Brand guidelines, also known as brand style guides, are rules and instructions that describe how a brand looks and its components. By following these guidelines, brands can ensure that their messaging is coherent and consistent across all their marketing materials, social media platforms, websites, packaging, and other communications.
So, most of the time, company’s brand guidelines include information about the logo, typeface, color palette, pictures, tone of voice, and messaging. They tell you where and how to use these parts, best practices, and rules for keeping your brand consistent.
In addition to visual elements, brand guidelines may include rules for brand values, personality traits, and communication strategies. This helps ensure that a brand’s messages are consistent and reach its target audience.
Generally, brand guidelines act as a blueprint for presenting a brand to the world, creating a robust and recognizable brand identity that distinguishes it from competitors.
What should brand guidelines include?
- Brand purpose and values: Define the brand’s mission, vision, and core values that drive its activities and communication.
- Logo usage and design: Specify guidelines for the correct usage of the logo, including placement, size, and color variations. Additionally, guidelines on using the logo in different mediums, such as print and digital, should be provided.
- Color palette: Establish the primary and secondary colors for the brand and their use in different contexts.
- Typography: Define the primary and secondary font styles for the brand, including size, spacing, and hierarchy.
- Imagery and graphics: Provide guidelines on the style of imagery and graphics that you use in brand communication, including photography and illustrations.
- The tone of voice and messaging: Outline the brand’s preferred tone of voice, language, and messaging guidelines for different mediums such as social media, website, and advertising.
- Brand personality: Define the personality traits and characteristics that represent the brand and its communication.
- Brand applications: Provide examples of how the brand should be applied in different contexts, such as advertising, packaging, and digital communication.
- Brand usage restrictions: Define the situations where the brand should not be used, including misuse, misrepresentation, or infringement on intellectual property rights.
- Contact information: Include the contact information of the brand’s marketing team or designated representatives for questions or support regarding the brand guidelines
How should brand guidelines be used?
- Consistency: Brand guidelines should be used to ensure consistency in the brand’s presentation across all channels, including print and digital media, social media, advertising, packaging, and merchandise.
- Brand identity: Brand guidelines should be used to establish and reinforce the brand identity, including the brand’s values, personality, and tone of voice.
- Design elements: Brand guidelines should be used to establish the design elements of the brand, including the logo, color palette, typography, imagery, and layout.
- Brand messaging: Brand guidelines should be used to establish the brand messaging, including key messages, taglines, and tone of voice.
- Collaboration: Brand guidelines should be used to facilitate collaboration between internal and external stakeholders, including designers, marketers, and vendors, to ensure consistency in the presentation of the brand.
- Updates: Brand guidelines should be updated regularly to reflect changes in the brand, market, and consumer trends.
In short, brand guidelines should use to keep things consistent, establish and strengthen brand identity, define design elements and messaging, make it easier for people to work together, and keep up with changes in the brand and market.
Ways of presenting brand guidelines
So, there are several ways of presenting brand guidelines, including:
- PDF documents: This traditional format presents brand guidelines in a printable and shareable document. It usually includes text, images, and examples of brand application.
- Video: Brand guidelines can also be presented as a video showcasing the brand identity, messaging, and application. This format can be engaging and visually appealing.
- Infographics: These are visual representations of the brand guidelines that use charts, diagrams, and icons to convey information. They can be effective in communicating complex concepts simply and memorably.
- Brand guideline books: These are physical books that present the brand guidelines in a more tangible format. You can use it as a reference tool and can also serve as a design piece that showcases the brand identity.
- Web-based guidelines: These are guidelines that are presented on a website or web application. They can be interactive, searchable, and easily updated, making them accessible to remote teams
Overall, the presentation format will depend on the needs and goals of the brand, as well as the preferences and access to the technology of the audience.
What are the benefits of web-based brand guidelines?
Web-based brand guidelines offer several benefits over other ways of presenting. Some of the advantages of web-based digital brand guidelines include the following:
- Interactivity: Digital brand guidelines can be interactive, allowing users to click on different sections and explore various aspects of the brand. This interactivity can make the guidelines more engaging and accessible.
- Flexibility: Digital brand guidelines can be easily updated and changed, allowing for a more flexible approach to brand management. This is particularly crucial in today’s digital world, where brands must adapt swiftly to changing circumstances.
- Accessibility: Digital brand guidelines can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making them more accessible to remote teams and collaborators. Overall, this can help to ensure consistency across different locations and time zones.
- Consistency: Digital brand guidelines can include templates and tools that help to ensure consistency across different marketing materials. This can help to reinforce the brand identity and improve brand recognition.
- Analytics: Digital brand guidelines can be tracked and analyzed, allowing brand managers to see how they are used and identify improvement areas. This can help ensure that the guidelines are effective and followed by everyone who needs to use them.
Overall, digital brand guidelines are better than PDF documents in many ways, which makes them an important tool for modern brand management.
How digital asset management makes it easier to use a brand guideline
Digital asset management (DAM) can make it much easier to use a brand guideline by providing a centralized location for all the brand assets and guidelines.
So, here are some ways in which DAM can simplify the use of a brand guideline:
DAM systems allow for storing brand assets like logos, images, and videos in one place. This makes it easy for team members to access the correct assets and guidelines when needed.
Centralized storage is a single location where you store all digital assets related to a brand guideline. Team members or collaborators who need to use or change these assets can go to this place. Using a centralized storage system, you can ensure that everyone uses the correct versions of the assets and keeps them safe.
This storage is especially helpful when working with large teams, international teams, or third-party contractors. If you don’t have a centralized storage system, brand assets may spread out across different platforms and devices, leading to confusion, mistakes, and inconsistencies.
A centralized storage system can also help with version control, which is particularly important for brand guidelines. When making changes to a brand guideline, it’s essential to ensure everyone uses the most up-to-date version. Centralized storage systems can help prevent team members from using outdated versions of the guidelines, which can lead to confusion and inconsistency.
Moreover, you can use several types of centralized storage systems for brand guidelines. Digital asset management (DAM) systems, cloud-based storage solutions, and content management systems (CMS). These systems have features like access control, workflow automation, and version control. That makes it easier to manage and use brand guidelines consistently and efficiently.
DAM systems can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easy for team members to access the brand guidelines remotely or while traveling.
Easy access means that team members and collaborators can quickly and easily find brand guidelines. It is crucial to have a system that enables universal access to brand guidelines regardless of location.
DAM solutions and cloud-based storage solutions make it easy for team members to access brand guidelines. From anywhere with an internet connection. It is more actual in light of remote work and global teams.
These systems allow users to access the guidelines. Web browser or mobile app, making working on the go or from remote locations easy.
Easy access to brand guidelines is particularly crucial when working on projects or campaigns requiring prompt completion. Team members require easy and swift access to guidelines for ensuring adherence and quality work.
In addition to easy access, it’s also important to ensure that brand guidelines are easy to use. By giving tools like templates, guidelines, and examples, digital asset management systems can make it easier to follow brand guidelines. These tools can help team members create marketing materials that are on-brand and consistent with the guidelines.
Overall, easy access to brand guidelines is important to ensure consistent and proper use. By providing easy access to brand guidelines and making them easy to use, teams can work together to create high-quality marketing materials consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
DAM systems help ensure that all brand assets are the same by giving all brand assets and guidelines a single source of truth. As a result, this prevents users from using inconsistent or outdated versions of the brand guidelines.
Of course, one of the best things about using DAM systems to manage brand guidelines is that they help keep things consistent. Centralizing brand assets and guidelines in a DAM system ensures brand consistency across all marketing materials.
Consistency is essential for building brand recognition and trust. Customers are more likely to know and trust the brand when branding is consistent across all marketing materials. On the other hand, inconsistent branding can lead to confusion and a lack of trust in the brand.
Digital asset management systems can help ensure consistency in several ways:
- Single source of truth: DAM systems provide a single source of truth for all brand assets and guidelines. This helps to prevent team members from using outdated or incorrect versions of the guidelines. Ensuring that all marketing materials are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
- Workflow automation: DAM systems can automate workflow processes, ensuring that all team members follow the same guidelines and procedures. As a result, this can help ensure that all marketing materials are consistent and on-brand.
- Templates: DAM systems can provide templates for different marketing materials. Making it easy for team members to create materials that are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity. This can help ensure that all marketing materials have a consistent look and feel.
- Access control: DAM systems allow control of brand assets and guidelines. Ensuring that only authorized team members have access to them. This can help prevent the unauthorized use of brand assets and ensure that all marketing materials are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
In summary, consistency is essential for building brand recognition and trust. DAM systems promote consistency by serving as a single source of truth! Also, automating workflows, offering templates, and regulating access to brand assets and guidelines.
DAM systems let team members work together, which makes it easier to share brand assets and guidelines and keep them up to date. This can be especially useful for global teams or teams that work remotely.
Using digital asset management (DAM) systems to manage brand guidelines is also a great way to work together. Moreover, DAM systems can make it easier for team members to work together. It is important for making high-quality marketing materials that are true to the brand’s message and identity.
Collaboration can take many forms, including:
- Co-authoring: DAM systems can allow multiple team members to work on the same marketing material simultaneously. Moreover, this can speed up the workflow process and ensure that all team members are working with the most up-to-date version of the material.
- Comments and feedback: DAM systems can allow team members to leave comments and feedback on marketing materials. As a result, this can help improve the quality of the materials and ensure that they are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
- Permissions and access control: DAM systems can allow different team members to have different levels of access to brand assets and guidelines. This can help ensure that team members only have access to the assets they need to complete their tasks.
- Task management: DAM systems can allow team members to assign tasks to one another and track the progress of those tasks. Furthermore, this approach can ensure you complete all tasks on time and promptly and efficiently produce marketing materials.
- Version control: DAM systems can help ensure that team members work with the most up-to-date version of brand assets and guidelines. As a result, this can help prevent errors and inconsistencies in marketing materials.
In conclusion, working together is the only way to make high-quality marketing materials that match the brand’s message and identity. DAM systems enable team collaboration through features. Co-authoring, feedback, task management, and controlled brand assets and guidelines access.
DAM systems can automate tasks like converting and distributing files, saving time and reducing mistakes. This can help make sure that all marketing materials follow the brand guidelines in the same way.
Moreover, using DAM solutions to manage brand guidelines is also a great way to save time through automation. DAM systems can automate many tasks involved in managing brand assets. This makes it easier and more efficient to use brand guidelines.
Some examples of tasks automated with DAM systems include:
- File conversion: DAM systems can automatically convert files to the correct format for different marketing channels. Social media, email, website, or print.
- Metadata tagging: DAM systems can automatically tag assets with metadata, such as keywords, descriptions, and categories. This can help team members find and use assets more quickly and easily.
- Distribution: DAM systems can automatically distribute assets to different team members or departments. Overall, this can help ensure that all team members have access to the assets they need to complete their tasks.
- Approval workflows: DAM systems can automate approval workflows. Ensure the appropriate team members review and approve all marketing materials before publication.
- Brand compliance: DAM systems can automatically check marketing materials for compliance with brand guidelines. Ensuring that all materials are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
In addition, by automating these tasks, DAM systems can save time, reduce mistakes, and make brand asset management more effective. This can aid in expediting the creation of marketing materials that align with the brand’s message and personality.
- DAM can make it easier to use a brand guideline by providing centralized storage, easy access, consistency, and collaboration.
- Centralized storage involves storing all digital assets related to a brand guideline in a single location, ensuring that everyone uses the correct versions
- Easy access to brand guidelines is crucial in ensuring consistent and effective use. Particularly when working on time-sensitive projects or campaigns.
- Consistency is one of the key benefits of using DAM systems to manage brand guidelines. This can help ensure that all marketing materials are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity.
- Collaboration is essential for producing high-quality marketing materials that are consistent with the brand’s messaging and identity. As a result, DAM systems can help facilitate collaboration between team members by allowing for co-authoring, commenting, and sharing brand assets and guidelines.
Overall, digital asset management can make it much easier to use a brand guideline.
Make sure that all marketing materials are consistent with the brand’s message and identity.