Brand Standards Manuals: Part 2

By Alex Rebele

Key Components of a Brand Standards Manual


With an environment increasingly saturated in all forms of media, it is more important than ever to have a solid brand to stand out amongst the majority. Part of standing out is an assertive brand that is unified with a brand standards manual. This ensures all elements of the brand are speaking the same language and conveying the same message to avoid confusing their target audience. A brand standards manual can be broken down to five primary sections.

1. Logo Guidelines

As we mentioned in Brand Standards Manual: Part 1, consistency is critical to brand recognition. Since the logo serves and the leading symbol in which an audience will recognize a brand, it is paramount that it be kept consistent. Logo guidelines may illustrate how it is to be placed, its size in relation to content and what elements in the logo can and cannot be altered. This will ensure that the logo not only looks consistent but is polished and professional.

2. Typography

Any content that is paired with the brand should also have a consistent look. That means specific fonts for lead paragraphs, callouts and quotes will be chosen. Well-selected fonts can set the tone of voice for a brand and ensure legibility in all copy. With a clear hierarchy in typography, content is easily digestible for any target audience.

3. Color Palette

Guidelines for color dictate which brand colors are primary and which are secondary. This way, if a certain printing process is limited to one or two colors, there is a style of brand elements that will work with that process. Specific colors are also chosen for different mediums. Pantone and CMYK colors are selected for print pieces, and RGB for digital.

4. Imagery

Choosing the right style of imagery can have a major effect on the tone of voice of a brand. Elements such as the lighting, color, environment and subject can all be directed. Some cases may call for more staged settings with professional models, whereas other scenarios call for a more relaxed and candid approach. The brand guidelines will also ensure how captions and credits are treated. Humans typically have a strong connection with imagery, so it’s important to ensure they are high quality.

5. Editorial Style

A complete style guide should also included direction on how all copy should be written. This is more than just the treatment of grammar and punctuation; it directs the personality of the copy and keeps a consistent voice throughout all marketing. This is helpful for many mediums such as commercials, advertising and public relations.

Looking for a brand refresh or want us to develop your brand standards manual? Contact Mike to start the conversation.

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