Branding guidelines: Do you have any for your business?

As a business, or organisation, you know how important your brand is to your identity - or do you?

Before any new project gets off the ground, a good Design Team will always ask you for your branding guidelines, especially if they haven't created work for you before. Even if your initial reaction is that you’re not nearly corporate or large enough to have guidelines, if you have a think about your identity basics, you’ll soon be able to state a list of “do’s and don'ts” ... and before you know it, you have guidelines!

Here’s an example of how branding guidelines for your logo might start out as you jot down your preferences (and their practicalities) ...
  • Where possible our logo sits on a white background
  • But if you really must use the logo on a coloured background we have an alternative white version that can be used.
  • According to the type of media that the logo is being produced with (print, screen, etc) the logo colour is: Pantone 3165, CMYK 100/53/53/53, RGB 0/78/78, Hex #004E58
  • The logo should never be squished, stretched, or sit too close to anything else on a design. As a guide use the "oh" of the logo as a guide to the amount of clear space we like to maintain aound all four sides.

Examples of how you might want your logo to be used and how much clearance it should have
 

Now we're on a roll, let's add some more to the mix!
  • Our company name when written in text form should always be shown spelt with a lowercase leading letter and never with a capital.
  • The font used to make the logo is Calibri and we like to use that for stationery, marketing and day-to-day email. For digital work where you can't use Calibri, Helvetica or Arial are the preferred alternatives.  
  • We never present ourselves in bright colours, or in black & white if possible, we like earthy and muted tones  
Rules and guidelines such as these might just save you time and money when you hope that the designer working on your new piece of marketing will "just know" the kind of thing you like.

As you develop a range of marketing material you can start a collection of examples to refer back to and to show to designers and marketers working for you (an online storage like DropBox would be useful for this purpose, and for quick and easy distribution to others).