Brand guidelines are also often referred to as a brand book or brand style guides. It is basically a manual to use your brand. It is an extremely critical tool to create a brand identity and maintain it over a period of time.
Brand books help establish certain rules on how to use a particular brand element internally and externally. This is a fantastic way to help your writers, designers and employees to maintain a standard brand communication on all forms on marketing collaterals and content.
Why are brand guides important?
You may ask why are the style guides important? You have the best graphic designers working for you, your marketing strategy is perfect and you have a super-efficient sales team on board. Then what is the big deal about brand guides? Here is why a brand style guide is important:
- Companies that create and follow brand guidelines come across as serious about their business and professional in their approach.
- Flawless designs are created using brand guidelines. It is easy to point out a mistake in a design when you have a style guide-book for ready reference.
- It serves as an easy reference book to any new person joining the project or during handing over a project to another team.
Elements of creating brand style guides
Now that you are convinced that it is important to have brand style guides, let us have a look at some of the key areas you can look into while creating your brand book:
- Logo creation and usage guide: A very important brand element for any company is its logo. A lot of times we have seen logos being used incorrectly. For instance, many designers incorrectly use the logo as a design element. Logos are your brand’s identity, they are not supposed to be used in place of a design element like a box, circle or line. You also should be very careful about the colour palette of the logo. Stick to the same hues when creating marketing collaterals. Every colour has a shade number. Make sure your designers use the same shade number or RGB code. Right usage of logo leads to creating a positive brand identity and over time helps in winning consumer’s trust.
- Guides for typefaces: Typefaces are another important area which needs a brand team’s attention. Differentiate the typeface and styles used for body text and fonts used for titles. You may also have rules around the formatting of the fonts. For example, the usage of bold fonts or capital fonts may not be allowed in certain cases. The strength of the font and its weight also needs to be clearly defined before using it in marketing and communications mediums.
- Webpage style guides: In today’s digital era it is extremely important to have clearly defined webpage style guides. Things like words to be avoided, consistent formats of buttons and bullets, length of paragraphs, heading length, etc are important parts of a webpage style guide.
Creating a brand guide is still easy but following it with perfection is always a challenge. Keep reinforcing the style guides to all your internal and external target audience. If possible have briefing and training sessions with your partners and suppliers on the usage of logo and brand guidelines. With consistent efforts and robust brand guides, your brand will slowly create its own identity in the marketplace.