You've just created a brand, congratulations and welcome to a life of stress and satisfaction! The next item on the agenda is a brand guideline. Whether you call it a brand manual, design identity or style guide, this will be your bible.
So what is a brand guideline?
It's a document that lays out guidelines for how all aspects of brand representation will be created. The bible should have clear rules to unify the personality of your brand. The idea is to assist employees, creatives and collaborators to properly communicate your brand's message. This can include anything from typeface to spelling, grammar, letterheads, tone and even greetings. Consistency is a key ingredient of brand success and there are a number of elements that come in to creating a strong brand with purpose.
To start, visual aspects are hugely important - be sure to keep your font combinations the same across all of your designs, apply the same colour palette, use a consistent composition for graphics, apply unique filters and keep the placement of your logo and elements consistent. The reason why this is necessary is because visual aspects become a key indicator of a brand, humans are hugely responsive to repetition and soon enough your brand should become recognisable through its visual representation alone.
Tone is super important when it comes to branding - much like a conversation, the way you type reflects personality. Think about your brand as a person, are you youthful? Sophisticated? A little cash me ousside howboudah? Whatever your style - consider each piece of writing or collateral as a conversation with your audience. A style guide is a fantastic way to keep writing consistent in everything from how you write your numbers to capitalisation of titles. This is often an ongoing task and will evolve as questions are raised about all things spelling and grammar.
In brand guidelines, key messages are seriously key. Think about what the most important message of your brand is, this applies to tag lines as well. Give your audience a roadmap - this helps them build relationships and feel connected. To have your brand running like a well oiled machine it is important that all of your employees truly understand your message and goals, this will help them develop their ability to stick to the brand guidelines and soon enough it will become second nature.
As far as brand bible’s go, you should be well on your way to success. As long as your employees are behind the brand, these tools should pull it all together for a consistent, strong brand.
Still confused? Let Crave New Media do it for you!