Learn how to create Brand Guidelines | Nigel Reyes | Skillshare

Learn how to create Brand Guidelines

Nigel Reyes, Creative Director at Agency-R

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8 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Learn to create Brand Guidelines - Introduction

    • 2. Video 1 - The Importance of Brand Guidelines

    • 3. Video 2 - The One Page Style Guide

    • 4. Video 3 - The Brand Manual

    • 5. Video 4 - CLASS EXERCISE

    • 6. Video 5 - Enhancing Brand Guidelines

    • 7. Video 6 - Templates and Hubs

    • 8. Vid 7 Concluding Remarks

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About This Class

Make Brand Guidelines for your client or for your own business that are relevant and useful for managing and deploying a brand consistently. Learn about the different types of document that can be created and about the content that should be included. Finally, take things to the next level by producing advanced guides that you can offer as an up-sell to your clients or use as your business grows.


1. Learn to create Brand Guidelines - Introduction: Hello. Welcome to another course from agency are and sculpture. Now, this course is aimed at helping you to build a better brand for your clients, for your own business on what we're gonna be tackling today is an important but often overlooked part of the brand design process. Specifically, we're gonna be focusing on how to produce brand now, whether they exist online or us. A printed document brand guidelines help a brand to deploy its visual identity, to align its messages and also to apply its style coherently across all types of media. With traditional war digital, her brand guidelines can be a simple as a set of rules explaining what the logo looks like , what colors can be used. But as you'll see in this course, brand guidelines can also offer much, much more, definitely much more than just a basic set of rules that need to be followed. They can, in fact, be a powerful means for communicating the brands. They also lead to higher engagement with your stuff or with influences. And journalists on this course will be taking a look at the different types of brand guidelines that exist from the one page style guides to the full brand manual version will also discuss the best types of contents to include in each and for the class. Exercise will even get started on creating your own customized templates, which you can use for your own business or with your future clients of your designer. Finally, we'll take a look at how we can extend the concept of a brand manual to offer your clients and enhanced version, for example, or simply to help you manage your brand in the more efficient. So please do join me for this course. It's full of useful tips suitable for designers, business owners and brand managers, and comes with a wealth of information and industry experience that we have accumulated an agency are working with our clients. See you soon. 2. Video 1 - The Importance of Brand Guidelines: Let's begin by taking a quick look at the different types of brand guidelines and why they matter now in that most basic form, brand guidelines provide the central design information about a brand's visual identity. They'll help to showcase your brand's logo, typography, Aikens and other brand materials. But in order to ensure that your brand really stands out, brand guidelines need to be much more than just a catalogue of your greatest assets. They also need to define the correct usage of this identity, along with any best practice recommendations for expressing the brand. The goal here is to ensure that the branding is repeated and deployed consistently across all types of media, More in depth versions of the brand guidelines tend to extend the concept by adding sections that cover the brand's core values, for example, or the style of dialogue that a branch had used when it addresses its customers. This is sometimes known as the brands tone of voice. Now the gold here, once again is to be able to transmit the most important elements. Andi instructions on how to use them to people who might not have been involved in the design process on who are effectively discovering the brand for the first time. In more complex organizations where numerous sub brands interact or collaborate, Brunt guidelines can also be a means to clarify the brand architecture. Brand architecture essentially shows the relationship between the different entities that may collaborate in the branded group. For example, Now FedEx and Virgin examples that we're seeing on the screen here show the relationship between the sub brands on the mother Brandt on the differences in the way that the brand is expressed for each. Sometimes it might be quite subtle simply as a slight name change, or it could actually involve a complete redesign off the logo. Now the brand guidelines. In this case we need to explain the identity characteristics that are applicable to each sub brand. Quick example. Which colors apply which variations of the logo should be used on the correct naming that needs to be applied? The goal here is to remove any ambiguity whilst also leverage in the brand equity of the main brand. So, as you can see after the design work is finished and the Finnish brand that work and details are handed over to the client, they need to be able to deploy and manage their brand. It therefore becomes the role of the brand guidelines to explain the why in the Watts of a brand's existence. In essence, brand guidelines are the key reference for communicating the brand as it was originally designed and intended. 3. Video 2 - The One Page Style Guide: The one page style guide is traditionally a means of communicating design characteristics from one designer to another. For example, a design Arrow agency produces a logo for a pliant they. They need to transfer some of this knowledge technical knowledge to other designers who will either use or recreate the design in the future, for instance, to create package in posters or adverts for that brand. Now, in order to ensure that the brand's logo looks exactly the same whenever and wherever it appears, this information has to adhere to certain standards or at least comparable references such as colors. The one page style guide has the distinct advantage of getting right to the heart of the information that is needed in order to apply the branding and its most basic form. Now, the brevity of its layout, who doesn't love a one pager is easy to understand that nothing else. On the downside, however, it doesn't really offer much context around how the design came about and what is actually behind the brand. It's values and so on. So here's what we would expect to see in a one pager vessel. The logo lock up in all its primitive forms, including horizontal and vertical variations, if they exist now, some little girls just consist of a symbol, while in other cases true local types will consist entirely of stylized text. Now a vast majority of logos today use some combination of both. So in all cases, you really do need to show the clear space around the logo. This is the separation area that needs to be respected in order to avoid any conflict with the logo design and its surroundings. Think of it as a visual breathing space. And don't forget that you also need to check how this changes. That's the logo is scaled up or scale down. If your leg was going to appear on a telephone screen, for example, does it still look good and distinguishable in such a small size? Next up on the colors? And this is where you need to do your homework when you develop in your design. Broadly speaking, you'll be designing in C m y que colors, for example, for anything that makes its way into print, particularly offset or four color printing or print runs that require special finishes. Similarly, if you're designing exclusively for screens, you're more likely to be working in some sort of RGB color space. Finally, and specifically for Web or APS development, you're most likely going to need the hex colors that the colors can be included in the coding Now. It doesn't stop there, of course, because there are numerous other areas where your branding could be applied, for example, on buildings, textiles and so on, in which case you're going to need to dig up all the relevant proprietary color codes relevant to their industry. Thes good include things like arial codes, Pantone colors and so on. The bottom line here is that we're trying to look for consistency. We're trying to communicate to color so that another person can faithfully reproduce it Now . Obtaining the color swatch values from your design software is relatively straightforward. Usually it's possible with a color picker tool, but be wary of simply converting one set of values to another. For example, you may find that if you design in the c M. Y que spectrum the same, except colors are simply not possible in RGB and vice versa. As a result, you'll end up with an approximation rather than accept equivalent color. How should you lay out the colors? Will many guidelines that we've come across tend to follow the color chip or single swatch approach, listing various color codes alongside each color. As we can see in this example, this is fine and allows other designers to pick up the work at a later date on be able to work with those colors in a coherent manner. But as we'll see later on, when we look at a more in depth guides, we should also try to show color in various contexts that we can fully appreciate what they look like beyond one small square sample. An important part of the one page style guide is the official typography that the brand uses. For example, some parts of the logo design itself or the brand name or the Strap nine, which is a slogan, may actually use typographic elements. But whatever your choice, I think you'll benefit from the other flexibility that a brand will have by having us display fund for larger scale usage, headers and so on on a distinctive body text typeface, which you can use in both cases every time that the brand communicates in time. But for these will become associated with the brand on will become a signature asset. Well, we're on the subject. Should you just display some sample words the full character or cliffs list or a pan Graham , which is a sentence containing every letter of the alphabet? Well, there's no strict rules around this. My advice is that in the limited space of a one pager, you clearly show the strap line or slogan in its intended typeface on, then some sample text showing the brands main typeface in the typical usage weights of Heather Sub header on body text. Now, with some of our international clients, we've chosen to include relevant special characters in the dummy tech space, for example, letters with accents or any relevant symbols because that's more relevant to how the brand will finally use the typeface. 4. Video 3 - The Brand Manual: the brand manual, depending on the extent to which a brand has been developed. There are other elements of its visual identity that need to be controlled or at least fully defined in order to help users and other designers to produce advertisements and communication materials in the future. Among these are approved photography, both in terms of images and the style to be applied. How you brand visualize is data, for example, infographics and in terms of written or verbal communication, the brands tone of voice, vocabulary and style guide going further. It is also important to add the proof stationary layouts, things like the email signature on the business card composition grids for poster or document design, and then the official templates that the brand is supposed to use approved images depending on the product or service. A brand will benefit from having its own signature style of photography. Now, not every brand has the budget to create dedicated photo shoots using a professional photographer. But having a core bank of images to be used in communications is essentials that the specific style becomes a valuable communication toe. Today's banks of stock images have come a long way and the range of photos and offer actually allow designers to apply a set of rules that will become synonymous with the brand . The brand guidelines can therefore serve to provide key filters color corrections, another features to create a desired ambience among the useful elements to include the choice of using macro or full shot images. And if your product is the star of the show, why not focus on the details? This example shows a Bonzai tree retailer focusing on details that can best be appreciated up close. In doing so, it draws the attention of the custom and to fully appreciate subtle details that would otherwise be lost in a wide angle shot. Similarly, a brand that is striving for a position off market leadership may choose to photograph their subjects from a particular heights or vantage point. This, too, can be defined in the brand guidelines by choosing suitable examples. Another example we have used in both the airline and the real estate industries in the past is to lower the observation perspective and allow the viewer to feel immersed in what is ultimately a confined space. In the guidelines, you can provide sufficient details to be able to recreate set shots, including recommendations for color terms, choice of black and white images, or contrast the extended graphical system one simple ways to produce patterns that are meaningful and versatile. In this example, we see a simple triangular pattern that can be used in a cutaway format, gradually revealing details to the reader when over laid over standard photography. But it can also be applied in an over print or standalone arrangement. Committed combinations of color can be added along with instructions for when they should be applied and in a more elaborate system such as this next example. Created in conjunction with Interbrand Paris for a leading Internet of Things network provider, the brand's backstory was interwoven with their visual identity. At the heart of the design is a representative logo consisting of a simplified butterfly icon but taking the concept further and precision in the network of standing at the front chair of the physical and digital worlds, a flexible system of merging these two worlds were simply created by varying the interlocking. The lips is in constant motion as a result, no matter where these appear, Whether in brushes or animations, the ellipses can be over laid to become a stylized but constant reminder of the brand in the brand guidelines. The important information that we need to appear relates to wear and when it should be used , but also the limits in this case, the maximum overlap and the angles of the ellipses stationary. Most businesses benefit from face to face sales meetings, which has led to an upsurge in business card design rather than a decline. Introducing and enforcing the rules to be followed is a must for any expanding company on what better place than the brand guidelines. To explain this, my recommendation is to provide both the templates on a mock up of what the finished product will actually look like. Further details, such as approved job titles, official contact details and so on, will help to complete this section of a brand Manu. Similarly, when it comes to things like email signatures, make sure that sufficient details are provided in the form of a check list or in the form of an example so others can easily create their own in accordance with the approved design . This leads us to the options for grids, a good grip design aims to lay out different elements of a communication in a manner that is easy to receive. While you cannot anticipate every single piece of content that will be included, having a few basic starting points, such as where to place the logo the relative sizes on the boilerplate or standardised text will help designers and non designers to apply your branding, consistently style and tone of voice. Turner voice is and always about what we say, but how we say it. It is reflected in the language that brand uses the way that we construct sentences, the sound and the flow of our words on the brand personality that would communicate tone of voice is as important to a brand's written and spoken communications as the logo color and typefaces are to its visual identity. When writing brand guidelines for the tone of voice of a brand, there's a few areas that you can focus on. One area could be the expression of the people and the values behind the brand. This is essentially derived from the brand story, why the company is different. What sets it apart from its competitors. This is essentially the unique personality of the brand how we can help to build, trust and enforce our promise. This helps us to gain and retain customers and how we can influence and persuade, essentially to close deals and make sales. There are many ways that a brand will choose to communicate with its clients and prospects ranging from being friendly and personable or approaching it from position of leadership in the market. While brand guidelines cannot cover every point of interaction, it is a good place to elaborate on the brand personality by giving samples of what needs to be said on how the brand will actually say it. In some industries, that will be key words to be used for either credibility on the brief but comprehensive vocabulary guide within the brand guidelines could be a great starting point. The idea is not to restrict creativity or turn every employee into robotic entity, but simply to provide guidance for stuff to engage consistently across all touchpoints. The best way to display this in brand guidelines is to keep it simple. This is also another area where you can provide simple do's and dont's in order to guide to the stuff US. A company continues to grow, and depending on the nature of the business, you can include further sections. Things like way finding and sign Itch. Essentially, how you apply your brand to the buildings that you own will also help to reinforce the brand message. You can also include things like vehicle graphics or, depending on the type of business, things like uniforms. 5. Video 4 - CLASS EXERCISE: Now that we've discovered the various sections that can be included in a brand lines document, it's time to put them into practice. You can use your own business as a starting point or make up a completely fictive client. The goal here is to put in place the very sections related to the type of client on the type of business that it runs. Starting with the one page template, which you can download on the desktop version of Skill Ship. Start by crafting the essentials, logo colors, typography and any additional elements that are relevant to its visual identity. Next, lay out some of the sections relevant to your chosen brand detail ING things like the stationery templates approved grids on guidelines that will help the end user to reproduce the artwork or comply with the guidelines. You don't have to complete all of the sections, but at least by considering the sections we've discussed in previous videos, you'll be in a better position to evaluate whether the information you supply is both relevant and sufficient for the end user. Remember, guidelines exist to assist. They should not be seen as a document that is relevant to only a handful of designers or experts. If relevance, give some thought to the personality you want to convey both in visual and written or spoken format. A brand success hinges on consistency and coherency, and be sure to post examples of your work in the class project section to fuel further discussions and exchanges. 6. Video 5 - Enhancing Brand Guidelines: enhanced sprung guidelines. Creating an enhanced version of a brand manual could be a great choice and generates additional value for a business. So what exactly can we add to the equation? Well, so far, the brand guidelines that we've discussed essentially provide solutions to technical issues or practical usage guidelines for the brand's identity. To add value and turn this into a really good story, we need to add depth. Here is a quick check list of what you might include provide details of the brands origins its narrative story, talk about its underlying values provide further insight into the naming and the concept behind the brand. This actually produces a fantastic tool for on boarding new stuff or getting your message across to potential followers and customers. Now, they used to be a time when brand guidelines were internal documents sitting behind Loggins or filed away and really shared with the public. However, during the past five or six years, though, we've seen a growing population of designers and non designers alike eager to evaluate, share and critique a brand as soon as the guidelines become available. This has an amplifying effect which can eventually have a positive impact on your brand on help to propagate your new image and message 7. Video 6 - Templates and Hubs: Some designers we have met have raised the question of whether they should be using pre made templates that can be purchased online. While you can certainly use templates as a starting point, please keep in mind that these have been produced by a designer with generic rules in mind . While it will make your initial set up easier than starting from scratch, I feel that they also exert an influence that will make your cup documents look too much the same. A surfing us that we find on the market some online resource is provide a slightly different approach whereby they give you a general structure or an outline on. Then they allow you to either include some or even all of the sections. This does offer some flexibility and can be useful as a checklist to make sure you've covered everything, however, do keep in mind that your client is actually paying you to produce original, functional guidelines that catered to their particular brand, not off the shelf. Seen it before type documents. Which brings me to my next point online or print. While producing a print version means that the updating cycle is actually a little bit more costly. It has to be hardwired into the brand development schedule, while the initial guidelines will cover things that are not likely to change for the first few months, for example, the logo, the name brand colors and so on. It is also true that the brand architecture, however, will evolve. This is certainly the case, as new product lines are introduced on the platforms on which the brand is actually present may change and will need to be added to the next revision. If you produce an electronic version of the documents, of course, then the cost of updating is relatively lower. However, there is an added magic about having printed guidelines that when we produce them, we actually encourage users to have them on hands like a valuable reference manual, the more likely to sit around conveniently, then reciting the hard drive somewhere where they are rarely accessed. Another option, of course, is to create a brand, huh? I will be covering this in a separate course, but generally speaking, a brand help is an online resource, usually a standalone site but also increasingly integrated into the main brand website. This allows you to assign different access rights for the rarest elements. In short, it gives authorized users a simple means of searching and finding exactly the right elements that they need with a familiar or intuitive interface. Another advantage is the possibility of designing animations, help videos and other features to help inspire our guide the user to correct usage of the brand elements. Working with previous clients that agency up, we've discovered that having a public access part of a brand hub will feed the interests of the general public and particularly those who are passionate about following new brand identities. In this way, you'll be able to control specific brand elements, re servant them for authorized users while still enabling another outlet for your brand communications. 8. Vid 7 Concluding Remarks: I hope you've enjoyed watching this course on creating brand guidelines and that you found the information useful. Like any aspect of information design, Producing good brand guidelines is a skill that is acquired through practice on by trying different approaches. One important aspect is to lay a solid foundation by first structuring or clearly defining the sections that are fundamental to the business you're working with. It's also important to test the instructions and the guidelines that you provide with a different range of audiences. This will help you to shake the content and make sure that it's easy to understand, Finally tried to understand the needs of your clients that's related to the stage of growth on their actual needs. At agency out, we worked with a range of clients, from start ups to multinational corporations, and we're constantly reminded of how the information that we provide will eventually be used. By striking the right balance, you'll ensure that the next front guidelines that you produce with no longer be the unfortunate deliverable at the end of a project, but rather a real enabler for growth and better brand communications. Thanks for watching