Brand standards allow you to create a unified brand experience across all of your marketing materials.
Quick easy access to your guidelines whenever you need them will help keep & maintain your brand consistent across all digital and traditional channels – everything from your logo, letterhead, website, marketing collateral, and business communications.
Having brand standards also helps employees properly use and communicate the brand message. It outlines brand goals for the company and answers key questions: What images are associated with the brand ? How can the company logo be used? How should employees talk about the brand? It also serves as a valuable guide for designers and outlines basic design elements that are used to create materials – like fonts, color palette, image use, tone, and voice of the brand.
Logo – once you have your logo, it is important to maintain the integrity across all platforms. This includes how the logo used, placement, and acceptable alterations.
Fonts –define styles for type used for your brand, for both print & digital applications. What typefaces are acceptable, how each is used, size and color use. Select a very limited number typefaces that will be used in your projects. Most brands use one or two primary font families.
Colors – specify each color and how it should be used. This includes colors used in your logo, backgrounds, text and other design elements. Try to keep the numbers of colors in your palette to a minimum. Clearly define each color by name and color value – choose primary, secondary and alternate colors for the palette. Specify each Pantone (PMS) color, and its value for print (CMYK) and digital projects (RGB, HEX).
Images – decide whether you will rely on photography or illustrations or other types of graphics. The brand standards should detail how images will be gathered, edited and used. How will images be edited? Will they be black and white or color? These questions should be answered in your image guidelines.
Tone – using a consistent and distinct tone can help clients and customers identify with a brand, and creates an association with what the brand stands for. When creating guidelines for text and tone, think about words you want to be connected to – cool, trustworthy, hip, beautiful, efficient, top-notch. Use those as the outline for your rules.
Start with top 5:
- Overview of brand, history, vision and personality
- Logo specs
- Font specs
- Color specs
- Image style guidelines
Then add next 5:
- Letterhead and business card design
- Design layouts for print and web-based projects
- Specifications for signage
- Writing style and voice
- Visual examples to support rules
Frontify offers free version of online style guide builder to document and maintain your brand or design guidelines. This looks like a really easy way to assemble your brand standards – the free version limits you to three users. Still a great way to build and share. Or you can create paper copies or pdf, starting with logo and color specs.