What are Brand Guidelines? Things to Include [Template + Examples]

April 22, 2020

What are Brand Guidelines? Things to Include [Template + Examples]

CONTRIBUTOR:

Alex Quin
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What are Brand Guidelines?

They offer clear cut rules and guidelines for your brand’s message and identity. Also known as a style guide, brand guidelines, brand manual, or brand book. Your brand guidelines are the standards on how your brand should be represented. These standards are to be fully understood by you, your team, the media, and potential collaborators. Those that wish to work on any co-branded projects or publications with your company or personal brand should have access to this document. 

Why Brand Guidelines are important

Brand identity guidelines are used as a resource that everyone in the company can use to understand how the brand should be represented. Consistency breeds a genuine, trustworthy, and highly recognizable brand. You should always have your customer experience top of mind. Being consistent in the way you look, speak to, and service your existing and potential customers is key. All of this takes effort and a set of established rules. 

Although similar in content, brand guidelines will not be the same for every company.  Big brands require more detailed rules, however startups and small businesses can start with the basics and add to them as the brand develops.


What are Brand Guidelines for?

Some examples of when you would use your brand guidelines would be:

  • Onboarding new employees
  • Designing assets for your brand such as (websites, presentations, social media strategies, product packaging, etc.)
  • Working with freelance designers 
  • Working with print shops
  • Collaborating with influencers or other companies


What should Brand Guidelines include?


what are brand guidelines

1. Your brand story, vision, values.

Include your brand story- who you are. Your vision describes the desired future position of the company. Don’t forget to include the values you have in your company, what values your employees have as well. 

2. Mission statement

Your Mission Statement defines your company objectives and its approach to reach those objectives.

what to include in brand guidelines

3. Brand Voice

The uniformity in your selection of words, the attitude and values of the brand. It is how your brand conveys its personality to its target audience.

why are brand guidelines important

4. Color Palette

The shades you use to represent your company in its logo, collateral, website design and more. Your color palette should be consistent across all platforms. Don’t forget to include color codes!

5. Typography 

The arranging of letters and text in a way that makes your copy legible, and visually appealing to the reader. It involves font style, appearance, and structure.

what do brand guidelines include

6. Logo Mockup

A visual guide to all the elements that make up your logo. This includes wordmark, icon, secondary logo, and slogan (where applicable).

7. Unacceptable uses 

It’s important to show examples of what not to do with the design so your logo does not get altered. i.e, don’t change the color, don’t make it semi-transparent, don’t pinch, don’t rotate, or play with scale. It may also include the minimum size your logo can appear.


Branding is what keeps potential customers connected to your business even when your product or service is not in front of them. Brand guidelines are usually delivered in a PDF format or on a landing page on your website for easy access. Uniformity is the key to branding! Learn how to easily maintain that uniformity for the benefit of your business and your brand equity. Take a look at how our team structures brand uniformity for our highly recognized agency and clients.

Want to skip the design process & get a Brand Guidelines template?

brand guidelines template

Branding is what keeps potential customers connected to your business even when your product or service is not in front of them. Brand guidelines are usually delivered in a PDF format or on a landing page on your website for easy access. Uniformity is the key to branding! Learn how to easily maintain that uniformity for the benefit of your business and your brand equity. Take a look at how our team structures brand uniformity for our highly recognized agency and clients.

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What are Brand Guidelines? Things to Include [Template + Examples]

CONTRIBUTOR:

Alex Quin