The most effective brands are the ones that have a strong message and cohesive visual elements. Creating a recognizable and powerful brand requires a lot of thought and a clear vision. Brand guides are a company’s most important document for this. Let’s take a look at some of the best brand guide examples!
What is included in a brand guide?
Before we dive into analyzing some brand identity guide examples, let’s learn what a brand guide really is.
A branding guide or brand style guide is a collection of elements that define how you want your brand to be perceived. It defines the messages and values you want your brand to be associated with. It’s a document that helps designers, as well as marketing managers curate a distinctive look and feel for a brand.
There is no one answer to the question “how to design brand guidelines”. But, there are a few elements that you should definitely bear in mind when you’re creating your brand guide. All brand guidelines should include:
- Preferred tone of voice i. e. the level of formality you use in communicating with your audience.
- The language your brand uses should be related to the emotions you want your brand to be associated with.
- Typography or the fonts you use for branding, whether it’s letterheads, logos or any other piece of branding. It’s important to select fonts that work well with the general vibe of the brand.
- Color palette is vital in creating a strong brand identity. Choosing the right one involves trial and error but pays off in heaps.
- Logos are the single most important piece of branding. They pull together all the other elements (visual and otherwise) to create one statement that contains the essence of your brand.
- A good brand guide example will include examples of use and unacceptable uses of all the branding elements. It’s a sort of do’s and don’ts list that will help designers streamline their vision so it fits your brand identity.
- Other visuals such as photography style and additional imagery can also help to create a distinctive identity for a brand.
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Best brand book examples
Let’s take a look at some branding guide examples so we can analyze what makes a good brand guide.
Firefox is a great brand guide example. It provides a structured picture of everything the brand should project. Good branding guide examples such as always include tons of details about the personality of the brand. Firefox is all about keeping the Internet free, transparent, and out of the clutches of tech giants.
The guide states that the brand’s tone of voice should inspire people to educate themselves about the online world, so they could stay ahead and outfox (pun intended) any shady practices. Firefox’s color scheme is vibrant and unique. The indigos and oranges are energetic and help the brand stand out in a sea of cool blues. It makes Firefox instantly recognizable by color scheme alone.
Vans is such a long lived and iconic brand that never lost its appeal for younger audiences. No matter the generation, they always have a finger on the pulse of current trends among older teens and young adults.
This brand guide example shows how powerful a brand can be. The values of authenticity, freedom of expression, and creativity resonate with young people. This playful attitude can be seen in the tone of voice, which is relaxed, informal, and relatable. However, the brand doesn’t shy from leaning into their tradition and their roots.
Apple has been the gold standard of tech marketing for quite some time. The sleek design of their products suggests luxury, but it doesn’t come off as stuffy. Their branding was always about creative exclusivity, which is best depicted in their iconic “Think different” marketing campaign.
Their brand guidelines for all affiliated companies and individuals give detailed instructions on how and when to use the Apple logo, typography and other visuals in branding, signage, stationary etc. It also gives examples of common mistakes affiliated parties should avoid in promoting Apple products or in naming the affiliated channel.
Patagonia is often described as the leading environmentally friendly outdoor supply brand. This brand guide example shows how powerful niche-targeted branding can be. Patagonia prides itself on being the sustainable option in a world of fast fashion and rapid environmental decline.
Its brand book makes a strong emphasis on the values of sustainability and adventure-seeking. The chosen font looks a bit worn, like a trusty windbreaker that’s taken on every hike.
The logo is simple, a silhouette of a mountain range and two palm trees. The brand guide itself has a distinctive look, evoking the great outdoors. Brand guide examples must practice what they preach. You can’t have a brand that centers around elegance and precision if its brand guide is sloppily put together.
When you think of coffee, Starbucks is probably the first thing that pops into your mind. This juggernaut of the brew world is a masterclass in effective use of color and logos in branding.
The green color scheme is timeless and it announces the brand’s presence, even when the logo isn’t visible. The different shades of the color make a dynamic, yet elegant palette that has become synonymous with the brand. Having a signature color is smart marketing, but you should also include different shades and colors to use alongside it.
The Starbucks logo isn’t any less iconic. The mermaid (or siren) might not be the first mythical creature one associates with coffee, yet it gives the brand an air of whimsy that makes the customers feel special.
The brand’s wordmark is simple and unobtrusive, giving the logo and color scheme the space to shine.
We have another iconic footwear brand guide example on our list. From their humble beginnings as working man’s shoes to a staple in counter-culture, and in recent years as parts of haute couture, Doc Martens have a powerful presence and brand to go along with it.
Simple and unassuming, as well as zany and over the top, these boots are made to signify the wearer’s ideals, tastes, and style. Their wearers are fun, rowdy, and larger than life. It’s the quintessential punk rock boot for rebels of all shapes and sizes. The brand’s values are creativity, individualism, and nonconformity, and the guide makes that clear.
The black-white-and-yellow color scheme is simple, yet edgy and it encapsulates the spirit of Doc Martens boots, as well as their physical appearance. The brand guide includes detailed instructions how their logo should look, as well as where it should be present on the products.
Asana is one of the most popular collaboration platforms. It allows teams to divide responsibilities and tasks to ensure a streamlined and productive workflow. Its aesthetics began as cookie-cutter corporate blue, but transformed into a vibrant, colorful platform with a unique look.
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” The colorful look reflects the core values of the brand – positivity, energy, passion, and playfulness. The main goal is to make work dynamic and more play-like.
However, the brand name has roots in sanskrit and yoga practice. In yoga, asana refers to balanced, sitting meditation positions. Naming the platform Asana evokes a feeling of calmness and serenity, as do the vibrant pastel colors. This balance between energy and stillness is exactly what professionals need in their day-to-day lives. When you decide what is included in a brand guide, be mindful of all the meanings and associations that people can make to your brand.
Urban Outfitters is one of the most popular fashion retailers on the market. Its colorful clothes and accessories make it irresistible for a younger customer base looking to assert their unique style.
It doesn’t have a set color scheme, but rather adapts to current trends and seasons. So, in the summer it uses a lot of bold colors, while neutrals and darker tones set the scene for colder seasons.
The logotype is simple, block capital letters which is easily adjustable to various fashion collections and lines. The spirit of the brand is in the freedom and playfulness of youth, and the informal tone of voice certainly suits that.
Brand guide examples for big fashion retailers might seem similar at the first glance, but when you look a little closer, you realize each brand strives to have their individual voice.
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High end tech branding doesn’t always have to be about severe monochromes and pristine metallics. Branding guide examples such as Sonos’ show us that elegance and luxury can be warm and earthy.
The simplicity and warmth of the color scheme is paired with minimal, yet lively illustrations. It oozes mid-century elegance paired with top-notch modern tech. A pairing such as this is refined, but approachable, which makes the brand stand out in a market saturated with drab monotones.
Brand Guideline Presentation by Spark pro 22
If all these brand identity guide examples have put your head in a spin about creating yours, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources for amazing style guide templates that you can customize to fit your brand.
This brand guide example is a beautiful template, with an elegant color scheme and well-thought-out layouts.
Branding Guidelines by Mohammed Amelougou
This delightful brand guide example by Mohammed Amelougou combines bright, vivid colors with streamlined modern design. The structure leaves ample space to get into the details of your brand identity.
This brand book could be an invaluable document for any company. It’s clear, concise and leaves little room for misunderstanding or error. It’s also customizable for Arabic lettering, which is great for international companies.
We hope this list has inspired you to think about how to design brand guidelines of your brand. Remember, in order for others to fall in love with your brand, you have to fall in love with it first.
If you have a background in graphic design, you could create your unique brand guide. However, if you lack the skills and time, working with a designer is the best idea.
The talented team at ManyPixels is up to that and any other design task. With a ManyPixels subscription you can get all your design needs fulfilled in one place. Our various subscription plans offer the perfect solution for any company. Even with the basic plan, you will get a first draft within 1-2 business days.
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