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Brand guidelines


Brand guidelines are the foundation of everything you do as a brand. They tell the brand story. They describe why the company makes certain decisions. They outline the purpose, the vision, the mission, and the values that should be reflected in absolutely everything the company does.

Brand guidelines examples

We like to do them differently, too. Why have a PDF which gets lost and out of date (that no one ever looks at anyway), when you can have digital brand guidelines, accessible and shareable from a webpage?

With digital brand guidelines you can download all branded assets, so no one is ever asking you to send over the latest logo ever again. Store all important documents and videos on there, all the templates you need, and use it as a place to store all things relating to the brand.

See some examples of digital brand guidelines we’ve created below.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines, also known as brand standards or brand manuals, are comprehensive documents that provide a set of rules and guidelines for maintaining a consistent and cohesive brand identity across all channels and touch points. These guidelines serve as a reference for anyone involved in creating content or materials related to the brand, ensuring that all communication aligns with the brand’s values and objectives. No decisions should be made on the design of branded assets without consulting the brand guidelines.

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What's included in brand guidelines?

Visual Identity

  • Logo usage: There should be clear rules on how the logo should be used, including size, spacing, and placement. This is less important now we’re in a digital world, but still should be specified for occasions like when it comes to printing anything.
  • Colour palette: Primary and secondary colours for the brand should be specified, with corresponding HEX, RGB, and CMYK codes. Pantone references can also be included here.
  • Typography: Guidelines for font selection, including styles for headings, subheadings, and body text. Weights for fonts should also be included, and usage rules for special characters.

Brand story and messaging

  • Brand positioning: Define the brand’s unique value proposition and its position in the market. We do this in a way that relates the brand back to something that people already are familiar with, e.g. if this brand were a supermarket, it would be a Waitrose rather than a Tesco.
  • Brand Personality: Describe the desired tone and voice for brand communications. The way the brand would act if it were a person. There’s a clear difference between coming across like Holly Willoughby and coming across like Brian Cox. We do an exercise on this in the brand workshop – have a look at what we do in this video.
  • Mission, vision, and values: Clearly outline the brand’s mission, vision for the future, and core values. We go over the differences in this article.

Dos and don’ts examples

  • Show everyone what to do, and what not to do. Things like “do not change the colour of the logo” or “only use images of real life people rather than AI-generated imagery”, etc. There are some examples of this in the digital brand guidelines we created for DMFA here.

Access to branded assets

  • Include links or instructions for accessing high-quality branded assets such as logos, images, graphics, and templates.

Tone of voice

  • Define the style and tone of communication, including the use of language, formality, and personality. Make sure anyone writing anything that’s coming from the company is aligned on how the brand sounds.

Photography styles

  • Guidelines for the selection and use of imagery, including preferred styles, themes, and the overall mood. Links to approved stock imagery sites such as pexels.com or unsplash.com will also help people know where to look, and not grab random images from Google search.

Downloadable logos in different formats

  • Provide downloadable versions of the logo in various formats (e.g., PNG, SVG, etc) to accommodate different use cases. You can also link to different programs such as a Photoshop file, Illustrator, etc.

Application guidelines

  • Specify how the brand should be applied across different mediums, such as print, digital, social media, merchandise, etc.

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Why are brand guidelines important?

Brand guidelines are important so that people within the company don’t allow anything to become subjective.

The guidelines are rules that must be followed, so that you never see text appear on social posts 3 times bigger than it should be, or a random picture of a puppy on slide three of a client presentation.

They’re a way of making sure the brand retains its individual style, character, and everyone knows the brand inside out. The way it sounds, how it looks, how things should move, down to the smallest detail.

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Joanna Pawlowicz

Marketing Manager Softbank
Dawn Creative team is a dream to work with! We partnered up on a rebranding project for our [DMFA] website, and could not be happier with the end results. The support we've received was truly exceptional - from the initial branding workshops, development phase, all the way through to the launch. It is great to see how our vision came to life, and how the team managed to take a very simple concept, transforming it into a whole brand identity that aligns with our vision & mission.

Neil Richardson

Head of Business Development and Strategy Rick Shiels Media
Dawn Creative surpassed our expectations with their creativity and originality. They took the time to understand our company values, mission, and target audience, and developed a brand identity that truly resonates with our core beliefs. The innovative concepts, thoughtful designs, and attention to detail were evident in every aspect of the brand development process.

Jennifer Bailey

CEO Calla Shoes
The feedback we've had [on the rebrand] has been incredible - the new look and feel together with the launch of our new improved range has dramatically increased revenue this year already!

Sonya Carassik Ratty

Strategy & Partnerships Manager Disabled Living
The Dawn team really took the time to understand the organisation during our rebrand process, and brought imagination and real creativity to it. Communication was clear throughout. We're absolutely delighted with the result.

Emma Parven

Senior Digital Marketing Manager Zen Internet
We wanted a complete web refresh with additional functionality with a planned live date within 6 weeks. I had just started working with Dawn (have worked with multiple agencies) and was sceptical at to whether they'd hit the deadline but they absolutely did. Was very impressed with the service, speed and delivery. Great job!

David Vernon

Account Director Candidsky
It’s been a pleasure working with Dawn from start to finish. They recently created our new brand and website, and since then, we’ve seen an increase in enquiries and had multiple compliments on our unique identity.

Andy Atkinson

Marketing Director Mutual Vision
We worked with Dawn to completely overhaul our company messaging, branding and website and we couldn’t be happier with the result! The people at Dawn led us through the process from start to finish and worked in a very collaborative way which made the project a real joy. We look forward to working with you on future projects.

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Brand, Digital
& Motion

We believe every brand is a sleeping giant just waiting to be awoken. To rise up and show the world what it's made of. It's our job to chip away at the stone and realise its potential.

You need a website that does it all. That inspires and informs, builds confidence and trust. That enhances experiences and turns casual browsers into lifetime customers.

How your brand moves says things words can’t. Every movement either raises hairs or raises eyebrows. Delights or deters. It's important to make every movement count.

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