Congratulations, you’ve got a wonderful looking logo (especially if we created it for you!) but it’s not your brand identity, it’s just the face of it.
Your brand identity is the visual language that makes your business recognisable and communicates the brand story. As well as the logo, it is the combinations of colours, fonts, photography, illustrative styles, tone of voice and much more that makes a brand identifiable.
Why you need brand guidelines
Brands naturally evolve over time which is why you need to protect them and set out some rules and standards so that the integrity of your brand isn’t compromised.
Brand guidelines are invaluable to a business to ensure that their brand styling and messaging remain consistent and don’t become diluted. They are an essential tool for businesses that give general guidelines on how to use all the elements that make up the brand identity and are especially useful to provide to suppliers and partners e.g. copywriters, social content creators, web developers, printers, etc.
It’s a work in progress
No matter if the brand is small or large, brand guidelines are a must-have document. Brand guidelines are not meant to be set in stone and should be reviewed and updated every year to ensure they are still relevant.
3 brand guideline essentials
Whether it is comprehensive or basic brand guidelines, here are 3 must-have topics to cover:
- LOGO: The first thing to feature in your brand guidelines should be your amazing logo in all its glory. This is the jewel in your ‘branding’ crown and should sit proudly at the front of your brand guidelines.
Usually, there will be slight variations of the logo to include which can be utilised in different situations. Here it’s a good idea to set out how best to use your logo, this is by suggesting optimal sizing, exclusion zones and all the basic dos and don’ts. Basically, you don’t want anyone messing with your precious logo!
- COLOUR PALETTE: Colours are the basic visual cues of your brand identity. As well as the hero colours that feature in the logo, it needs to give details of any specific secondary colours that can be utilised. Make sure this section includes the RGB, CMYK…and if you’re feeling fancy; Pantone references and HEX codes.
- FONTS: Show the various typefaces and families that will be associated with the brand. Try to include suggested web or PC safe alternative fonts because not all of the exciting fonts designers get to play with will be available.
So if you’ve just realised you don’t have any brand guidelines, or you need some existing guidelines reviewing and updating, get in touch because your brand deserves it and together we’ll make your brand brilliant.