Brand Guidelines communicate a variety of things about your brand, both internally to your organization or business, as well as externally to your partners, affiliates and the general public. What components a brand guidelines contains is not standard across the industry, but the most discernible organizations utilize brand guidelines as a resource for everyone to understand how to represent their brand.
Brand guidelines can contain sections on:
- Your brand identity (mission, core values, personality, tone, elevator pitch, etc.)
- Your brand assets and the appropriate use of them (logo, color palette, typeface, spacing, backgrounds, etc.)
Brand guidelines are a very useful resource when re-branding or starting a new company as a way of communicating with current and prospective customers within your target audience. They are a set of rules to create a unified identity when connecting multiple elements within your brand, such as colors, your logo, and your typography. Here are other compelling reasons to have a set of brand guidelines.
Every time someone visits your website, sees your business card, or receives marketing material from your company, they receive a perception of your company outside of the content they actually consume. By having set rules and restrictions, it becomes possible to communicate a consistent brand identity.
Consistency is important in making your brand recognizable and reliable. It ultimately communicates that your brand takes pride in the details. Take a look at Nike Pro Services very consistent style guide.
2. Setting Standards and Rules
Your brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. These rules will include when to use a logo versus a wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of color and typography.
You probably know your brand’s identity inside and out, but a new employee may not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive. Twitter’s brand guidelines do an excellent job of defining acceptable ways that other people can display their logo.
Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately recognizable within your industry and with your target audience. Building a recognizable brand can take a lot of time, but your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines. Take a look at Google’s brand guidelines. They have become one of the most recognizable companies.
4. Staying Focused
When introducing new products or services, a brand can get stretched too thin. By implementing brand guidelines, you have the tools to quickly and effectively maintain consistency. Brand guidelines help you aim your business’s interests with your intended audience.
When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value. Consistency allows your brand to appear more professional and reliable. By implementing brand guidelines, you make it easier to maintain the quality and integrity of your brand’s image.
What is Included in Brand Guidelines?
These are the colors that make up your brand. It can be wise to not use too many color options. Brand guidelines should include RGB and CMYK color codes, so your colors stay consistent between web and print formats.
Brand guidelines will include typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses.
How your logo should be displayed in different formats is an important part of your guidelines. This could include size restrictions, which colors to use, and how your logo should be displayed on different backgrounds. Sometimes it can be beneficial to show how logos should NOT be displayed–seeing your logo stretched in odd ways or put on difficult-to-read backgrounds is not ideal.
Additional Elements that may be included:
Imagery could include the style of photographs, wordmarks, or icons your company uses on your website or marketing materials.
Brand tone refers to the words that your company chooses to use in order show your brand’s values and personality.
Without brand guidelines it is nearly impossible to keep your brand’s identity consistent. If you are ready for brand guidelines, than you need a strategic marketing team, like Ruby Porter to help.
Contact us, and we will create and put together your brand’s visual elements based on their best uses in order to build guidelines helping you maintain a strong, cohesive, and distinguishable brand.