What are Brand Guidelines?
Think about some of the brands you have seen in your lifetime… Apple, McDonald’s, Adidas. You’re instantly reminded of these brands when you see certain colors, fonts, or shapes. This isn’t happenstance, it’s because they adhere to a strong set of brand guidelines.
Think of brand guidelines as a rulebook. They are written so that anyone working with your brand has strict rules to follow, assuring your brand imaging and messaging remain cohesive. A cohesive brand is essential to establishing your company’s professional appearance and telling your story with laser precision.
It all comes down to brand continuity. A lot of effort goes into correctly establishing your brand so why not assure it is properly maintained in everything moving forward? Whether you are updating an existing brand guide or creating one for the first time, here is a list of things you might consider adding:
- Logo Usage – the layout/orientation of your logo and alternative options of how your logo should be used
- How Not to Use Your Logo – This would include things like colors not to use, when not to use your tagline with the logo, orientations that should never be used and so on.
- Typography – list out all the fonts and weights used for each font. This includes web fonts, print fonts, and logo fonts.
- Color Schemes – make sure all your codes are correct, even one number can change the hue or shade of your color. You will want to add CMYK, RGB, HEX and any other color codes you think people might need.
- Photography Standards
- Incorrect Photo Usage
- Writing Standards
- Mission Statement
- Social Media Standards
- Copyright & Permissions
As we already discussed, continuity in your brand is crucial. Whether you are working internally or with an outside source, you will have greater control over your brand when you are strategically making sure everyone is on the same page. As your business grows, so does your reputation, and this means more leads and engagement.