Whether you’re a new business or a multi-billion-dollar empire, having brand guidelines is a must-have for every company. Let’s discuss what brand guidelines are and the top reasons you need them.
Brand Guidelines Defined
Brand guidelines allow your brand to remain consistent across all media. This includes both print and digital media. It also provides information about the mission, values, history, and vision of your company. The following information is included in brand guidelines:
- Tone of grammar
- Logo usage guidelines: colors, fonts, etc.
- Size of fonts and texts
- Letterhead and business card designs
- Colour palette used (RGB and CMYK codes)
Maintaining consistency in each of these vital areas is key to maximizing brand guidelines.
Top Reasons to Have Brand Consistency
Having brand consistency is essential to the success of your business. Benefits of having brand consistency include the following:
Brand recognition is increased. Brand consistency helps your target market remember your brand, which makes it more recognizable. This helps your product stand out from the competition.
Correct usage is assured. Establishing proper usage ensures your brand is consistent and uniform with everyone who uses it. (This includes individuals within the company and those outside of it). For example, if working with a new marketing agency or advertising firm, they will use your company logos with the same colors, pixels, and fonts.
Brand Guidelines Key Components
Brand guidelines contain the following key elements:
Typography. Simply put, typography is the appearance and style of printed materials. When determining the right typography, here are a few questions should be asked and addressed:
- What font is used for headings?
- Should headings appear in uppercase? Is lowercase preferred?
- For the main body copy, what font weight is used?
This type of information is vital when creating websites, pamphlets, brochures, and other print media.
Logo usage. This determines how your logo will be displayed and where. The logo design will use the same spacing, size and colors across every platform and application. In addition, there are also guidelines on how the logo will not be used.
Color palette. Brand color must be consistent in all media. For best results, most logos tend to have 2-3 primary colors that are used in all applications, with secondary colors being used as an option to support the brand.
Positioning statement. The positioning statement details who your target audience is and how you want your audience to view your brand. The following are defined with the positioning statement:
- Values offered
- How offers are positioned
- Why you’re in business
- How you stand out from the competition
- Who is served by your business
Optional Brand Guideline Sections
While the items listed above are mandatory for brand guidelines, there are other optional sections to use if desired:
- Brand voice. Your brand voice can be obtained from your “about us” that’s often used on websites. It can be funny, instructive, friendly, etc.
- Images. These can be stock images or original photography.
- Design specifications. This is used if a large part of your businesses consists of ads, email marketing, or other types of online/internet communications.
- Illustrations. Illustrations can either be custom or stock.
When to Use Brand Guidelines
These are the most important times to utilize brand guidelines:
- Working with new employees
- When working with a web designer
- Building or expanding your brand
- Designing or creating new websites, social media channels, brochures, etc.)
- Working with a printer or publisher
The more brand guidelines are used, the greater impact they will have on your business and target market.
Brand guidelines play a key role in helping create the identity of your business. Both new companies and established businesses must understand their importance and how to use them. Once established, brand guidelines could give your company the professional look desire and help it stand out from the competition. Make improving brand guidelines a top priority. Your business will thank you.
More About Soto Group Brand Agency
We are an Australian branding, marketing, and web development agency. We service clients all over the globe and help them navigate the often tricky brand strategy and website design landscape. Our ethos is to build relationships based on trust that leads to design projects and outcomes that are goal-specific and help our clients’ businesses grow and thrive. Hundreds of businesses trust us to build then brands and websites that can stand the test of time, and lead to more conversions, more sales and more work life balance.
If you are looking for advice from an expert Brand Agency on getting the right brand advice for you or finding out more about our services and how we help businesses excel, reach out to our friendly team for a no-obligation chat.