The 5 Ws of developing comprehensive brand guidelines

WHO (should be developing my brand guidelines)?

**Unlock the power of perception with an experienced design team**

Whether internal or external, a design team with experience will have the best understanding of how your business should be perceived. This knowledge and experience is just what you need to help encapsulate your business’ essence correctly. Your logo isn’t your brand. There is a lot more that goes into brand guidelines, so having a team that understands your mission is key to having a successful and memorable brand.

WHAT (exactly are brand guidelines)?

**Unlock the power of your brand with clear guidelines**

Chaos reigns without rules. The same is true for branding and design. That’s why we create brand guidelines. These crucial guidelines define the standards for how your brand is presented to the world. Every aspect of design is considered, from colour scheme to typography and even wording in statements. Ignoring them risks giving off the wrong impression – one that doesn’t accurately reflect your company’s values and attitudes.

By following your brand guidelines ensures your brand is recognised and stands out, even without a logo!

Breaking down what your brand represents into just a few shades, a typeface and some design rules can seem like a tall request to meet, but not only is the effort worth it, but it will help to unify your business.

A brand guidelines template can give your brand a solid foundation for success.

WHERE (should you utilise them)?

**Everywhere your business is represented**

Your brand image is everything. That’s why it’s crucial that all visual representations of your business – from websites and social media channels to print ads and email marketing – comply with your brand guidelines.

When potential customers come across your brand, repetition is key. Make sure they see the same messaging and iconography at every checkpoint. This will help cement your image in their minds and make you unforgettable.

Trust us, it’s worth it.

WHEN (should I make one)?

**Don’t wait!**

It is important to lay out the brand guidelines as soon as you can. Establishing the way you would like to appear to your target audience is an essential part of who you are as a business. Image is key to attracting and leaving a positive impression on people. You may have hesitations if you are in the early stages of business, as even you are still finding out for yourself what exactly your brand is all about, and that is completely understandable. The good part about brand guidelines, however, is that if you change your mind at any time down the line, then you are able to begin the process of a rebrand.

This gives you the opportunity to go through your old guidelines in order to determine if there are any elements that are out of date, and don’t represent the business in its current form. These changes can help to show an evolution, or a new era for the business. This can not only help to reaffirm current customers to your business’ positive aspects through highlighting your strive for growth, but represents a turning of a new leaf, causing customers who may no have been impressed previously, to give you a second chance.

WHY? (should I?)

**To capture your audience with a consistent brand personality**

No matter your industry, a strong and cohesive brand identity is a must. With clear brand guidelines, you can communicate your company’s attitude and values across multiple platforms, from websites to social media to print materials. Consistency is key, as it helps your audience form a clear impression of your mission and goals. Without it, you risk confusing your potential customers and missing out on valuable connections. Don’t underestimate the power of a unified brand persona – it could mean the difference between success and obscurity.

According to Forbes, having a consistent brand presentation can increase revenue by up to 23%. While you may be a versatile with variety, we live in a world when everyone wants to put you in a box and give you a label. If your branding looks different every time you appear on their feed, then they will fail to take notice, no matter how good the work itself is.

Setting a standard allows the team to be able to work on projects faster. They will no longer need to have discussions on colour and typefaces. By setting pre-established rules with a brand guidelines template, you only need to ask, “Does this fit the brand guidelines?”

The brand guidelines provide consistency and structure to your design for the far future. They are the plans in place to maintain the high standards of your brand for years to come.


Written by

Paul Grogan

Creative Director

Award winning, and self-confessed typographic and graphic design perfectionist, Paul has 26 years experience in the industry and is our managing and creative director.

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