Definition: Brand guidelines
What are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are clearly defined rules and standards that show how your brand should be represented to the world. Brand guidelines help businesses ensure consistency and demonstrate what the company is, what it does and what it stands for.
Brand guidelines include:
- Information about your brand’s history, mission, values, and vision.
- Guidelines on logo usage including colour palette, file format(s), minimum and maximum sizes, contexts, spacing, and usage permissions e.g where it should and shouldn’t appear.
- Colour palette including RGB and CMYK codes.
- Fonts and text sizes - both print and digital.
- Tone of voice, and style guide.
- Styles and types of imagery, icons, and photography to be used.
- Business card and letterhead designs.
The brand guidelines should be shared and understood throughout the business. Even one incorrectly used logo can damage a brand’s reputation for quality and professionalism. Collating all the brand information in a brand book is a good idea. This could include more in-depth information such as advertising treatments, website templates, editorial guidelines, and guidance on social media branding and tone of voice.
What is the purpose of brand guidelines?
The purpose of brand guidelines is to help ensure your brand is presented consistently, and that it is immediately recognizable by anyone, anywhere in the world. Brand guidelines act as a helpful toolbox for your business to use when publishing or sharing any branded content on your marketing channels or with suppliers, customers or the general public.
Sharing brand guidelines and getting staff buy-in throughout your business is vital for maintaining control of your image and the values you are communicating to the public. It’s not always easy for team members who aren’t marketing or design-oriented to understand how to use images or typefaces, or adhere to tone of voice and style guidelines. By producing and sharing clear and comprehensive brand guidelines that can be easily understood, your internal team and external suppliers can be confident that they are promoting your brand’s image and values in a positive, professional manner.
Building a brand image takes time, and maintaining a great brand image needs to be a company-wide effort. Brand guidelines can help make sure your brand identity is globally recognizable, cohesive, consistent and the highest quality possible.
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