“If you do it right, it will last forever” – Massimo Vignelli.

Your brand identity is a crucial part of the ideals your organisation stands for. Great care must be exercised in its application and usage to ensure consistency. Our branding packages ensure a solid start for your brand; we include the design of the guidelines (which, not many logo designers in Nairobi consider) in the packages ensuring consistent application of your brand identity.

Related: Parts of A Brand Identity

There are three key guidelines covered here and each has distinct differences. The terms have often been used in an overlapping manner. We will set the record straight here and cover what each guideline contains. Sample guidelines have also been given.

The Logo Guide

This is the simplest of the three documents and acts as a guide for your brand signature (you can view what a brand signature is on the “Related” block-quote above). A proper guide should contain most, if not all, of the items highlighted below. You can view a sample logo guide here.

Contents of a Logo Guide

  • Acceptable Name Use – this shows anyone using the brand how to reference the brand.
  • Introduction – a summary background on the identity.
  • The Signature – guides you on parts of your brand identity.
  • The Colours – guides on acceptable colour usage.
  • Identity Iterations – guides on acceptable variations of the brand identity.
  • Application Guidelines – guides the user on which file format to use in a particular situation.
  • Special Usage – guides on special instances where the brand identity can be used in part.
  • Clearance Area – meant to prevent any clutter when placing the logo in any publication.
  • Minimum Size – guides on the minimum size of the logo allowed to ensure legibility across various publications.
  • Typography – This refers to the typeface used in all typesetting. Using a consistent typography enables us to Reinforce our brand identity through easy association of visual elements.
  • Unacceptable Use – restrictions and modification mistakes that must be avoided at all times.
  • File Formats – guides on available file formats supplied meant for different applications.

The Style Guide

At Pulsar, we normally combine the logo guide and style guide into one document for ease of reference. The style guide is part of the brands visual identity system that complements your brand identity. Think of the style guide as a look and feel of your brand, it is what your brand wears to put it plainly. Consistency is the main aim of these guides and they must be used in the strictest manner to achieve growth in brand value. The style guide therefore tells you what to wear at all times to achieve consistency. Here is a sample of a logo and style guide we developed for ourselves.

The Brand Standards

The brand standards (also referred to as brand guide or brand manual) is a useful tool for ensuring consistency in brand communication across platforms. This ensures you build upon your brand equity by ensuring ease of association between brand and products by the consumer.

This is the most comprehensive tool a brand can have to guide on how the brand positions itself and the image you seek to portray of your brand. It contains more than the logo and style guide as you’ll see below. It covers various marketing aspects and is an authoritative tool for your brand user.

Branding Principles

This section of the brand guideline brings you up to speed on basics of branding. It should generally cover the following:

  • What is a Brand?
  • Compliance – this section enforces compliance to the brand guidelines and how to go about it.

The Brand

We now delve deeper into the brand and get to understand various aspects. This section is normally developed after intensive research which is part of our brand identity process.
Who is Our Customer

  • Your Brand’s Purpose
  • Tagline
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Core Values
  • Your Brand’s Positioning
  • Your Brand’s Personality Trait
  • Your brand in 30 Words – think of this as an elevator pitch.
  • Voice and Tone

Visual Identity

The visual identity section covers the logo guide and style guide as detailed above.

Corporate Templates

The brand guideline comes with corporate templates. The breadth of the templates covered is more or less dependent on your specific needs. We normally design and develop (but not limited to) the following templates:

  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Business forms such as invoices and receipts.
  • Email.
  • PowerPoint

Marketing Collateral

These are marketing materials that are normally used in increasing brand awareness and making a sale thereof. At Pulsar we cover, though not limited to, the following:

  • Flier
  • Business Cards
  • Brochure.
  • Poster.
  • Press Ad Layout

Branded Merchandise

This section covers apparels and accessories used in promotional activities and stimulating sales from your clients. Your brand image is important and this should be represented by quality materials that you give your customers. At Pulsar, we include in the brand guidelines mock-up designs that should be implemented when producing the branded merchandise. The breadth of this is dependent on your requirements.

  • Ephemera (Apparel)
  • Pens
  • Cups
  • Flash Drives

Signage

Your organisation’s storefronts and interior should have a look and feel matching your brand identity. This section covers the following:

  • Building Signs
  • Monuments.
  • Tenant Panels.
  • Vehicles.

Legal Guidelines

This section offers guidance on how to refer to the organisation in various situations e.g. for Legal documentation and corporate communication, we refer to our full name i.e. Pulsar Limited while for marketing communication we refer to Pulsar.
Other legalities in this section include trademarks, trademark use, copyright notice and attribution statements.

Get in touch

Your brand user should be able to get in touch with you in case of any questions. This section should enable them to reach out to you. Some organisations may demand approval of any marketing communication before publication hence making this section a crucial part of the document.

Conclusion

Developing your brand identity is your first step to building your brand. Applying it consistently in all marketing communication is the next step. You must endeavor to bring out consistency so your customers can identify with your brand any time it communicates. Therefore, the brand guideline should be made available to key users including designers, marketers, distributors, employees and other various stakeholders of the brand.You can get in touch with us to know more or develop your brand guideline.