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Each brand has a unique identity that defines exactly how presents itself to the world through logo font type, color, images, and other elements. Brand guide, in other words, is a benchmark tool that helps companies maintain the look, feel, and tone of their brand or organization. Branding is very important for every company. By creating good branding you make the brand visible and felt even when people are working across customer service, design, and marketing.
A brand guideline is important for every company as it maintains your brand identity and is what it makes it different from other brands. Whether your business is big or small, brand guidelines are important to help your brand work and grow effectively. A Brand style guide will keep your brand’s message clear.
Why you may need a guide:
There are many important reasons why a company should maintain its own brand guide.
For example, for a brand to be effective it must be consistent. If you keep changing logo shape, color or etc. it may no longer be recognizable by your customers or clients, it will most probably create confusion and your clients will no longer want to keep up with your brand. Credibility is the key to making your brand strong and recognizable.
In order to create a powerful and recognizable brand, you need to create a style guide that it will make your brands’ identity consistent and recognizable. With branding guidelines, you can ensure your brand assets are used effectively and look professional every time they are used.
Additionally, your brand needs to establish rules. Your brand strategy needs to include more than just the color scheme of your logo and style. Your team needs to create rules and regulations that will actually be used to do these things. The guide needs to contain likes of different logos, but also examples of how not to use those logos. Rules like clear space around symbols are just as important as knowing when to use symbols and punctuation.
You need to keep your brand image moving forward. Your brand guide needs to include tools that will help you build your brand. The elements included in your brand guidelines work together to create a cohesive message and these elements are essential tools to create compelling messages and brand marketing campaigns.
Five key elements you need to follow in order to create a Brand Style Guide:
There are several brands that are recognizable only based on their logo. Many of the best brands are memorable because they have a consistent logo across all of their products. One way for companies to achieve this consistency is to create a brand style guide that will make their brand unique, and recognizable.
When creating your own style guide give emphasis on the below:
Logo: Make your logo stand out. A good brand manual explains exactly how to use their logo. This can include how much space you have to keep around the icon, and it will also maintain a strong visual impact on others.
Colors: To maintain your brand identity, your colors must be clear and consistent. Often, a brand’s color palette is divided into three categories: primary colors, secondary or accent colors, and neutrals. Based on your company you should choose colors that will “speak” your brands’ name.
Font: Another key and important part is your text and the choice of your font. You need to select specific fonts and check how you can use them in your branding.
Images: Images, other than a unique logo design, excellent choice of color and font selection you need to include in your brand guide, and guidelines for the types of images you’ll use. For instance, does your business use more photos or illustrations? Are these pictures bright or more subtle? These are questions that you need to settle down with your team.
Voice: And last but not least is the «voice» of your brand. That has nothing to do with the visual aspect of your brand but is too important as it refers mostly to the way we speak, the language you use, and all of your brand characteristics. Voice is what makes your brand unique.
There are four important steps that you need to look at in order to start creating your brand’s guidelines.
- Choose your method
Choose either the Static (published), Static (web), or Interactive (web) method. Static methods it’s a classic method. In static, you can create published instructions. We’ve seen many brands turn their instructions into works of art in this way. The Static (web) method is the easiest way to make your directory accessible from anywhere. You can create a PDF for your site. The Interactive is the method that has been used mostly, with this method you can opt-out of interactive style guides that are easier to navigate and more powerful.
- Create a table of contents
In your table of contents, you need to include everything anyone can know about your brand. To guide your creation, list the things you plan to include.
- Create your style guide
To make your style guide easy to use, you can include tips, comments, sidebars, etc. Focus on clarity and effectiveness when writing your copy and adding structure.
- Check your style guide
Before sharing your style guide, firstly have someone (excluded from your team) review your content
- Make your brand guide easy to find
You need to make sure that your instructions are in easy to find and share with everyone, especially new employees, or business partners.
Below we will suggest two examples of the most powerful brand style guide examples:
A brand style guide ensures consistency across different media. The visual language they establish becomes a guideline for how the company’s logo and product language appear in public. A brand style guide also adjusts the tone of the brand copy and the emotional theme of its use of the image.
Spotify is s one of the largest music streaming service providers, and it offers its users an amazing digital experience. Spotify uses a guide that focuses on creating the best artwork by defining the uses for its assets. Spotify has a unique design language which is the key to its market dominance. Their brand style guide provides how not to use its logo. It defines color compatibility, label management, and size restrictions – all rules that help create consistency in Spotify’s user-facing content. Third-party developers rely on guidelines like this when they create things that represent the Spotify brand.
Cisco is an American-based multinational digital communications technology which develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products. Their brand goes beyond design guidelines. It’s a platform for its mission, culture, and corporate value.
They have a built-in powerful UX into their brand guidelines. The gravity system causes the guide to bend and light. Changes in the manual are powerful and the font specification is memorable thanks to the plug-in that allows you to test their type directly on the screen. A downloadable checklist is added to make the guidelines more accessible and adaptable for internal and external use. Their style guide includes a brief section on purpose and design. This section dives into their value proposition and creates a framework for the organizational decisions they define during leadership.
Now you have all the knowledge you need to understand why a good style guide is important, what it should look like, and what you should include. Gather your team together including, marketing, graphic design, and any other creative department, and start creating your very own brand guide.
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