Creating Constructive Brand Guidelines
A cohesive brand strategy starts with the documentation of a company’s brand guidelines. This benefits not only internal teams but external agency partner, as well, ensuring every piece of content shared consistently reminds customers that your company is creative, organized, and trustworthy.
The Blue Chair Digital team aims to develop brand guidelines that allow anyone to fully understand who the company is, what it stands for, and how it should be represented. And here’s how we do it.
Detailed Brand Guidelines
A company’s brand guidelines should include:
Logo Design & Variations
Tone of Voice
Logo Design & Variations
Your brand may have several logo options — one with text, one without, one light, one dark, etc. We recommend compiling every acceptable version of your company logo so designers, digital marketers, and agency partners can always employ an option that best harmonizes with their designs.
Additionally, it is beneficial to outline the spacing or padding that should surround your logo. This will prevent the logo from being crammed in a small space, littered with other conflicting elements, or distorted and illegible.
Within the typography section of a company’s brand guidelines, all fonts available and where they are designated for use should be detailed. Headline, sub-headline, and body copy should each have a designation with font name, weight, color, and where they should be used to ensure cohesiveness within all print and digital documentation.
Generally, a brand’s color palette consists of the colors implemented within a company’s logo. These colors should be displayed within the brand guidelines with their respective hex codes for digital usage and CMYK colors for print materials.
If your branded color palette includes primary and secondary colors, it is beneficial to separate them into their respective categories and highlight their proper usage.
Consistency in photography styles, filters, and subject matter is critical to establishing a cohesive brand identity. The imagery portion of a company’s brand guidelines will typically feature a images that are appropriate and images that are inappropriate. This portion of the brand guidelines is especially helpful for photographers during custom photoshoots for campaigns.
Often referred to as the "what” and “how” of reaching the company’s objectives, the brand mission defines what a brand aims to accomplish. This will allow for content creators to make sure all of their work supports this statement.
Associating characteristics within a brand guidelines document gives a company a more personal touch. Like we’ve said before, “People don’t want to do business with companies. They want to do business with people.” If customers relate their personal traits to the traits of a company, they become more loyal and even evangelize for the company. (And we all know word of mouth is the best marketing!)
If the brand mission is the “what” and “how” of a company, the brand story is they “why”. Any compelling brand story will explain why a brand matters, why they’re different, and why consumers should choose the company’s products and services.
But, the brand story should portray more than just the internal perception of the company. This portion of the brand guideline should also consist of the consumers’ perception of the company. Why the brand matters to them, why they think the company is different, and why they choose to purchase the company’s products and services.
Tone of Voice
And, of course, no brand guidelines document is complete without the company’s tone of voice. This portion will record language used and how internal departments and external agency partners can communicate on the company’s behalf.
While you may choose to include other elements within your company’s brand guidelines, we suggest including all of these portions to give marketers, designers, copywriters, and other employees the foundation they need to advocate for your company’s cohesive brand strategy.
Want to make sure your brand is cohesive and documented for proper utilization? The experts at Blue Chair Digital can help. Contact us today to get started with a risk-free consultation!