Brand Guidelines, also referred to as a style guide or brand book, are a set of rules that explain how your brand works and looks. A style guide is a complex document and creating it takes a great deal of thought and effort. So why do you need one?
Have a consistent look and feel to your brand is very import. It’s the building blocks of a strong brand. If your imagery and message are not succinct, then potential customers will not recognise your company.
Working with suppliers / graphic designers / website designers
When you need to outsource design work, or perhaps you are having new signage created for your business, a style guide will provide simple instructions to these suppliers on how they should design your collateral.
A style guide can include “examples of use” for the supplier to follow and show them clearly how your logo should be placed and what you brand colours are.
Making use of a style guide means you can provide your printer with the correct colour breaks-up of your brand. The style guide specifically tell them what colour values should be utilised for print. It will explain that an image should not be taken straight from the internet and placed in a document to print.
Your style guide is a great tool for introducing new employees to your brand. If you have an in-house marketing team, then the style guide will be the corner stone for all the work they produce. It allows them to understand the images you like to use, the tone of the writing created for your company and the look and feel required when producing graphic design elements. A style guide often includes a “brand voice” such as about us or mission statements and will provide a helpful source of reference for employees.
Style guidelines should be flexible enough for designers to be creative, but rigid enough to keep your brand easily recognisable. Consistency is key, especially if you need the brand to extend across multiple media platforms.
Lastly, we often get requests from business wanting to rebrand. The think they need a new logo designed. What often comes out in our meetings with them, is that what they actually need is a strong brand guide for their company. We often refresh their logo and create a strong brand guide for them, to get them back on track.