What is a branding guide?

Here is a brief description of a branding guide and why your company needs one!

An easy straight-forward definition would be this: A branding guide helps your company stay in check so that visually and literally, you’re all on the same page. This guide heightens your visibility and credibility in the minds of your consumers while sustaining the integrity of your company brand.

A visual branding guide or standards guide is a document you should receive from your designer after completing your new logo and branding design project. The complexty of the guide will depend on the size of your company. It doesn’t have to be 10 pages long but it should contain some or most of the following components.

BrandingGuideCover

Logo Usage: This section is most important in the guide. This provides the rules on how a logo should be used and displayed. It should have several variations to fit different applications. Including orientation, color and symbols/icons that are acceptable.

Color Palettes: Style guides establish color palettes to determine which primary and secondary colors a brand should utilize to create meanings, emotional impressions and perceptions about the character and attitude of the brand. This section should have the colors used for any print or web materials. I always provide my clients with cmyk, rgb and pantone versions. This way, no matter the requirements, they have any swatch number(s) they may need.

Typography: The use of a specific set of compatible font families that reflect the brand and logo is a necessity. The fonts listed should be described on their apropriate positioning. So for example, heading fonts should be specified, all written content should have a specified font style as well.

Templates: This can save your company alot of time. Request that your designer create specialty templates. Letterhead and sales flyer are an example. If you already have templates created the probability of breaking the brands consistency is decreased and will save you time and money!

Imagery: Often you will see certain companies that only use a certain style of imagery. Whether it’s a photography style or an illustration. They will keep it consistent so that the consumer is quicker to make the connection. Smaller companies don’t need to worry about this as much as long as their brand is consistent there can be more variation in their marketing campaigns.

 

Large corporations will get much more in depth than this. They will have specific writing styles in order to create a feeling and overall brand voice. A Branding Guide will save time and in the end will make your company that much more professional.

-Emily

a graphic designer in Barrie, Ontario

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