A brand guide, also referred to as a brand book, brand standards, style guide, or brand guidelines, is a document that provides rules for how your brand should be presented in various scenarios.
It spells out how to use your brand’s logo, colors, fonts, and imagery to produce business cards, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and more.
Why Are Brand Guides Important?
A brand guide helps ensure your brand “looks the same” across all of your marketing touchpoints. In turn, prospects get a solid, reliable brand experience wherever they encounter your company no matter the platform or channel.
Consistency equates to professionalism. If your branding is sloppy and inconsistent, customers may assume your business is as well.
Brand guides are for use internally and by outside vendors who produce marketing collateral for your company. Not only is everyone working by the same rules, they’re using the same source files for logos, fonts, and imagery. This also cuts out the hassle of trying to dig up the right logo file or requesting images from your marketing team.
What Should I Include in My Brand Guide?
Here are the 5 essentials that your brand guide should include:
Rules on sizing, spacing, placement, and how not to use it
Primary and secondary color palettes along with technical values for print reproduction (CMYK and Pantone) and digital applications (RGB)
Approved fonts along with sizing, spacing, and stylization rules, as well as fallback fonts for team members who are producing marketing materials but don’t have access to the approved fonts
Examples of images, patterns, icons, and illustrations and/or guidance on selecting imagery based on tone, style, and composition
5. Usage Applications
Guidelines for the most common uses of the previously mentioned brand elements, like business cards, PowerPoint presentations, and social media. Your guide should include links to premade templates for each application, which provides a consistent starting point for future use
These 5 essentials are just the tip of the iceberg. As your brand evolves and expands its marketing efforts, you may add more detailed guidelines on brand voice and messaging, infographics/data visualization, headshots — even a virtual Zoom background, just to name a few.
Reach out today to learn more about what a brand guide can do for your business.
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