Brand guidelines are extremely important for creating consistency in your business.
What is a Brand Guidelines document?
A Brand Guideline document is a file that your designer will send to you once they've completed your branding. It's good practice for all designers to do this, but some don't, so you may need to make your own.
This file will usually be in the form of a PDF, and will include different sections, such as 'Brand Colours', 'Brand Imagery', 'Logos', 'Brand Fonts', 'Collateral' etc.
Within each section will be a detailed description of each element of your brand, and will include visual examples of how to (and sometimes how not to) use each element.
The length and detail of your document will depend on the size of your business - some large companies have huge, hefty and strict Brand Guidelines, but chances are yours will be more lightweight.
Why do I need brand guidelines?
The contents of your Brand Guidelines may at first seem like strict and unnecessary rules, made up randomly by your designer. But they're not.
These Guidelines have been carefully and thoughtfully created by your designer to ensure your new brand design is implemented to its full potential. It's a way to help you and your business keep consistent, high quality branding throughout everything that you do, making you seem more recognisable and trust-worthy to your customers.
These Guidelines will also serve as an extremely useful reference for yourself and your Marketing team. If you ever need to create anything yourself (eg. flyers, Facebook graphics), you have all the information about which fonts and colours to use in that document, so you don't need to go running back to your designer every week.
You can also use your Brand Guidelines to send to any contractors you may bring in to your business, such as digital marketing agencies and copywriters. All the information they need will be in one, easily accessible document, which stops the need for constant back-and-forths about brand values and logo variations.
In short, here are the benefits:
- Ensure branding is consistently used
- Ensure use of the brand name & logo is always high quality
- Look professional and 'bigger than you really are'
- Become easily recognisable to customers
- Seem more authentic & trust-worthy to customers
- Useful reference for internal team members
- Easily packaged information for contractors/new team members
Open the document in Google Docs, go to File, and select 'Make a Copy'.