As a small business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate. You’re constantly thinking of new ideas and ways to grow your brand. And you might even be asked to create a brand guideline document at some point. If you’re not familiar with what that is, don’t panic! It’s not as difficult as it sounds. A brand guideline document is simply a set of instructions guiding your team or other people working with your brand on how to use your logo and branding elements. For example, if you hire a freelancer or an agency to create branded images for advertisements, websites, and other marketing materials, they will need guidelines so they know the correct colors, fonts, and logos to use when creating these materials.
What’s the benefit of creating brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines can benefit your entire team, but they can also help your customers. If your team is consistently following a set of rules, you will create a more consistent brand experience. For example, if you have a set of rules that says your marketing emails should be green, you won’t have any emails out there with red text or blue logos. Consistency also means your customers will know what to expect when they see your brand. Customers want to know what your brand stands for and what experience they can expect when interacting with your business. They want to know what your logo looks like and what it means. When your customers know what to expect, they are less likely to receive an unexpected response from your company.
The step by step process for creating brand guidelines
Brand Guidelines can vary in size and detail, but as a minimum, your brand guidelines should include all of the core visual elements of your brand. All the core visual elements of your brand include your logo, the fonts you use, and your colors. You don’t necessarily have to start with the logo. You can create brand guidelines in any order you like. Once you have all the visual elements completed, though, you can put them together and create a brand guidelines document. Here’s a step by step breakdown of what you can do to create brand guidelines:
How to create a logo usage guide
If you are creating brand guidelines for a logo, your logo usage guide is what tells people how to use your logo and in what situations. For example, if your brand is a bakery, you might have a logo that has a cherry pie on top. Your logo usage guide would tell people how to use that image. It would tell them that the logo should be red and that the cherry pie should be in the middle of the logo. It would also tell them that the logo should be accompanied by your company name in a specific font and color. Your logo usage guide should also tell people if there are specific rules for how to display your logo. For example, your logo might only be allowed to be displayed at a certain size or in a certain area.
How to create a color usage guide
A color usage guide is exactly what it sounds like – It’s a guide showing which colors are best for your brand. Your brand could have multiple colors, but there should be a reason behind every single color you use. And all of those colors should go together and you can create a heirarchy of palettes. Its best practice to include all RGB, CMYK, HEX, and PMS specifications when possible.
How to create a typography usage guide
A typography usage guide is a guide that shows which fonts to use for different parts of your business. For example, your headlines might be in one font, but your body copy might be in a different font. Your brand guidelines would tell you which fonts to use for what parts of your business and why. Typography is a big part of branding, but it’s often overlooked. Your brand should have a unique voice, and your typeface is a significant part of creating that voice.
Branding is an essential part of any company’s strategy, and brand guidelines are essential for maintaining consistency and keeping your brand professional. If you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for a while, you might not even realize that you’re doing things incorrectly. Even if you’ve hired professionals to create branding materials, they might not follow your visual identity exactly as you want it. Your brand is how people view your company. It’s how they perceive you. It’s how they decide if they want to work with you or buy from you. And it all starts with your these core elements . That’s why brand guidelines are so important. To create a successful brand foundation, begin with defining consistency throughout the usage of your branding elements.