Yes, this is a guideline to a guideline.

Brand Guide Main Components

Brand guideline, brand guide, style guide, brand bible, call it what you want, but every bold brand has a reference for branding. Check out NASA’s or Cisco’s.

Some brands go above and beyond with their guidelines by including guides on how use the brand on pens, shirts, mugs, folders, cases, and then some. Overwhelming? Yes. Necessary to start? No.

If you’re gonna make a guideline, here’s a secret: You just need 6 parts. ?

Brand Values & Story

This is your foundation, so put this first. Basics: Put the ‘About Us’ section here along with your vision and mission statement.

What’s the difference between the two? Your vision is what, or where you want to be in the future; whereas, you mission statement is how you’re going to do that on a practical level now.

Then list down your values and explain them so anyone referring to your guideline can better understand the company.

Logo

Display your primary logo, and secondary logo if you have one, and make sure to clarify each of their respective exclusion zones. Logos need their space.

G&G Secondary Logo Bounding Box

It is also important to remember the do’s and don’ts of your logo; you don’t want people misusing your logo in a way that isn’t aligned with the brand.

I know. It hurts.

Typography

Identify the typeface your brand will use. Keep it simple, 2 will usually do it; 1 typeface for headlines and 1 for body text. You can find good combinations online like these. A good tip, though it isn’t necessary by any means, is to have a combination of serif & sans serif. Serif types have flourishes on the end of strokes while sans serifs don’t.


You are currently reading a serif typeface.

Not anymore you’re not.


If you want to go deeper with good typography, I highly recommend reading A Five-Minute Guide to Better Typography.

Color Palette

Pick a color. Any color. Then pick secondary colors that support the primary color. I recommend using the Color Emotion Guide below to pick the right color for your brand. While you’re at it, here’s a link to selecting secondary colors more easily as well.

Imagery

You want to have a consistency in the images you’re putting out there. Put in a mood board to help.

Copy

As a brand, you have a voice and tone you use to convey your message to people. Be clear and consistent as you can with this. Include guides such as ‘Use active voice more’ or ‘Never swear’. List down specific words your brand will use more often and wish to associate with.

Conclusion

So those are the 6 main components of any brand guideline. As I mentioned earlier, you may go above and beyond by adding more segments into your guideline such as a corporate suite, digital media, or merchandise. But if you’re just starting out, why go through the hassle? Just cover the basics first, and take it from there. ?

Have fun making yours! ? Can’t wait to see it. ?