A Branding Guide is a document that contains the dos and don’ts of representing your brand. It answers all the key questions about how you should use your logo, colors, fonts, and other visuals in order to maintain a consistent look and feel across all your marketing materials.
Branding guidelines make it easier for you to coordinate your content assets across every platform where your company is represented, such as your website, social media pages, ads, and more. With a style guide, you can guarantee that your messaging is cohesive and consistent across all channels and communications. It also allows you to reinforce your brand identity and credibility.
Creating a branding guide may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Define your brand personality. This will be the foundation for all your future branding decisions.
- Get clear on how your logo is to be used. You want to ensure your logo, slogan, and brand name usage is happening consistently across all platforms. If there are ways the logo, slogan, or brand name are not to be used, you should document that as well.
- Specify your preferred colors. Your web developers, graphic designers, marketing assistants, etc. should never guess about the colors you want used in your materials. Your guide should have everything clearly spelled out so that your branding is never off—not even by a shade!
- Choose photos and visuals that you feel represent your brand well. And include copies of those photos in your guide. This will help your team select similar stock photos when they are working on projects for you in the future. It can also be helpful to include photos that you do NOT want associated with your brand to help make clear the type of imagery or branding you’d like to avoid.
- Don’t forget about fonts and typography! Decide on a few fonts that work well with your overall visual aesthetic and stick to them – inconsistency can be jarring for viewers.
- Make it official. Once you’ve got a good grasp on what you want your brand to look like, put it all down in a document that you can reference anytime you need to make a branding decision.
Building a strong brand takes time and effort, but crafting comprehensive guidelines upfront will save you a lot of headaches (and potential heartache) down the road. So, if you haven’t already, sit down and develop your branding guidelines today. Your future self will thank you!
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.