Brand Guidelines can be known as various names such as “brand standards”, “style guide”, “brand manual “or” brand book”, but all refer to the same document.
These guidelines are important and usually put together by your designer and contain resources and guidance to help you use the brand elements effectively when creating marketing materials in house or alternatively can be sent to outsourced suppliers. The elements of a brand are valuable and play an important part in building your brand perception. If you invest time and money in developing your brand elements you should invest in protecting how they’re used.
The importance of brand guidelines
It’s essential that you develop brand guidelines as early as possible in the brand lifecycle. Brand guidelines are developed to define and ensure your brand is always consistent across all communication, internally and externally, creating a strong and recognisable brand. Consistency is key, especially when brands are seen across multiple communication platforms, and with guidelines set in place it means there is a higher chance of keeping on track and creating effective marketing material.
Read more about brand consistency.
Outline of contents
Brand Guidelines can be as simple or as complex as your brand requires and often need updating as your company evolves. The basics that should be included in all guidelines have been listed below:
Business Overview: the business vision, personality, values and history.
Mission Statement: what your business wishes to achieve.
Tone of Voice: how the company should sound and how the brand personality is communicated through language. ‘Sound bites’, pre-written sentences and associated words could be supplied.
Logo Usage: how the logo should be used including placement, minimum sizes, space restrictions, colour variations and usage on different backgrounds along with common misuses to demonstrate how the logo shouldn’t be used.
Colour Palette: the brand colours, in a hierarchy if relevant, along with their breakdowns, for print and for on screen.
Type Style: the chosen font or font family that should be used for print and web (if different) along with any specific house styling of elements such as quotes, headers and small print.
Image Style: explanation and examples of the illustrations and /or photography style that has been chosen to work with the brand. A bank of generic images which can be used for marketing material can be supplied along side the guidelines.
Contact Details: The creator of guidelines whether it be a contact in the marketing team or your designer in order to clarify any queries.
Other areas that can be included in your brand guidelines depending on the relevant marketing tools used are:
- Social media profile pages
- Templates for business stationery
If you require any advice or help creating a brand guidelines document for your brand get in touch for a chat.