How to design brand guidelines

Brand consistency is everything

You have started a great company that you are passionate about. You’ve invested in a great website; sales presentation; logo that represents your brand. Next step, if you haven’t done so already, is to develop a good set of brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all your written communications and visual design.

Brand consistency is everything, and you risk losing it the more your company grows. Your unwritten brand code may have worked well in the beginning. But as you take on more employees, suppliers and partners, maintaining your brand consistency becomes more challenging.

 

Even in the early stages of your company’s development, establishing your brand guidelines sooner rather than later will ensure consistency in the way all your communications are written and presented – and strengthen your brand image in the eyes of your customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Managing Your Brand

A consistent communications style is how companies build their brand equity, and how they gain the trust and loyalty of their customers. Apple, BMW, Google and IBM are just some examples of brands that are instantly recognisable through the precise consistency of their visual messaging and communications strategy.

Brands, from major enterprises to small-to-medium sized business (SMBs), use consistency in their communications as a way to develop and strengthen their relationships with their external stakeholders, and as importantly to secure employee brand engagement.

What are brand guidelines?

Your brand guidelines, sometimes referred to as a ‘style guide’, provide the rules that you set to guide every element of your branding, from your visual identity to your communications strategy. They are the blueprint for how you present your company moving forward: What type of company are you? Are you in a creative field and want to put across a fun style to your brand content? Do you want to retain a corporate style, or a professional but accessible and conversational tone?

Where to start

It may be that you already have the fundamentals in place to build on and formalise. You might have developed a look and feel you like through a recent designed document you have developed. This may form the basis to lock in the colour palettes, fonts, writing tone and language rules within a brand guidelines document.

This is the approach we adopted with Pro Partner Group. Based on an initial brochure we developed for the company, we then developed a brand guidelines document, followed by other collateral documents against the new style guide.

Tailored for the purpose

There are no hard and fast rules to how long your brand guidelines are. A smaller company might only need 5-6 pages, whereas the style guide of a larger enterprise may run into 50 pages or more. An experienced resource in brand guidelines design will be able to work with you to produce the style guide for your specific purposes – and depending on requirements at a very reasonable budget. 

The best briefing tool

Should you use an external copywriting and/or graphic design resource now or anytime in the future, having an already established set of brand guidelines will go a long way to giving them the clearest direction on the end tone of voice, look and feel result you want them to deliver. 

Talk to us

To find out how MA Technical Copywriting can help you write and/or design your brand guidelines, contact us on +44 (0) 1242 230404 or hello@macopywriting.co.uk.

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