Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines are essential to keep your logo type from being reshaped, resized, manipulated and, in the end, ruined. Nobody wants their hard earned work jeopardised, and guidelines are there to minimalist the risk of that happening.

Today, there are many of resources that allow anybody to create their own logo by inputting a few small details and then the software automatically generates a logo. Websites such as Design Mantic and Hispter Logo Generator are popular websites for this, however, they won’t be used by corporates or companies that have a bigger budget as these kinds of companies want something with a deeper meaning that you can’t obtain from a generated site.

When it comes to brand guidelines, depending on the logo and company, the guidelines themselves can be as minimal or in depth as you’d like them to be. Here are a few examples of brands, their guidelines and the varying depths of detail a company may use:

Twitter: Twitter is a very popular social media site so a lot of people will use their logo meaning they are fairly loose with their brand guidelines as they hope to please everybody. They mention things such as colour variants you may use, how the logo should be placed, safety spacing, specific typography and official assets. As for anything else, you may use the logo in whatever capacity you please.

Barbican Gallery: Visually, this brand guideline is amazing. It’s a reflection of the brand and all of it’s attributes. While it still has a stricter set of rules than Twitter, it is not quite as in depth as I heart NY. Yet, it’s sleek and aesthetically pleasing design makes the guidelines ever more pleasing to read.

I ❤ NY:  This brand has a 60 page guideline on how, where and when you should use the logo. This is by far the strictest set of guidelines relating to a brand I have ever seen. They list everything imaginable to do with the brand including it’s history, their hierarchy, targets, concepts and even as far as a tone of voice. They’ve set the standards high within their guidelines but have also limited the use of their brand which could potentially harm their business.

Your guidelines should be a representation of your brand; much like Barbican Gallery used theirs in a creative and visual manner, rather than in text book format such as I heart NY did. There’s no point in creating an amazing visual logo and then creating an Oxford Dictionary to go along side it, it won’t match and, to be honest, it’s boring.

Other examples of brand guidelines:

NHSThese are interesting as they tell you how to use colour depending on your partnership, helping them differentiate between practices.

Lance Wyman and the Mexico Olympic Games: Lance Wyman looked back at the cultural and rich past of Mexico to make the logo personal to them. Rather than using the flag colours, he took one step further and researched the country’s past and present  enabling him to create a completely unique and original design that was a true representation of Mexico’s culture.

American Red CrossWithin their guidelines, the American Red Cross ask if you could use their logo correctly, as ‘it is one of our most valuable assets. It is an image that stands as a worldwide symbol of goodwill and humanitarianism‘. This tells you how important a logo is and how not using it in it’s correct format is impertinent.

I found this set of brand guidelines and I was automatically drawn to the vibrant colour as well as the well thought out design. They’ve included fonts, a tone of voice, colours, sketches, advertisement, application, uniform and they have an overall fun hysteria that I think works amazingly well. Optus is a phone service provider based in Australia and by the looks of things, they’ve got themselves an amazing graphics team. Their application and design on many different media platforms is outstanding and is something I’m beginning to think about including into my brand guidelines, the only concern I have is the execution as I’m not yet skilled with video and such, but this could be quite the learning curve.


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