What is a Brand Guidelines Document?
Also known as Brand Standards or a Style Guide, a Brand Guidelines document is a set of rules on how to represent your brand visually across digital channels and printing collateral. Brand Guidelines are essential for managing your business across the various platforms available in this technology age.
The key to branding is consistency and a Brand Guidelines assist your employees or outsourced Graphic Designers with ensuring your business is represented correctly to your target market.
“Consistency is the backbone of an authentic, trustworthy, and recognisable brand and customer experience. This means consistency in the way you look, speak to, and service your customers and target audience.” LogoJoy 2018
Creating a Brand Guidelines document is not easy, it takes a great deal of effort and research however, once complete the document will save your staff time and build credibility and recognition with your clientele.
What content is in a Brand Guidelines document?
Depending on the size of your organisation or the industry you are from, your guidelines will vary from your neighbouring business. Brand Guidelines are never the same, which is the way it should be. A Brand Guidelines document should include:
- Cover page
- Logo and logo elements
- Colour palettes (or swatches)
- Examples of use
Logo usage may sound simple, a page with how the company’s logo is represented is one of the most important aspects and can take up several pages.
- Icons or Graphics: An image that compliments your companies name.
- Logotype: Your company’s name, which is an important part of the Brand Guidelines as the width of the 'w' is used to establish the 'x' measurement, used for spacing elements across the guidelines.
- Tagline or slogan: Where applicable.
- Clear Space: To ensure visibility and impact.
Once the logo is set, there are still set rules to ensure that your logo is not compromised in any way.
Colour palettes (or swatches)
Colour palettes are the primary colours utilised in your logo, including black and white, greyscale, transparent and any other colour variations that are or are not allowed. Colour palettes include CMYK, RGB and HEX values for print and web purposes. Colour values are vital to ensure your brand is represented correctly across marketing material.
- CMYK VALUES: The percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black that make up a specific colour for a four-colour printing process.
- RGB VALUES: The Red, Green and Blue values that make up an online colour – not to be used for printed material.
- HEX VALUES: The HEX values that make up an online colour – not to be used for printed material.
Typography showcases your companies’ main fonts or typefaces used in your logo to be utilised across your business’ collateral.
Examples of use
Includes imagery of your logo being applied to promotional material including stationary, t-shirts, packaging and more.
Additional section to add to your Brand Guidelines
As mentioned above, the size of your Brand Guidelines document varies on the size and scope of your company, other sections that can be added to a brand guideline are:
- Mission statement
- Images: stock imagery or original photography.
- Illustrations or icons: customised or purchased illustrations.
- Design specifications: such as social media templates or document templates.
- Brand voice: such as “about us”.
Whether you are a small business or large business, a Brand Guidelines document establishes your business on the path to a strong brand identity. Being able to ensure consistency across your website, social media, printed goods and promotional material all starts with Brand Guidelines.
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