What should brand guidelines include?
No two brands are the same so the elements that are included in your brand guidelines will not be identical to any other brand’s guidelines. There are, however, common elements that will usually be included.
Your brand guidelines should start with your brand core. The essence of your brand. Its soul.
Why you exist, your brand vision, mission, values, USPs and story should go here. So that anyone opening up the guidelines, whether that’s someone in the internal team or an external creative team will know all about the brand. Your marketing material shouldn’t just look, feel and sound like your brand, but should be helping your brand achieve what it sets out to do. Align with the overall goals of the company.
Your logo (and its variations)
Your logo in all its forms should appear in the guidelines. The way we do it, as a creative brand agency, is to start off with the story behind the logo – what it represents, any hidden meanings, and why it was chosen for the brand.
Your logomark, wordmark, and any combinations, varying in size, should be laid out in the guidelines. Notice how logos appear differently depending on where they are, and the size and orientation of the space they’re sitting in.
In the modern world, we should also be showing how the logo moves and sounds. Think about the Netflix logo. That “duh-dummm” sound when it appears on your screen, the way it expands out afterwards, that’s all been thought through, and should be outlined here.
For this reason, we suggest digital brand guidelines over static PDFs. (Click here to book a demo)
They’re easily updatable, you can download everything straight from the webpage, you can give anyone access in a second, and there’s never any mix-up with who has which version, and no hunting around on the server for the latest high-res logo.
The typography section should include:
- Your brand fonts
- Usage rules of typography (which styles should be used, and where)
- Type pairings (which fonts go with which)