5 Elements of a Brand Book (And Why You Need One)
So you’ve heard of this thing called a Brand Book, sometimes referred to as “Brand Guidelines” or a “Brand Style Guide.” But what is it and why would a company need one? Essentially, a brand book takes the guesswork out of handling your brand once an agency steps away. It provides guidelines on the right ways to use your company’s logo, choose relevant imagery, style external brand communications, and more. (Read: it’s a cheat sheet that is invaluable for any brand owner.)
Chances are, your company is experiencing growth or change, and you realize you need a consistent brand in order to be relevant and successful. You may be shopping around for branding agencies but not exactly sure what you need. That’s okay. A good place to start is with the basics – logo design, typography, color palette, imagery, and brand voice. Having a brand book with guidelines on these elements can ensure your brand is always represented with care – no matter whose hands it’s in.
1. Logo Design & Usage Guidelines
Having a professionally-designed logo is the first step towards building a successful brand – but your responsibility as a business owner doesn’t stop there. It’s crucial to the integrity of your brand that the logo always be used consistently across all mediums – regardless of who is using it. That’s where a brand book comes in.
A brand book with clear guidelines on logo usage ensures every person in your organization is equipped with the knowledge to uphold your brand’s standards. This becomes especially important when multiple persons in an organization are sharing or creating content. Eliminate the risk of compromising your brand – the one you just worked so hard to establish! Our brand books include the correct file types to use, scaling tips, coloring options, and other details to ensure your logo always looks its best online and in print.
2. Color Palette
Color is a powerful brand tool when used effectively. That’s why companies like Facebook don’t use just any blue – they use their signature blue color across all mediums. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s crucial for brand recognition that your business always use the same colors provided in the brand color palette. Keeping a consistent use of these colors is made easy with guidelines for each color’s RGB, CMYK, and Pantone® values; if necessary. Color palette guidelines make communicating with printers and other members of your organization a breeze.
When it comes to branding, typography is often overlooked. Yet, it has the power to change the entire tone of your brand, and should be chosen carefully and expertly for maximum impact. We’ll provide guidelines for which font families best represent your brand and how to use them effectively. In some cases, we even create custom typography for use in your brand’s logo or elsewhere!
In the typography section of your brand book, we’ll provide guidelines on the size, weights, and cases of each font to help ensure email signatures, letterheads, and other brand materials all have a consistent look and feel.
One of the most visible aspects of your brand is the imagery it uses in brand communications, advertising, marketing materials, and online. Don’t make the mistake of misrepresenting your brand or confusing your audience with a poorly chosen image. Guidelines for imagery help your business’ identity stay on-brand for maximum impact and cohesion. In a complete branding project, we also include stock photography and tips for editing or presenting those images in a way that best represents your brand.
Why is imagery important? Let’s put it this way. You wouldn’t see a high fashion brand like Dior using rustic, woodsy imagery, but you might see a brand like REI using it. In that same vein, your content and visual imagery should appropriately reflect the tone and feel of your brand.
Every brand has a unique voice, and it’s important to find yours. Consumers should be able to easily identify your brand’s tone, messaging, and communication style whenever they interact with your company. That’s why we provide tips for communicating effectively with your audience in a voice that makes sense for your brand. We’ll outline things such as common terms or language, formatting for dates/time and other important punctuation, and the overall tone and personality of your brand. Establishing your brand’s voice is key to shaping consumer perception about your business, and can help every member of your team represent your company in the best light possible.
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