What’s in a brand guide?
In our last post we talked about the importance of having a brand guide, and how they help maintain consistency in your brand’s message and overall image. So we know what a brand guide is and why it’s important, but what goes into it? Below are some of the most common (and essential) elements any effective brand guide should cover.
Guidelines for your logo should at least detail its colour and maximum size. Sizing rules help avoid stretching and warping to maintain the visual quality of your logo. You can also define placement (how your logo should be placed next to other elements such as taglines) and how it should be displayed on different backgrounds.
TIP: Including how not to use your logo is a great safeguard against misrepresentation of your brand.
A colour palette will help your designers not only to know which colours to use, but how to use them. We’ve talked about how to use colour effectively before but just to recap: your palette should contain a ‘dominant’ colour that represents your brand’s voice (tip: this should be the primary colour in your logo), as well as a secondary colour and one or two accent colours. Most successful brands have a maximum of four colours.
These rules outline which fonts are used for different types of text such as headers, body text, and small print, as well as style rules such as size and weight.
If you use a lot of images or illustrations, include rules for image styles. Generally, visual examples along with a brief explanation are enough. You can also include examples of image styles that shouldn’t be used.
So these are the key components – in other words, the basics. There is one thing we left out though. Many brand guides include what’s called a “Mission & Vision Statement”. Basically, this should describe what your company does, why you do it, and why it’s important. This helps provide a focus and direction for the rest of the guide.
Brand guides can get very, very detailed depending on your business needs. For some brands, the above will suffice. Others may need guidelines for social media, text samples, or PowerPoint and Word templates.
It’s our speciality at Documents With Precision to take these brand guidelines and make sure that all your Microsoft Office documents and presentations are following these rules to ensure brand consistency. If this is a problem for you, then get in touch with us to fix it, your brand needs us!