The Fundamentals Of A Brand Guide And Brand Consistency

HeyStack Mavericks October 25, 2019

A Brand Guide is a critical component to small businesses and enterprises alike. The Fundamentals of A Brand Guide And Brand Consistency are the key to fostering brand awareness and portraying a professional image that will build trust with new potential customers. A brand guide consists of 6 core components that can be as granular or vague as desired by an organization’s marketing team. Brand Guides can be as short as 9 pages or as long as 220 pages depending on the detail that goes into them. The 6 core components that every brand guides should have are as follows:

1. Brand Intro/summary, mission statement – This should be the first section in a brand guide and should paint a picture of a company’s mission, culture, core philosophies and more. This is a great place for third parties working for your brand and using the guide to gain a sense of who your business is which will aid them in creating content, either digital or print, that presents your brand in a consistent way to potential customers through all channels.

2. Logo Outline & Usage – This section of a brand guide displays your company’s logo in the acceptable formats whether they be vertical variations, horizontal, word marks, icons, etc. This section should also outline the do’s and don’t in regards to logo usage. For examples, a white logo should not be used on a light background because it does not contrast enough. If a logo should not be presented with stroke, a drop shadow, particular color variations, and more, this can be presented within the logo outline section. Anything stated in this section should have a graphic that illustrates the stipulation.

3. Color Palette – The color palette section of a brand guide will include a map of the primary brand colors in addition to the secondary brand colors if they exist. The color palette should use both printed colors and codes to identify the exact matches. Colors for both digital and print should include RGB, CMYK, Pantones, and any other identifier that your team sees fit in keeping color consistency across multiple channels for both digital and print.

4. Typography – The typography section should include the particular fonts that can be used for your brand. This can be broken down into headlines, sub headlines, body text, and more. This can be as granular as to specify the kerning, line height, sizes and more, or as vague to simply state sans-serif fonts only. Font usage examples should be included within this section for reference.

5.Imagery – The imagery section of a brand guide should outline the characteristics of images that are permitted and/or not permitted in company collateral, marketing collateral, etc. If your company has a fun, comedic voice, then vectors might be the only acceptable form of imagery. If your brand has an outdoors, wildlife image, then outdoor photography with vibrant colors might be the only suitable form of imagery. Examples of all requirements should be included in this section.

6. Brand Collateral – This section provides examples of brand collateral for your company from pens and mugs, to email templates and website landing pages. Brand Collateral examples should include both digital and print designs. If T-Shirts are a requirement, examples of acceptable T-Shirt designs with logo placement should be mocked up and included in this section.

After the brand guide is made, it is important to utilize it to the fullest and not drift away from the stipulations within it. By using a brand guide to improve brand consistency, you are stabilizing your brand awareness, as consistency helps with identity. In addition, having a brand guide will help your business achieve a professional look that is sure to make potential customers feel comfortable before doing business with you.

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