What Is A Brand Guide? Importance, Elements, Process, Examples, Tips

The brand guide can be called a book of standard rules and regulations that defines how your brand should be displayed to the world. This guide consists of all the rules regarding the creation and evolution of design elements so that your brand looks identical everywhere and leaves an image in the mindset of the people. However, no accurate information is mentioned regarding the guide. 

This article will cover a What is a guide, its importance, essential elements, a concise process, an example brand guide, and specific practical tips. Without wasting any time, let’s begin the guide!! 

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines refer to the standard rules and regulations defining how your brand should be demonstrated in front of the world. It comprises various brand elements, including fonts, colour palettes, and logos. When all these design elements combine, it becomes a brand’s voice that delivers through multiple channels.  

Brand Guide
Brand Guide

In simple terms, a guide showcases your company’s mission, vision, brand persona, and more. These elements allow your brand to develop its image and showcase it to the outside world. 

Why are brand guidelines important? 

Iconic brands don’t accidentally happen. Instead, they know precisely what their company is and what they do. They have designed an iconic brand development with a solid guide that provides a seamless customer experience. Therefore, these guides are essential to create relevant content and promote your brand. 

For instance, writers, content creators, graphic designers, marketers, and everyone else must follow your brand guidelines to promote your brand properly. Simply, they have to match the promotional content with the style and feel of your established guide. Therefore, guideline works as a must barrier through which every action of your company has to pass. It keeps your content in the right direction.  

5 Essential elements in a brand guide 

elements in a brand guide
elements in a brand guide

1. Brand Persona  

Every iconic company has its persona, as Apple has a premium brand persona. This brand persona defines a lot about the success of your brand. It is one of the key factors that distinguishes your business from others. Thus, this persona needs to be added to your guide if you want to have a successful business. 

2. Color Scheme 

People generally remember the colors of a brand’s logo, website, and text when asked to remember any brand. Therefore, it is required for a brand to have an established color scheme. It allows the creators of your brand to create content and promotional campaigns while maintaining the same color so that customers remember it better. 

3. Typography

Typography is a significant factor that gives significance to your brand persona. The font size and design you have chosen in your guide say a lot about the message communicated through your brand and its relevant context. It might look simple, but the wrong font size and design can easily make your brand look unprofessional. Therefore, choosing the required fonts for various letters, including header, subtitle, and copy, is better. 

4. Mission Statement 

A mission statement directly defines the personal statement of a business. It should be conveyed only after considering three main points that are written below:

  • Your brand’s target audience
  • Your brand’s service or products 
  • Your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Point) 

When you thoroughly consider these three points, you will create a clear and concise statement, properly defining the existence of your business. In this mission statement, you can include everything related to your brand, such as logo, brand voice, etc. 

5. Logo 

Imagine Mcdonald’s; all you will click is their logo. Thus, the logo is a crucial aspect of a brand’s image. You should mention the required or accepted brand logo versions in the guide. Though a designer needs to have the complete liberty to create a vibrant logo, there should still be some boundaries regarding re-developing a logo. 

5 Simple Steps To Create A Brand Guideline 

Steps To Create A Brand Guideline
Steps To Create A Brand Guideline

Step 1: Define Brand Identity 

Firstly, defining your brand identity before creating your guidelines is required. To determine your brand identity, you must define your brand’s vision, mission, and principles. You also need to thoroughly analyze the market and figure out the working principles of all your competitors and how you can stand them. 

Step 2: Evaluate Your Design Elements 

Design elements are one of the essential factors in outlining a guide for any brand, may it be a startup or an established company. Both would have different methods to evaluate the design elements. As far as the established companies are concerned, you must analyze their existing fonts, logo, and ads and mold them based on your guide. At the same time, you have to fully brainstorm all these essential factors from scratch for a startup. All these design elements should be aligned with your guide. 

Step 3: Categorize Sections Based Upon Your Current Needs

Brand identity consists of various sections, including typography, color palette, mission, values, etc. All these sections become more valuable or less valuable based on the current business needs. For instance, if your brand is in its emerging stage, typography and design would have more value, as they will help your brand to get attention. Hence, you need to categorize the sections and develop your guide based on the current needs. 

Step 4: Include Examples 

While implementing the guideline, you should also include an example that will help the designers to create something more relevant, eye-catching, and up to your expectations. It would help if you came up with standard templates having your ideal color, spacing, fonts, etc. You must select these elements based upon your guide to stay relevant. Already established examples will help you know the ideal response for your brand. 

Step 5: Record The Changes Made 

When creating a brand guide for a new company or startup, you complete all the processes from scratch. However, for an already established company, you must make various updates to the previous rules and regulations to implement a new one. After updating any design elements, you must record them and update your guide. These updated guidelines will help you align further projects with your company’s rules and regulations.

4 Top Notch Brand Guidelines Examples 

1. Ben & Jerry’s 

Ben & Jerry’s is the brand that has given immense attention to its visuals and styles. Their visuals set a brand feel, and the brand has to spend a lot of money to sustain this feel across all the marketing and PR. The company’s guide maintains similar visuals and styles throughout the projects to keep the brand identity.  

2. Oatly 

Oatly is a successful brand with a clear one-page guideline comprising all the acceptable fonts, phrases, color palettes, illustrations, brand packaging, and even t-shirt designs. In this brand, you’ll see bubbly illustration typography, emphasized fonts, and colors to maintain the overall brand image.   

3. Airbnb

Airbnb also has an excellent example brand guide that you can refer to to understand how they have created their brand identity over a period of time. They have a one-page UI Toolkit consisting of permissive color combinations, adequately colored and shaped buttons, icons, and other clickables. Airbnb is known for its strict guidelines, which has formed its entire brand. 

4. Sweetgreen  

Sweetgreen is one of the best brand guidelines examples, as it clearly defines the company’s mission, vision, and values. Sweetgreen also showcases a lot about its company in its marketing efforts. They have a clear, concise, and on-point rule book that defines the colors, logo, and voice used while evolving the brand or creating new promotional campaigns. 

4 Effective Tips For Creating Effective Brand Guidelines

A guide of a brand is created to align the company’s new promotional campaigns with the existing brand profile of the company. Here we’ve mentioned four practical tips to remember while creating this effective brand. 

Tip 1: Simplicity 

The guide should be simple to read and understand. It allows the new creators and marketers to promote your brand in the manner you want effortlessly. A simple guideline will establish clear communication between the brand and creators. 

Tip 2: Relevance 

It would help to keep the rules and regulations relevant to your targeted audience when creating a guide. This means your brand should be portrayed well in front of your targeted audience. 

Tip 3: Healthy Competitive Analysis 

Competitive analysis works here as well. There are so many places where companies post their guides. You can pick them and create your guide by selecting the best possible elements. 

Tip 4: Professional Advice 

Once you create your guide, you should contact any of your mentors or professional seniors. They can help you to improve your guide if needed. Otherwise, you will at least get the clarity that you’re on the right path. 

Wrap Up 

The brand guide works as guidelines for the creators and marketers to create promotional content and campaigns aligning with the company brand image. We hope this article helps you know everything you need to know about the guides.

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