A brand guide is a complete manual that establishes how your business presents itself visually. It explains the standards for creating and correctly using the logo, fonts, color palette, imagery and everything related to your brand. Put another way, it assures the consistency of your brand looks and feels, by allowing to have different people following the same standards when creating content. It is also referred to as the Bible of you brand, but don't get overwhelmed by this - learn how to create the perfect brand guide brief with ManyPixels! 👇🏻
1. What does a good brand guide include?
Creating a brand guide involves having a solid understanding of your business identity and how is it communicated through your key visual components.
It includes the following: 👇🏻
- Mission & Vision
This section can include concise information about how and why you started your business, what value do you bring to the world, what do you want to achieve and what standards guide you towards accomplishing your goals. This information can be summarized into one catchy mission statement, for example:
👉🏻 RESCUE. REHAB. REPEAT. - the mission statement of an NGO militating against animals violence, testing and research.
Or it can contain more into details information, like brand voice, core values etc. 👇🏻
- Logo Guidelines & Variations
This section includes all approved versions of your logo, describes when to use each one, and shows visual examples to make it perfectly clear. It sets the rules for:
👉🏻 size & proportions - the minimum size required for using the logo, scale and proportions;
👉🏻 safe space - your logo requires a certain amount of white space around it when used in different situations;
👉🏻 colors - your logo's main and secondary colors, black & white versions and when to use them;
👉🏻 wrong use / don'ts - visual examples on how NOT to use the logo.
- Color Scheme
Usually, most brands pick to a maximum of four brand colors: two main colors, a darker one for the text and also one that pops, for highlighting important information. Different shades of each color and gradients can also be added.
The brand colors section must include:
👉🏻 pantone - name and number (here's an useful tool you can use)
👉🏻 print colors - CMYK
👉🏻 digital colors - RGB and HEX codes
- Font & Typography
Another big section of your brand identity is the typography. The typeface family you choose, must meet all your business needs on all channels and media. Explain your choice and give clear instructions for use:
👉🏻 typeface - show your fonts and set the rules for headlines, body text, captions, etc.
👉🏻 alignment - specify how should your copy align in different situations (right, left, or centered);
👉🏻 spacing - tracking and kerning ratios for consistency
💡Tips & Tricks! Pick a different main font than the one you used for your logo. It will help you stand out, by contrast. A ManyPixels brand designer can guide you through this process. 🙌🏻
The design elements section in your brand guide sets the direction for which photos and illustrations are right for your brand. Everyone should follow this guidance when related to your business. It usually contains information about:
👉🏻 stock pictures - specify the type pf stock images associated to your brand
(E.g. portraits of people smiling, sports / action pictures, fashion etc.)
👉🏻 icons & illustrations style (realistic, comic, isometric, line art etc.)
👉🏻 filters & overlays - specify the exact style, tone and opacity used
(E.g. artistic, blur, brush style, overlay opacity percentage etc. )
💡Tips & Tricks! Show examples of images that reflect the way that your business communicates. Create mood boards that transmit the feeling that you want people to get when they interact with your brand.
2. What's the recommended size for a brand guide?
Usually, the standard size for a brand guideline is A4.
If you have other particular size requirements, don't forget to specify the dimensions and the formats in the brief, before submitting your project to your ManyPixels designer! ☝🏻
3. Brand Assets & Inspiration
In order to get creative and start working on your project, your assigned designer needs to have access to all your brand assets (the ones you want to include in your brand guide, stated at point 1. above). You can upload them as attachments, share them as links or even save and select them as your brand profile.
You can also upload a pre-existing brand manual you might already have and you want to redesign.
💡Tips & Tricks! Provide a visual direction for your designer 👉🏻 What other similar brand guide concepts do you like and why?
☝🏻Where to find inspiration? Check our ultimate Guide to creating efficient Mood Boards.
🙌🏻 After you've successfully completed all sections of the brief and submitted the project, your assigned designer will start working on it and will deliver a first draft on the next business day (sometimes 2 for complex requests). If revisions are needed, no worries, you can easily communicate with your designer using the chat in the ManyPixels app.
Ready to submit your first brand guide request? Pick the Premium plan here.