What are brand guidelines?


Branding flat lay in magazine

When it comes to building an unforgettable brand, consistency is everything.

Think about some of the most recognisable companies in the world and how quickly you recognise them.

From McDonald’s iconic golden arches to Nike’s infamous swoosh, no matter where you are, you can spot them from a mile away.

Consistently using the same logo, colours, fonts, and imagery, over time, makes these brands stick in our minds.

Did you know…

It takes an average of 5 to 7 brand impressions for a customer to remember your brand.

Developing a consistent brand awareness strategy like these big brands starts with the creation of brand guidelines.

In this article, we take a closer look at brand guidelines, what they should include, and why your business should have them.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines or brand style guides are a set of rules that govern how your brand should be represented.

They reinforce your design standards, whilst protecting your brand identity and uniqueness, ensuring that your target audience perceives you correctly. 

Need help with your brand guidelines?  Speak to one of our experts today to find out how we can help you build a better brand.

What should brand guidelines include?

Brand guidelines cover a company’s complete brand identity, including its:

  • Brand Story
  • Logo and Usage Guidelines
  • Colour Palette
  • Typography Guidelines
  • Design Elements
  • Tone of Voice

Brand Story

This aspect introduces your brand to a wider audience, allowing insight into the “heart and soul” of your company.

This section is usually comprised of your company history, core values, mission and vision statements.

If your brand guidelines are for internal use only, you may want to include further details surrounding your customer personas and ideal target audience.

Logo and Usage Guidelines

This section showcases the different variations of your logo and how they should be used. Typically, you would expect to see the logo in at least 3 different variations; primary, secondary, and icon form. 

The usage guidelines that follow should ensure your logo is used the way you intended, preventing mistakes like stretching or condensing. These guidelines can include:

  • Minimum and maximum sizing
  • Colour variations (reversed, in colour, black and white) and when to use them
  • Spacing (or padding) required around the logo

Colour Palette


Repetition of the same colour can strengthen brand awareness, that’s why most brands typically choose 2-4 colours, typically in similar hues of their logo.

Your brand guidelines should include swatches of your chosen colours and the information needed to reproduce the colours accurately across print and digital.

Typography Guidelines

Typography plays just as big of a part in your brand as your logo.

Using font size incorrectly can make a big difference to audience brand recognition.

The typography section of this document should include details on typography style use including alignment and spacing. 

Design elements

Whether your company use photography, illustrations or iconography you’ll have a natural instinct on what images do or do not represent the company.

Consider how you’ll make these images your own, including details on the type of images that should be used and what other people should be looking for as key differentiators when choosing imagery to represent the brand. 

Tone of Voice

Your writing style may not be the most common thing that springs to mind when creating your brand identity.

However, your brand’s use of language in communication can strongly influence your audience’s perception.

Think about how your tone of voice may change when reaching customers on different platforms; will your written letters sound the same as your social media posts? Or will you tweak things slightly?

Why are brand guidelines important?

Whether you’re a start-up or a well-established business, having a clearly defined set of brand guidelines ensures all applications of your brand assets are accurate and consistent.

Branding Agency Leigh-On-Sea Essex

Need help solidifying your brand’s identity? Looking to work with a leading branding agency in Essex?

Contact us today to find out how we can help you create guidelines that ensure you stand out from the rest.

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