Creating a brand guide for my business
Creating a brand guide is the foundation of a successful business.
Defining your brand’s identity is crucial to making your mark in the world, where the marketplace is saturated with so many firms and brands, you want to set the tone and stand out from the pack. A brand guide for your business helps you maintain consistency, and this is what we have delved deeper into in this article.
We have curated 5 simple steps to get you set on the right foot, The tools or design platforms to help you get there, and essential brand guide elements that will bring it all together.
Once you’re done reading you will be well-versed in everything you need to get started creating, designing, and executing your brand guide to a top-quality professional level.
What is a company brand guide?
If you have been immediately aware of a brand’s identity and overall aesthetic then they will have done their job well. A brand’s image, message, and overall impression are long-lasting, and making sure that it’s a good one is vital, and to do that you need to implement and adhere to what is known as a brand guide.
A brand guide does more than simply ‘guide’ the team on what to do or not to do, but more so integrates a cohesion between employees, visual identity including logos, fonts, or color palettes, and ultimate brand messaging. The brand guide ensures everyone on the staffing team associates the brand assets and understands the identity, therefore keeping everyone on the same page.
This detailed document has everything a firm needs to keep on top of brand goals, visions, and overall recognition through public-facing communications. Many people ask if a brand identity is necessary, and we can confidently say yes, it is a much-needed company implementation, and here’s why;
- They help maintain a strong professional image across the board. You want to ensure your voice and tone of the firm are cohesive, no inappropriate humor is used, color tones remain consistent throughout presentations and marketing aspects, and your goal is always to add that professional touch.
- A brand guide encourages brand recognition. The last thing a company wants is to be a ‘nobody,’ but when everyone is following the same guidelines this is easily prevented. Certain colors, bespoke marketing styles, or particular fonts for your company can make it instantly recognizable and in the cut-throat world of marketing, this is a win.
- Consistency will keep you one step ahead of the game, and as the old saying goes, ‘consistency is key.’ This does not go to say that everything needs to be identical, you want coherence, not duplication. When your brand is ‘similar’ across all aspects from logos to image layouts and fonts it becomes your signature which in turn solidifies the fact you have a brand image.
- Employees come and go. With a brand guide, you don’t have to continually retrain new staff members on color codes or font stylizing. By giving them the brand guide they will immediately know what is expected of specific elements and can refer back to the guide if they are ever in doubt about anything.
Finding your brand style seems simple enough but this is not always the case, and often designers or creators have the idea and the vision but have no idea where to begin to bring those creative notions to fruition. Now, suddenly the whole process seems overwhelming when it need not be. If this is the case be sure to reach out to us at Glorify.
Our design team has years of digital creative experience between them and, together with you, can help you curate your brand in a high-quality way that makes sense across the board. As a digital design platform, you can have peace of mind that you are in good hands.
What are the five steps to creating a brand style guide?
Who would have thought that with just a handful of steps you could create a brand style guide that is a top-quality creation that will be the solution to keeping your brand and company message on point, here they are? With these 5 simple-to-follow and implement steps, you can be well on your way to making your brand the next household name and show the world what they have been waiting for. Let’s dive right in and see how easy it is;
1. Define your brand
Too often business owners or entrepreneurs dive in head first into wanting to create a brand that is recognizable and well-known but lacks the effort to putting in the necessary leg work and laying the foundation. You want to be sure of who your target audience is, what are your brand values and statement you want the world to know, and what is your business mission as a whole.
A good jumping-off point is to think of how best you would describe your company and brand to someone else. Using a maximum of 3-5 adjectives can you describe the overall brand impression you want to make?
2. Collect inspiration
There are a lot of options on the market and it can quickly become overwhelming, and don’t worry, you are not alone in this thinking. You could consider scouring the internet for design ideas, concepts, and inspirations, and then work out how to integrate them into your vision or give us a shout at Glorify where our creatives would be more than happy to jump on board and bring your doodles and notes to life in a professional-looking manuscript. With plenty of ready-to-use templates and a stock library of icons and images at your disposal, you will soon be leading the pack and your team will be cohesive moving forward.
3. Outline your content
The following elements, when implemented, will make everything that much smoother and simpler to follow.
- Understand your brand story, its mission, and overall values
- Create your logo and know where you want it placed
- The color pallet is essential to keeping everything uniform and harmonious
- Check your text, fonts, and typography so your message is comprehensive
- Be sure all team members understand the layouts of imagery and illustrations
- Your tone of voice needs to be consistent both internally and client-facing
4. Lay some ground rules
Here is where you need to enforce how things should be executed, but also as much as how they should not be. Be clear on the tone you want to emphasize, the dimensions and colors of presentations including layouts, and your overall sound. Are you looking to come across as formal, casual, or witty, think about your brand representation.
5. Keep it simple
You never know who will be picking up the guidelines manual, be sure it is easy to read and follow by everyone. Use short paragraphs, simple text, and no overly complicated jargon. The simpler the better, and your brand message will be easier to digest.
And just like that you have yourself a well-curated document stating everything anyone needs to know to keep your brand on message.
What are the essential brand guide elements?
Like with all things there are certain steps and stages you need to follow to bring it all home, and the world of brand design guides is no different. Recognizing a particular brand means they have done the leg work, their homework, and have kept a consistent look throughout the company, this is what you need to strive for, and here’s how;
Color - All brand and marketing products need to adhere to the chosen color scheme, at all times. Your color is a representation of your brand, make it impactful.
Logo - If there is one thing you pay close attention to it is logo guidelines. The last thing you want is for your company to be seen with a new, foreign, or edited version of the original logo. This confuses and frustrates customers.
Imagery - Subject matter and photography style can say a lot about who you are as a brand, as a company, and what message you want to evoke.
Typography - Define guidelines for your style of typography, it should represent your firm’s personality and voice.
The tone of voice - How do you want communications amongst team members and customers to come across? Maintain this tone throughout all marketing and communications whether internal or external.
3 tools to use when creating my brand guide
There are many companies and platforms to use when creating your brand guide, but working the best and within your budget is always the better option. Consider the following to get the ball rolling and help you on your way with your brand guide curating adventure.
An online digital design and creation platform with editing tools to help you create the highest-quality brand assets. You want a firm that understands you and that does everything to ensure your brand is the best it can be, from logos to producing mockups, social media posts, and all the while using customizable templates. Glorify with its drag-and-drop interface is the solution you have been waiting for to solve your design dilemmas.
This tool has everything you could need to create a brand style that speaks for you, reflects your brand message, and promotes your personal values. If you are looking for something easy to use, this user-friendly interface could be the answer. Personalizing features for templates, colors, and typography.
If a brand platform for sharing amongst team members from a cloud-based software platform is what you are after then look no further. Frontify offers workflows, features such as patterns and asset management, and a quick look at style guides for inspiration.
Free brand guide templates
The list of readily available templates for all categories is vast, so finding the one that works for you can be tricky, and even more so if you need to pay for it. This is why we have curated a quick-consideration list of free templates to work with and experiment with till you become more familiar and comfortable with the editing features.
You want to look at;
- Social media - Create consistent posts that have a cohesive feel
- Typography - A style and layout that represents who you are as a brand and your message
- Brand story - Articulate your brand’s mission statement and personality
- Logo - What image or icon will represent your brand
- Color scheme - Implementing the same color palette across all your assets
Companies that can help you make the most of your project and take your creation to the level you have envisioned;
All in all, once you have your idea the rest, with some effort and hard work, will fall into place and you will see your creation and digital dreams come to life. Whether it takes longer to be successful compared to the next guy focus on you, your brand, and your message, and soon you will become a household name in the design and digital world. success is just a click away.