Building Brand Guidelines
As content producers we often get asked to build brand guidelines. Here are the rules we follow.
Your brand’s visual identity
The below are key considerations if you wish to keep your visual identity consistent and robust.
Logo treatment. Your brand’s most recognisable asset, assert a level control over it’s treatment. Keep in mind that some logos only work in certain colours. Make sure you have scale to how big or small the logo can be reproduced. Logos the size of microdots don’t work.
Also be sure to assert the spacing around the logo. The space allows the logo to breathe and not be crowded out by other elements.
As with the logo, your brand needs to identify a robust colour palette in PANTONE, CMYK, RGB and Hexadecimal values of the brand colour palette.
If you are looking to expand your colour palette use an emotional colour gauge as well as a colour match chart.
Typefaces. Give header fonts, body fonts, and secondary header fonts and in the case of magazine guidelines, pull-quote, address and caption fonts. Add leading and tracking values.
Grids and Layout. Linear elements that denote brand placement are useful especially those that clearly outline margins. Essential for a consistent approach to any collateral.
voice. Are you the go-to guys for technical innovation, fresh funky content or do you transcend the here and now and instead speak of a trusted, respected heritage?
Defining your brand tone across any platform (flyers, videos, websites, Twitter) is essential.
it chimes with your imagery …
Imagery. This is key to brands that pepper their collateral with imagery. A tourism board may prefer imagery that shows a drama or event playing out in front of an iconic landmark. A car manufacturer may stipulate that people are never shown in shot.
Your brand’s key strategy guidelines
Tell the story of the brand from its initial conception. From this determine elements of its personality. Is it a fresh, youthful, vibrant brand or does it drip in traditional values?
Recently Rhubarb Fool was discussing a brand strategy with a renowned sporting institution, specifically how it wanted to be perceived in the coming years.
We imagined coming across the brand a bit like stumbling across a Damien Hirst painting in a magnificent stately house. Simplistic, maybe but it distilled elements of how the brand wanted to be perceived quite neatly.
Where do you want to be in the market and at what touchpoints will resonate with your customers? If you are not there already then you have just given your brand a goal.
Brand beliefs. We are not all robots, only some of us, so try and sketch out brand beliefs. Touchy feely maybe but it helps to crystallise a brand’s personality and character, and yes, in some ways humanises the public face of a company.
Why not read our post on why flexibility is the key when building brand guidelines?