A brand guide is a document or booklet that contains everything a designer would need to represent your brand. This includes your logos, spacing information, company colors, and company fonts. The bigger your company, the more your brand guide will include…but why does every brand need one?
The first and most important thing to include in your brand guide is your logo. For a single document, having a large logo at the top of the page is ideal; for a booklet, you can put your logo on the front. If your brand guide is digital, the best way to ensure that people will use the exact logo you want to represent your business is to ensure that it is a vector. (Not sure what that means? Check out our post here on why your logo should be a vector!)
You likely have a couple different logos that you use in your marketing materials. For example, our sister company Zipp Printing’s logo sometimes has the words beside each other, and other times has them on top of each other. If your brand is similar, include both styles of logo in your brand guide. Most logos have a black and white version, lighter or darker version, a version with the colors alternated, or many other configurations – include them all! If your logo requires a certain amount of space around and inside the logo, include that as well. The idea is to have every style of logo you’ve used for your brand within your brand guide in order to maintain consistency wherever it’s being used.
Another important thing to include in your company’s brand guide is your brand colors. These are the ones that are present in all of your marketing materials, and your clients will associate them with your business. If you haven’t picked colors yet, what are you waiting for? They’re absolutely crucial to creating and establishing your brand – check out our advice for picking them.
If you do have them, though, they belong in your brand guide. The best way to list your colors is to use the PANTONE code. This code is typically a combination of numbers and letters that match to a specific color; if you don’t have your brand colors matched to PANTONE colors, that’s something to do as soon as possible. Having this code will ensure that your colors stay exactly the same across any advertisement. Any designer who looks at your PANTONE color code will be able to match it to your specific company color. This saves them the time and trouble of trying to get as close to your color as possible, and it makes your brand look really good.
Finally, the last (but not least) thing your brand guide should include is the fonts your company uses. Generally, a brand has at least one bolder title font and one lighter body text font. But if your business uses more, definitely include them all. The fonts may take up the least amount of space in your brand guide, but that doesn’t make them any less crucial; if you don’t have fonts your business regularly uses, check out our post for guidelines to picking the right fonts for you.
Ready to compile your brand guide, but not sure where to start? Contact Blackwood Creative – we’re experts at creating beautiful brand guides for any size business.