How to create a brand guideline document

You’ve created a logo that you’re proud of, it says what you want it to say about your business and you want to show it off. But imagine this; you send your logo to a company for it to be printed on your letterhead, and it comes back so small that you can’t read the text and the colours are all wrong.

This is exactly the reason you need a brand guideline document.

If you’ve never heard of a brand guideline document then you might be thinking this is all a bit overkill and unnecessary, but however big or small your business, I can guarantee you’ll feel the benefits of having one.

So what exactly is a brand guideline document?

What you can include in your brand guideline documentIn its simplest form it describes how your logo should be represented, on what background, how much space there should be surrounding it, whether it should be on the left, or right of a page, what its minimum size should be, and exactly what colours it’s made up of. These are all things that should have been considered when your logo was designed, but maybe it wasn’t documented.

A document like this isn’t just useful for passing to your suppliers, but if you have a number of people working for your company you need to make sure that your logo and brand is consistent across the board. If one sales person presents to a prospective customer one week with one version of your logo and the next week another presents to the same person with a slightly different logo, one they’ve resized and skewed, it weakens your brand and could actually make you look like a different business. It can certainly make you look sloppy.

A brand guideline document extends beyond just the logo and should define supporting colour schemes, fonts, image styles & treatments and any other elements of your visual identity that you’d like to ensure are consistent. It does sound like a lot of hard work and I’d be lying if I said anything different but I can assure you that if you get this right early on it’ll make your life a lot easier going forward.

Don’t forget – the reason you’re doing this is ultimately to help make your business more successful.

Having a unified visual style to your marketing collateral is so important in creating that first impression. Your logo, website, brochures, exhibition stands, letterheads, email templates and presentations all need to look consistent and professional. Get this right and people will see you as organised, considered, professional and reliable – rather than sloppy, haphazard and perhaps someone they don’t want to do business with.

Next week I look at how important it is to understand who your target audience are, but if you can’t wait that long, you can download the full guide by clicking on the button below.

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