Brand Guidelines

Your brand guidelines should inspire everyone in your company to be bold advocates of your brand. It should be concise and it should be thorough and it shouldn’t be impossible to integrate into your website. It may sound overwhelming, but the most effective step to take in developing your brand guidelines is working with professionals who know what effective brand guidelines look like.

Here are 3 traits that effective brand guidelines have in common.

Inform

Excellent brand guides inform. The most basic job of a brand guide is to teach the people who see it what your brand is. Whether it’s a graphic designer, your employees, or the media. We can achieve this in several ways, and it all comes down to what information your audience will look for in your brand standards, and who will rely on these guidelines.

There are a few examples of brands who are great at being informative, such as:

Firefox – They are seriously in depth, but scaled to ensure they are communicated efficiently.

Adobe – This offering is over 60 pages of detailed information. It covers everything there is to know, and included awesome examples.

New York Transit Authority – Now, this brand guide is from 1970, yet it somehow manages to be effective! It effectively communicates information with regards to bus and train stops and is required by millions to successfully complete their commutes every day.

Inform

Inspire

So, you’ve informed people about your brand, now it’s time to inspire. A company is merely a lifeless, faceless entity without great branding. Brands provide a personality to corporations and companies. Your brand personality should be clear in your brand guidelines and it should help your team take that voice and make it their own.
Companies that do this well?

United Way – It doesn’t matter what you’re designed, after you see the examples in the United Way’s brand guidelines you’ll walk away feeling inspired.

Skype – Skype’s brand guidelines show the Skype cloud construction, including illustrations.

Easy.com – This brand guide starts with a letter penned by the founder, sets out clear values and features mission statements that are articulate. It means that anyone working on behalf of Easy.com understands the voice you’re looking to project.

Inspire

Enforce

Think of the first two points as the good cop, and this point as the bad cop. Essentially, your guidelines have to be enforceable. This means that the don’ts have to be spelled out just as clearly and simply as the dos. Certain brands execute the enforcement perfectly.

Apple – Apple’s brand guideline is 48 pages, and we know that Apple is seriously protective of their brand. That’s impossible without a mean guard dog.

Boy Scouts – Boy Scouts are always prepared, and they have strong standards that allow them to keep their brand authentic.

Facebook – There are billions of users, and there are captions on each individual page that direct you what not to do.

Enforce

Your brand guidelines should inspire everyone in your company to be bold advocates of your brand. It should be concise and it should be thorough and it shouldn’t be impossible to integrate into your website. It may sound overwhelming, but the most effective step to take in developing your brand guidelines is working with professionals who know what effective brand guidelines look like.

Here are 3 traits that effective brand guidelines have in common.

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