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What are Brand Guidelines? Are They Useful?

Women working on brand guidelines on her laptop.

Branding is important for developing brand consistency but what are brand guidelines? Being consistent is important because if your brand isn’t consistent then it will be hard for consumers to recognize or recall your brand.

What are Brand Guidelines?

Brand guidelines are things that help differentiate your brand and help make your brand consistent by creating rules and guidelines. Brand guidelines are also known as style guides or style books. These guidelines will help represent your brand to consumers and show what your brand does, stands for, and is about.

What is in a brand guideline?

Bynder states that brand guidelines should include the following:

  1. “Information about your brand’s history, mission, values, and vision.
  2. Guidelines on logo usage including color palette, file format(s), minimum and maximum sizes, contexts, spacing, and usage permissions e.g where it should and shouldn’t appear.
  3. Color palette including RGB and CMYK codes.
  4.  Fonts and text sizes – both print and digital.
  5. Tone of voice, and style guide.
  6. Styles and types of imagery, icons, and photography to be used.
  7. Business card and letterhead designs.”

Why are brand guidelines important?

Now that you know what are brand guidelines, you need to apply them to your brand. Brand guidelines do take time to make, but they are worth it! Brand guidelines are great for making a brand’s image consistent and recognizable. The rules/guides that are set will help people within an organization that doesn’t have an artistic eye to keep up with the band image. The guidelines will as help eliminate confusion when it comes to what you can and cannot do with specific brand elements.

Once the decisions are made about how the brand should look, feel, and sound then the hard part is done!

Putting Brand Guidelines into Play!

Now, all that people must do in an organization is simply follow those brand guidelines. These things will be noticed right away with doing everyday tasks like creating ads, posts, PowerPoints, or whatever visual thing for a brand will become a lot easier because the rules for things like color, font, and logos are set. There will be no room for potential confusion. 

How Will Brand Guidelines Help Benefit You?

Brand guidelines benefit all companies, no matter the size, to help make sure that all their workers are on the same page about the look, feel, and purpose of the brand even if they aren’t in the marketing department!

Looking for more information and examples of brand guidelines? Karla Cook’s article “21 Brand Style Guide Examples for Visual Inspiration” on HubSpot has a lot of great visuals to get a better idea of what brand guidelines are and how to make them.