Branding guidelines, or brand books, are primarily there to maintain the cohesiveness of your brand. A clear and consistent brand is a more successful brand. Unsurprisingly, the audience is far more likely to recognise a company if it looks the same everywhere. It’s important that they remain guidelines though, as you don’t want to stifle development in your company. At Ultimate, we will analyse your brand and identify the key elements. We’ll then present these guidelines in an appealing and easy to use manner, ready for you to distribute.
So you’ve got a brand, but how can you ensure it is used correctly? That’s where branding guidelines come in. Branding guidelines are essentially a set of flexible rules that state how your brand should be applied, normally with an explanation. They can vary enormously in size, according to your needs. A brand is more than just a set of images. It encompasses a company’s values, personality and vision. Therefore, all of these also need to be reflected in the brand guidelines.
A basic set of branding guidelines may only be a few pages long, but they contain invaluable information about your brand identity. Typically, they will discuss the rules surrounding the use of your logo, a breakdown of your colour palette and details of your typography. It may also include details of the style of imagery that should be used anywhere associated with your brand. Often, all of this is then applied to a standard business card and letterhead design. The opening page should act as an introduction to the brand and your company, outlining your mission, values and brand promise.
From these simple branding guidelines, more details can obviously be added as needed. These vary from signage to website layout to merchandising, and more. Whilst branding guidelines could technically be applied to everything, you want to give your designers a degree of flexibility. Cohesiveness doesn’t have to mean uniformity!
Aside from the visual elements of the brand identity, branding guidelines generally also reference copy. They provide information about tone of voice, style of language and structure. These aspects of branding should not be dismissed unconsidered, as your brand needs to be evident and consistent in everything that you do. Such cohesiveness is especially important given the rise in company use of social media platforms, where tone of voice is key. What you’re posting needs to match up with the rest of your branding.
"Branding guidelines are an invaluable document. Once you’ve established a brand, they make your life just that little bit easier by acting as a base for all your future work. They can help save a lot of time, effort and re-dos."
Lisa Birchall-Leedham - Creative Director
At Ultimate we believe new projects should be undertaken with great amount of consideration and vigilant planning and research. You can be assured everything we do, will be the best for you and your brand and not what is best for us!