Creating brand guidelines

Communicating in a consistent way in print and digital channels builds credibility

Coca Cola is often featured as one of the best examples of brand management in the world. It is one of the most successful and recognized brands in existence. Building the Coca Cola brand took many years of discipline and hard work, evolving and refining its brand identity. Creativity was a key ingredient, establishing the idea of "culture" around its beverage. In the end, the brand was built on the idea of “enjoying a Coke.”

Your company or organization may not be Coca Cola, but the hard work, discipline, and execution in developing and managing your brand are still critically important. Branding is all about recognition, and communicating in a consistent way in print and digital channels builds credibility and trust and establishes the brand in your customer's minds. 

Creating brand guidelines are an important part of the foundation of brand management. Brand guidelines provide clear-cut rules for how your designs, logo, writing, photographic and other visual elements are represented to your audience. And they create consistency. 

Here is a summary of what should be included in your brand guidelines,

⦁ Information about your brand’s history, mission, values, and vision
⦁ Guidance on logo usage which may include color palette, file format(s), minimum and maximum sizes, permitted contexts, spacing, and usage permissions (channels, sites, frequency, etc.)
⦁ Design elements and types of imagery, icons, and photography to be used separate from the logo
⦁ An overview of the visual expression and how to use visual elements
⦁ The color palette that your brand uses. Color palette may specify RGB and CMYK codes
⦁ Typography rules for typefaces and typeface families (eg, fonts, type size, and line height)
⦁ Writing guidelines such as point-of-view and tone-of-voice for content and messaging
⦁ Photographic style overview, brand essence and characteristics
⦁ Grid templates and white space rules
⦁ Business card and letterhead designs
⦁ Wordmarks specifying the design for the written name of a company or product
⦁ Links to other brand resources and contact information for the brand team