Why do we need brand guidelines?
Consistency is the key to recognition. A brand is recognized because it has that one thing that everyone recognizes because it is consistent. For example, by now everyone knows about the logo of McDonalds and can recognize it from afar with that single letter M. If the company had kept changing their logo over the years, it would not have been recognized globally.
In simple terms brand guidelines are a set of rules and tools that define the usage of branding elements. Every brand has different guidelines, however, guidelines in general have 3 specific elements. Namely, color palette, different typography and the versions of logo that can be used for the brand. There are sub elements that can vary from brand to brand.
We know that brand guidelines are the rules for a brand to follow. These rules aim to bring consistency in the brand. Without these guidelines, a brand can lose its track and the image that it has set. Here are the reasons why brand guidelines are so important:
In order to be effective, a brand has to be consistent. Changing the color or logo in order to fit the marketing needs or the trend, can result in the brand losing its identity. It is possible that the customers and clients may not even recognize the brand.
A guide is not meant to limit creativity, but to bring consistency. These guidelines ensure that the elements are effective by being used in the right manner, which makes the brand look professional. Consistency makes the brand effective and thus recognizable.
Brand guidelines are not just about the versions of the logo and the set color palette. It contains specific standards in which those versions and colors can be used.
The guidelines not only define the versions of the logo but they also clearly state which are the versions that cannot be used. These rules also include the spacing around logos, along with the information as when one should use logo or the wordmark. The guidelines help any person from the brand to know the right and wrong way of using the brand elements.
Brand guidelines provide tools to keep the brand consistent. These tools work together to create the impactful message that a brand wants to use in the marketing communications.
A growing company has many people that become a part of it. Many associated employees join and leave the company. The owner knows the brand in and out because they have been there from the start. However, a new joiner would not know the brand in a similar fashion, and it is impossible to teach each individual about the brand face to face. This is why it is very important to set these guidelines. It sets a concrete pathway for the employees to follow. It helps in avoiding any confusion that can creep in. The guidelines keep any and all the confusion at bay while maintaining consistency in the brand.
Brand guidelines become an essential component for a brand. They are like the constitution for your brand. It establishes the fundamentals according to which a brand should work.