to update it?
When you edit your graphic charter, pay attention to the following points.
Don’t create a sudden transition for users. Changes must be progressive, especially if your identity is in your users’ mind.
However, don’t change the graphic charter every day. Follow your values, not the current trend that changes quickly.
You can exploit the trend, while the company keeps its values and doesn’t change its visual identity a lot or drastically.
In conclusion, you can edit your graphic charter, expect if you don’t take all the necessary precautions.
There are some tips to create a professional graphic charter.
Therefore, here are some tips to have a successful graphic charter. :)
When will you create it?
First, you need to define it at the beginning of your business because it makes your communication homogeneous, but don’t worry! If you have already launched your business without a graphic charter, it’s time to create it to boost your business.
Obviously, it’s better to analyse and draw your inspiration from the graphic charter of other companies (without copy them).
Explain your choices
It’s important to explain your choices in your graphic charter. If you ask a web designer or external provider in the future, they’ll need to understand the spirit of the business and brand.
Justifying your choices will ensure a good understanding of the visual or strategic universe of your brand.
A graphic charter will make the creation of your website mock-up easier.
You know everything about the graphic charter for websites! It’s your turn now. :)
Last update: January 19, 2023