What are brand guidelines, and how to design them?

Sep 16, 2022
What are brand guidelines, and how to design them?

Also known as brand identity guidelines, a brand guideline is a formal document that contains the confined use of visual elements and other things that support a brand design.

If you hire a brand design service for the branding process, you must receive a document from the agency about the usage of elements after project completion. A brand guideline document serves as the foundation for internal and external usage and lets you be consistent with your posts, graphic design, and other visual elements.

Let's discuss what a brand guideline is and why it is important in this article.

What is a brand guideline document?

It is a book that defines rules for using colors, typefaces, patterns, creative logo design, images, etc. It is more like a reference point for the organization to follow in the run. Following it makes your brand tone consistent on all the platforms, and your appearance looks professional and authentic. Due to its power in charging the brand's success, people give that document the name "Brand Bible.” However, our focus is beyond any name.

Employing a rulebook gives your social media graphic design and illustrations a consistent feeling. Viewers can easily identify that this post is from your brand in a glimpse. Also, when you hire a new marketing team, their creative approach and thinking will be based on the guidelines, ultimately not letting you change things from scratch.

Why is it essential to design a brand guideline?

Your identity is your personality. Similarly, your brand also has a personality in the online world. How will people identify your brand if your designs keep changing with time? They will find it hard to know you and will not put trust in your company.

Elements of an elementary brand guideline document

Logo design

A great logo design is the first and most significant element of any brand. What is your official logo and its suggested use cases that become part of your brand guideline. Defining the logo design comprehensively here will come for more than good. You can include color shades with their codes, logo elements, size, orientation, and much more.

Further, also consider different environments where you will use your logo. For example, many platforms support circular shapes, while some use rectangular. So, keeping such things in your conscious while designing a logo can save you from rework or major changes in the future. A logo is like a name that you cannot change again and again. So, research platforms where you want your appearance, and you will certainly get a better idea for your logo design.


Pictures and videos

A brand always shines when they include videos, photos, and custom illustrations. However, not anything can go from the company account based on personal preferences. Also, when other people join your team, they can think about things from a different perspective. So, how to give the same feeling to your audience every time? Again, the answer is to use the brand guideline.

In your document, mention your background colors, where you will click photos, what patterns an image or video can contain, lighting conditions, composition, angles, etc.

These information pieces are extremely useful for photographers because a good picture is a compound of many things that professionals understand and utilize.

Choose Color Shades

Moving into the process, select the color palette on which your exclusive designs will rely. Your palette must be uniquely identified from your competitors. You can also research your niche's big players and work on your color shades to give your brand a refreshing look.

Furthermore, if you offer multiple services, we suggest you integrate different colors to make them separate from each other. However, don’t create the rainbow by employing colors from different dimensions. Even if you are using different shades, there must be some connection and unification. A good way is to use contrasts of the same color.

And as we mentioned earlier, include RGB or hex code for each color so anyone can quickly identify the tone instead of playing on the color wheel. Mentioning codes is also necessary because the different screen, brightness, and contrast settings can make colors dark or light, and the actual color tone is lost.


Similar to setting a color palette, typefaces also need your attention. At this stage think of the font styles that best represent your brand tone and communicate effectively. Ideally, two to three fonts should be in your brand guideline—one for the main heading, one for subheadings, and one for the body text.

Also, please avoid using fancy font styles; they may look attractive but are by no means if not readable easily. As a brand, your focus is to convey your message effectively. Also, typefaces are subject to industry. For example, if you are in the health industry, then using fancy typefaces will not work and looks unprofessional if you do so. So, be relevant with your typefaces.

Design layout

For ensuring consistency for your social media graphic, package design, and newsletters, include some layouts and templates in your rulebook for reference. Defining a style guide can boost your design process as you will not distract by other designs and will be focused on specific. The design world is huge, and you cannot incorporate everything but things that are relevant to your brand.

Final Output

Being a company, your goal should be beyond selling goods. Instead, focus on creating an experience that a customer can remember for a long. And for the same experience every time, a proper brand guideline helps you.

Spending time initially defining your visual hierarchies, you can move smoothly in the journey because you have the source in your hand giving you the direction.

Even if you change your team, the audience's experience will remain the same. The only thing you will do is share the document with the team. After that, all decisions which people will make will be based on the brand guideline. You will never get away from the track.

Now that you know how crucial it is to have your brand rulebook, and thinking to create one, we have you covered. Let’s roll in with Designster today!

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