Why Do I Need Brand Guidelines?

It does not matter if you have a big or small business, how the outside world sees your brand is important. A consistent brand helps your visitors to quickly confirm that they are in the right place, and they also then expect an experience that is in line with your brand values.

‘Many of the biggest brands put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that their external messaging is consistent, because they know that it really makes a difference in the battle to convert visitors into customers.’

So how do you ensure you have consistent branding?

Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines or Brand Standards are the answer.  These can be a very simple one-pager that lists your fonts and colours to full blown brochures produced by agencies, depending on your needs and budget.  This document tells all staff members and outside agencies how you want your brand to appear.


What Brand Guidelines Contain

Brand Guidelines will usually include:

  • Different versions of the logo, in terms on vertical or horizonal stacking of the elements, different colours, including white for using with dark backgrounds
  • Detail where and how you can use the logo – for example what sort of backgrounds and how much space much be left between the logo and surrounding elements. And especially to avoid my pet hate of not keeping the logo in proportion so it looks stretched or squashed!
  • A colour palette that details the exact colour used in the logo so you can ensure consistency – including Pantone, HEX, CMYB and RGB values
  • The colour palette may also contain complimentary colours that don’t appear in your logo, but sit well with your logo colours and again ensure that anyone producing literature or web pages is using the same colours
  • Other brand elements that might be used such as favicons (also known as shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon) or particular shapes or styles
  • The fonts that should be used for print and website
  • The tone of voice that should be used in copy such as professional or casual – depending on what your brand values are
  • Examples of layout for different types of social media posts, website pages and documents


Brand Style Sheet

As we have said this can be an expensive and time consuming exercise, and for some brands it is the right route. Of course if this is not right for you, you can still do a slim version that is not much more than a page or so, often called a Brand Style Sheet, and can include:

  • Different versions of the logo
  • A colour palette
  • Other brand elements
  • The fonts

It is also useful to have a list of all your external ‘touchpoints’ so you can check that they reflect your brand as you want them to.

If you need help with any of this, then get in contact.