What Are Branding Guidelines?
Brand guidelines are the rules and specifications businesses set for their brand, including their name, logo, colors, fonts, and tone of voice. These guidelines explain how the brand should be portrayed or depicted on a company website, social media channels, via email, or in person.
Brand guidelines are also commonly referred to as a style guide, which designers, marketers, and external stakeholders can use to ensure brand consistency across channels.
Businesses often include branding guidelines on their website for external parties such as journalists or other strategic partners to use in their work when referring to the brand.
Why Do I Need Brand Guidelines?
Businesses need brand guidelines to establish and maintain a unified brand across channels and mediums. Without brand guidelines, a business risks damaging the brand with inconsistent logos, visuals, or messaging.
Brand guidelines guide internal employee communication about the business. Employees involved in email marketing, for example, can use brand guidelines to create email templates that incorporate the company colors and communicate a consistent tone of voice.
Brand guidelines also ensure external parties comply with brand standards and do not falsely depict brand elements on public-facing platforms.
What Do Brand Guidelines Include?
Brand guidelines can be tailored to suit a business’s individual brand and needs, but they typically include the following:
- Mission or vision statement
- Company name
- Fonts and typography
- Brand colors
Most effective brand guidelines include:
- A mission or vision statement: A mission statement helps internal and external stakeholders identify the business’s values, priorities, and long-term goals.
- The company name: Make sure the company name, correctly spelled is front and center. Brand guidelines should also include details on how to use the company name in print, such as what words to capitalize and how to refer to the brand.
- The company logo: Be clear and specific about how the business’s logo should appear in print and online. Logo usage guidelines can include size specifications, colors, and how not to alter the logo.
- Company fonts and typography: Some businesses choose to use specific fonts and typography on their websites and in marketing collateral. Documenting these fonts will help in-house designers and agency partners.
- Company colors: Company colors are often chosen specifically to reflect the uniqueness of a brand. Brand guidelines will include the business’s primary colors used in the logo, as well as any supporting or secondary colors that the business uses on the website or in other collateral.
Businesses can have a specific page on their website dedicated to their brand guidelines so people can easily find the required information.