8.5.1 What is Team Branding?

What is a Brand?

In the context of FRC the team’s brand can include its name, logo, and other visual elements. These elements are used to create a consistent look and feel for the team. By planning ahead, creating styling guides and more, the team can create a brand that is easily recognizable and memorable. It’s also easy to create new content that fits within the brand.

New members to your business and marketing team can make new content Day one and already have their templates and branding guidelines to follow. The rest of the sections will help you achieve this for your team.

How can we figure out what our brand is?

Figuring out a core theme, ideology and more is a big task. Thankfully, if you already have a business & marketing plan you can use that to help. If you don’t have these or want to brainstorm new ideas then this can be done by asking the following questions:

  • What is the team’s mission?
  • What are the things that make the team unique?
  • What are the team’s core values?
  • If you could describe the team in one word, what would it be?
  • If you are part of a school, does that school have a mascot? If so, how can you incorporate that into your branding?
  • Poll your teammates and ask them what they think the team’s brand is. You may be surprised by the answers you get.
  • Look at other teams and see what they are doing. What do you like? What do you not like? What can you do better?
  • Is there a theme that you can use to tie everything together? For example, if your team is called the “RoboRams” you could use a ram as your mascot and incorporate that into your branding. Rams are known for being strong and agile, so you could use that to describe your team. Think about the colors and environment that a ram lives in and use that to help you create your branding colors. You could also use the ram’s horns to create a logo that represents your team. Lots of possibilities here. A good example of a “Ram themed” team is 59 RamTech link.

What is a Branding Guide?

Branding guides are a set of guidelines that are used to create new content and other visual elements. They are used to ensure that everything is consistent. Branding guides can include things like:

  • Logo
  • Logo Usage
  • Sponsor Logos
  • Color Palettes
  • Verbiage (Slogans, etc.)
  • Fonts (Print and Web)
  • Product Images
  • Social Media Images (Banner, Profile, etc.)
  • Templates (PowerPoint, Word, etc.)
  • Other Visual Elements (Icons, etc.)

Can I an example of a branding guide?

FIRST made a guide for their branding in 2015 that is a phenomenal resource for teams to use. You can find it below:

Viewer unavailable, click here to download the PDF!

While a logo is part of an overall brand, the logo is just one small part of the brand. The brand is the overall look and feel of the team. It’s the colors, fonts, and other visual elements that are used to create a consistent look and feel for the team. While the logo will be used over and over again, the branding guides will be used to create new content and other visual elements and to ensure that everything is consistent.

Their can be several version of your team’s logo. There can be a logo for print, a logo for web, a logo for social media, etc. There are also different file types, color variants and more. This can all get really messy and confusing. By making a Logo Usage Guide you can specify which logo to use, how to use it, and where to use it. This will help ensure that the logo is used correctly.

The logo is the most recognizable part of the team’s brand. It’s the part that people will remember the most. It’s also the part that will be used the most. If the logo is used incorrectly it can cause confusion and make the team look unprofessional.

Why do we need to specify how to use our sponsor logos?

Sponsor logos are a big part of the team’s brand. They are used to show that the team has sponsors and to show that the team is supported by those sponsors. If the sponsor logos are used incorrectly sponsors will be upset and thats not good for anyone. Sponsors also could sometimes benefit from knowing what type of logo files the team needs for banners, shirts, and other items that feature the sponsors logos.

Why do we need to specify our color palette?

Color palettes are used to create a consistent look and feel for the team. The colors that are used should be consistent across all of the team’s branding. This applies to powerpoint slides, word documents, social media posts, and more. Whenever the question comes up of “what color should I use?” the answer should be “use the colors from the branding guide”. You can even specify dark and light variants of the colors to use for different backgrounds and more.

For a color pallete tool you can visit canva’s color wheel tool.

To learn more about color theory you can visit W3 Schools Colors section.

Why do we include slogans and verbiage in our branding guide?

Slogans and verbiage are critical because every word counts. The words that are used to describe the team should be consistent across all of the team’s branding. This applies to everything and whenever writing new content this can be referred to. Many teams will have slogans, mission statements, and more. These should be included in the branding guide.

Why do we need to specify our fonts?

Fonts can vary greatly. Theres also variants of those font styles. For example, there is a difference between Arial and Arial Bold. There is also a difference between Arial and Arial Black. Sometimes a font should be “X size and Y color”, but other times it should be “X size and Y color and Z weight”. Writing all of this out can be a pain, but it’s worth it. By specifying the fonts that should be used, the size, color, weight, and more, it will help ensure that everything is consistent.

To learn about fonts you can visit W3 Schools Fonts section.

To learn about specifically web safe fonts you can visit W3 Schools Web Safe Fonts section.

Why do we need to specify our product images?

While FRC teams don’t have products to sell (usually), they do have robots, designs, swag, and more than is photographed and shared. By specifying the product images that should be used you can make sure unedited photos aren’t used. This will help ensure that the team looks professional. This also is handy for making brochures, posters, and more. All of the good usable photos can be found in one place.

What are social media images?

Social media images are used by the teams various social media accounts. There are standard file sizes, dimensions, and more that should be used. Tools like Canva will help make these for you and have the sizing rules built in. Some of the various types of common social media images and their dimensions are:

Type Dimensions (px)
Banner 1500 x 500
Profile 400 x 400
Post 1200 x 630
Story 1080 x 1920
Thumbnail 1280 x 720
Cover 820 x 312
Header 1500 x 500
Logo 400 x 400
Icon 512 x 512
Avatar 512 x 512
Favicon 32 x 32

Why do we need to specify our templates?

Templates for letters, powerpoint slides, word documents, and more are a great way to ensure that everything is consistent. Whenever a new document is created it can include the logo, address, colors, fonts and more. Software like Word, Docs, and the generic office suites support custom theme templates. Even things like the header font, footer font, and more can be specified. This will speed up the time it takes to create new documents and will mean you can focus on the content instead of the formatting.

A good resource about making themes for Google Slides can be found here.

A resource for making document templates (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, or Sites) can be found here.