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Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines

Why Brand Guidelines Are Critical to Your Business

When building a reliable and recognizable brand, consistency is key. Consistent branding helps customers quickly understand what your brand is about and recall how they feel about you.

The best tool for maintaining this consistency is brand guidelines. Brand guidelines help you and your team to share the same message when talking about your brand.

Brand guidelines often cover visual and editorial elements. Some of the elements of your visual brand guidelines might include:

  • Logo: The logo is the most important part of your visual identity. Your guidelines should cover dos and don’ts of logo usage, e.g. do not change its colors, do not crop company name.
  • Colors: Identify the official colors – both primary and accent colors – used across marketing materials. Guidelines should contain hex, RGB, CMYK and Pantone.
  • Typography: Specify which fonts are used, and offer examples of the typographic hierarchy, i.e. Heading 1, Heading 2, paragraph.
  • Icons: Specify which types of icons are used, e.g. single colors, line drawing.

Elements of the editorial brand guidelines could cover:

  • Vision, mission and core values: What message do you wish to convey about your brand? What is the reason behind why your brand exists?
  • Brand expression: How do you talk about your brand and your mission? What language do you use? Is there a brand slogan?
  • Brand voice: In written communications, is your brand neutral? Funny? Soft? Loud?

You have probably thought about many of these elements, and might have docs outlining some of these factors. Read on to learn why it’s important to compile these elements into a clear brand guidelines document.

Maintain consistency

Brand guidelines help you maintain consistency for internal and external marketing and communications elements. This consistency is how you build brand recognition. Every time someone sees your website, flier or email signature, they continue forming their impression of your brand. Consistency demonstrates you are committed to how you present your brand.

Clarify your expectations

The marketing team might have the guidelines down pat, but it can be hard to remember what the design company submitted as the official “rules.” Having written guidelines makes it easy to reference the hex codes for your brand’s colors without pestering someone.

Additionally, you may have a client who wants to use your logo on their website to indicate their relationship with you. Brand guidelines let them know how you expect them to present your brand within their site.

Increased recognition

Some of the biggest brands in the world are instantly recognizable just through colors or fonts – think of Disney, Coca-Cola and Google. While it takes a long time to achieve that level of recognition, sticking to your brand guidelines will make it easier for your customers to recognize that your brand is associated with whatever element they’re viewing, reminding them of their feelings for your brand.

Make new elements efficiently

If you’re creating a web banner announcing a new service, you can save a lot of time by referring to the brand guidelines. The brand guidelines will have the colors and fonts you need, ideas for the language to use and suggestions for what voice the copy should have. If you hire a web designer for a website update, they have a starting point for the site’s style. There’s no need to reinvent the (brand) wheel.

At IDMI.Net, we’ll help showcase your brand’s identity with our website design services. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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