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Brand Guidelines: Their Importance

website color schemeYour brand’s marketing materials, message, logo, and website have taken a lot of time to create. Getting your logo designed exactly right took a lot of back and forth with your designer. Together with a content writer, you crafted an impactful and cohesive tagline. Business cards were even designed. All of this won’t be consistent if you don’t have brand guidelines.

What are brand guidelines?

The brand guidelines are a set of tools and rules that explain how to use the branding elements. Designers, writers, and anyone else creating marketing materials with your brand’s elements can use these guidelines.

In the guidelines, you will find information on how your brand works and how the different elements work together to form your brand identity.

What’s included in brand guidelines?

Due to the fact that no two brands are exactly alike, the elements included in your brand guidelines may not look the same as those included in guidelines from another brand. However, the following three elements are always included:

  1. The color palette that your brand uses.
  2. The different typography associated with your brand including the various typefaces and families.
  3. The different versions of your logo design and how they are to be used.

Almost all brand guidelines include these three elements, but there are other elements that may be included:·          

  • Graphic elements that can be used separately from a logo.
  • Symbols may be included, if your brand contains any.
  • Wordmarks are included when appropriate.
  • Brand tone is also included, if your brand has an established tone of voice for messages and content.

Brand guidelines are based on your brand’s elements.

What are the benefits of brand guidelines?

You might wonder why you need brand identity guidelines now that you know what they include.

It is best to use brand guidelines as a tool to keep your brand consistent. In order for your brand to work effectively, brand guidelines are critical regardless of the size of your business. Without them, your brand will fail. An organization’s message can change at any time if its logo was used incorrectly or if a wordmark was used instead of a graphic element.

Here are just a few of the reasons you need guidelines:

Brand Consistency

Brands need to be consistent in order to be effective. If you change your logo’s colors to match a particular marketing material, then it may no longer be recognized by your customers or clients.

To keep your brand identity consistent and recognizable, a style guide puts rules in place not to limit creativity. You can ensure your brand’s elements will be used effectively and will look professional with brand guidelines in place.

In addition, when you use the elements of your brand consistently, you can build a powerful and recognizable brand.

Sets Standards and Rules

Color palettes and logo versions are just part of your brand guidelines. Specific rules and standards will be contained in it regarding how to use those elements.

In addition to providing information on different logo variations, the guide will also provide examples of how not to use those logos. It is just as important to follow rules such as clear spacing around logos as it is to know when to use the logo versus the wordmark.

Using the guidelines, anyone creating a message from the brand will know and understand which elements to use and how to use them. It’s about consistency, but it’s also about knowing what’s right and wrong when it comes to how to use those brand elements.

Provides Tools

However, brand guidelines are more than just rules. The tools you use to keep your branding consistent are meant to help you and anyone else sending a message on your behalf.

These elements work together to create a coherent message, and they are the tools you need to create moving messages and iconic marketing communications.

Avoids Confusion

There is a possibility that not many people will use the tools and elements outlined in your brand guidelines. Whether you’re planning to scale your business or just add an employee, more and more people will be involved and part of your brand. A consistent, cohesive brand is essential.

Because you created your brand, you know it like the back of your hand. New employees will not know the rules of your brand identity, at least not right away. By having brand guidelines in place, you can prevent confusion and ensure your brand is consistent.

How do I get brand guidelines?

Color palettes, logos, brand voice, and other brand elements are established before brand guidelines are created. When you are just starting out, it’s the perfect time to have your branding done and create your guidelines.

Your brand may be well established, but if you don’t have brand guidelines, we can help. Developing brand identity guidelines can never be too late. Realizing you need them is actually the right time to have them created.

You can’t keep your branding consistent without guidelines. You need brand guidelines to build and maintain a powerful brand. If you’re ready to define your brand’s elements and the best uses for them, you’ll need a marketing strategy team.