What is a Brand Guidelines Document?

A ‘Brand Guidelines Document’ (sometimes called a ‘Brand Bible’, ‘Style Guide’, ‘Brand Guide’, ‘Brand Toolkit’ or ‘Brand Book’)  is what big brands use to ensure that they present a consistent corporate image, which in turn contributes to how they are perceived as a brand. However, small businesses can also use the same approach, but in a much simpler way, by creating a ‘Logo Guidelines’ document. Both documents are intended for the same end purpose, though: to ensure that no matter who produces marketing materials for the business does so in a way that helps maintain the company image.

Brand Guide vs Logo Guidelines Document?

At Pixooma we offer a logo guidelines document with all our logo projects and it includes vital information that can then be passed to any third-party suppliers (other designers, web developers, sign-writers, marketing professionals, copywriters, photographers etc…). Pixooma Logo Guidelines always document the following:

Logo versions available: Master version, black only, white only, greyscale, web/print options, no-text versions etc.

Minimum size: The minimum size that the logos should be reproduced on screen or in print, in order to maintain legibility.

Clear area: The minimum amount of space that should be given to each side of the logo so that it is clearly displayed.

Colours: The PMS ‘Pantone Matching System’ reference numbers that are used in the logo, as well as ‘breakdowns’ for print and web uses (CMYK, RGB, Hex).

Fonts: Which fonts(s) are used in the logo, if applicable.

Usage: How the logo should be displayed, but also a guide to inappropriate uses (Distorting the logo, changing the colours, introducing new fonts etc).

File formats: Which file formats are available for various uses (print, web etc).

An example of a standard Pixooma Logo Guidelines Document is this one for BallyHoo PR

A Brand Guidelines Document will contain all of the information in a Logo Guidelines Document and a lot more besides. Its content can vary but it is intended as a comprehensive guide to the company’s identity and as such it can run to hundreds of pages and take months to complete. It normally contains details on most, if not all of the following:

The business: This could include a history of the company, mission statement, company vision and any targets, specific aims or strategy(ies).

Text: General tone of voice/brand personality, brand specific phrases or copy (such as Calls-To-Action), key words to use (and to avoid), writing style (first-person, informal, direct etc).

Corporate graphics: Approved suite of icons, illustrations and other graphics, and details of how to use them correctly (size, orientation, colour).

Corporate colours: Usually arranged into sub-palettes for various situations such as: Core colours; supplementary; online only; print only; other business-area specific use.

Corporate fonts: The typefaces that are to be used (online or print), the sizes they can be used at, the ‘weights’ that can be used (bold, thin, regular, roman etc), the styles that can be used (roman, italic, underline etc).

Imagery: Standard corporate images to be used in specific cases, a guide to searching for brand-appropriate images, use of colour in image choices (vibrant, pastel etc), subject matter, demographics (young people, older people, gender, professions etc), landscapes (urban, wild, prairie, mountains, seascapes etc), style (closeup, tightly-cropped, blurred backgrounds, quirky etc).

Examples: Demonstrating the branding in use, which could include: Websites; emails; web banners; leaflets; brochures; stationery; catalogues/directories; exhibition materials; promotional items; workwear and promotional clothing.

Legal: Standard Terms and Conditions, copyright, trademarks.

An example of a Pixooma Brand Guide is this one for Curley PDI where we expanded upon their existing logo to create a range of corporate graphics and demonstrated examples of the new brand in use.

All Pixooma Logo projects now come with a FREE Logo Guidelines document, but we can also create them for existing logos easily as well. If you are interested in knowing more please contact us today, we’d be happy to have a no-obligation consultation with you.

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