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Put it in Writing: Why Every Brand Needs a Brand Guide

When It Comes to Branding, Consistency is Key.

From old-school print marketing to the social web and beyond, there are a dizzying number of ways that your brand faces consumers today. To project a sense of professionalism, reliability and authenticity, it’s essential to maintain a consistent brand image no matter the platform or application.

One way to achieve this level of consistency is by using a brand guide (sometimes called a style guide or brand bible) to lay down the rules for how the brand will be presented. You might think a brand guide is something that’s just for big brands – but the fact is, for brands of any size looking to define their character and visual identity, this comprehensive document is of critical importance.

Let’s look over just a few of the topics that are covered by a typical brand guide:

Logos and Iconography
A brand guide will include detailed instructions on the proper placement and usage of your logo and any other brand iconography. If your logo has alternate versions for situational usage (and if you’re following best practices for logo design, it should!), the brand guide will outline proper ways to use these alternates, too. Just as important, the brand guide will set the rules for how your logo shouldn’t be used.

Brand Colors
Color is critical for establishing a brand’s visual identity, and the brand guide pinpoints the exact shade of each color used in the branding scheme. Colors are specified using multiple methods such as RGB, CMYK, and hex codes, so whether the application is print or digital, you’ll always be using the precise color you need. The brand guide also includes guidelines on how the colors should be balanced in the overall color scheme.

Type is another critical component of a brand’s image. This holds true not just for typeface selection in logo design, but also for how body copy is arranged. Your brand guide will have a section identifying the brand’s chosen typefaces and how they are to be used, along with rules for typesetting and page layout – things like line height, letter spacing, the ideal number of words per line, and so on.

Brand consistency isn’t achieved through visual elements alone. It’s essential that any written content projects a uniform brand voice no matter the platform – whether it’s website copy, blogs, social media captions, or even things like on-hold messages. Your brand guide will include details on a range of topics related to brand copywriting and help you establish a consistent tone and style for your content.

Depending on your brand’s needs and your specific marketing strategy, other topics covered might include the use of photos or illustrations, proper formatting of social media posts, guidelines for staff uniform designs, and much more.

Need a hand establishing a consistent look and feel for your brand? Contact us at Rosie’s Creative today. Remember, your first consultation with us is always free.

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