17 February 2017

On the brandwagon: a guide to brand guidelines

One of the most enjoyable phases of any project for brand designers is at the end, when we compile all the design assets together into the brand guidelines.

For us, it’s a chance to see everything come together and how the brand is going to come to life. After all, when a lot of time and money has gone into getting everything perfect, we want it to be used wisely!

Brand guidelines are essentially a manual outlining how your brand is to be applied. This applies both internally and externally – from a creative commissioned to design a brochure, to an internal team member writing your social media posts.

Brand guidelines are much more than outlining how much space should be left around your logo and using a consistent colour palette. These things should be common sense to any good designer.

As it’s likely that multiple people are going to be working with any one brand, it’s also important to establish firm guidelines for things like the following:

  • the style of imagery that should be used across your brand’s collateral – are you light and airy or dark and broody?
  • the tone of voice that used in your brand copywriting. Do you want your brand come across as light and fun, thoughtful and earnest, or sit comfortably somewhere in between?
  • other design assets, such as icons, illustration and templates.

When all these things come together harmoniously it results in maximum brand recognition, which is equally important whether your brand is a small startup or a household name. Brand guidelines can be as simple or extensive as the client needs, but at the end of the day everybody who’s gone to the effort to have their brand designed thoughtfully deserves it to be used properly.

For branding by Bellman

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