The Importance of Brand Guidelines
Hello there. This time around I will be sharing reasons (5) why brand guidelines are important in your design work. Here, you can read if these guidelines is something you're already implementing in your work, or something you may need to dive into. These guidelines will bring ease and clarity to how you go about your work and the outcomes it can bring.
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 play a part in:
Your brand's identity (mission, core values, personality, tone, elevator pitch, etc.)
Your brand's assets and the appropriate use of them (logo, color palette, typeface, spacing, backgrounds, etc.)
Let's get started.
Every time someone visits your site, 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. They see your brand anywhere and know it's you and what you do, what you make, who your audience is. It ultimately communicates that you care and see the details, and take 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 or guidelines 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 typography and color. 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 and understanding. 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 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. Their design may be simple but it's understanding, consistent and cohesive as well.
4. Staying Focused
When introducing new products or services, it's possible 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 and stick 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, reliable and more trusted. 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/limitations, which colors implement, 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. In a way it does blur those guidelines set.
Additional Elements that may be included:
Imagery can include the style of photographs, wordmarks, or icons your company uses on your website or marketing materials.
Brand Tone 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, then you may need a strategic marketing team, like Ruby Porter to help or a colleague you know to assist you.
Thank you for reading. I hope these established and clear brand guidelines encourage, inspire and teach you to continue making great strides in your work.
Reminder that I offer a FREE one on one preliminary session with me to discuss all of your design needs. Click here to book the session.