Website and Branding – How Brand Standards Guide Helps

Awesome Co. Web Design

It’s a lot easier to design a website when you have a Brand Standards Guide. A Brand Standards Guide, sometimes also referred to as a Brand Manual or simply as Brand Guide, is a document that defines the brand, describes various components of the brand, and gives direction on how those components should be used.

In a Brand Standards Guide you will generally find a logo, positional statement, colour palette, and typeset. Larger companies with tightly controlled brands will go further by outlining what verbiage and imagery they want used depending on what kind of associations they want to build and maintain.

The logo in a Brand Standards Guide may be shown in different layouts (wide for horizontal presentation and narrow for vertical) and in different colours: full colour, greyscale, and reverse. Proportions and spacing guidelines will generally be included as well.

The positional statement in a Brand Standards Guide talks about the company’s values, beliefs, and objectives. It may talk about the company culture, founding principles, and how the company is positioned in the marketplace in terms of its competitive advantages. This material helps anyone who works with the brand understand where the company came from, where it is, and where it is headed. Having that mindset makes it easier to produce marketing materials that are in line with where the company is headed, and a Brand Standards Guide is the document that makes it all possible.

Colour palette and typeset are important parts of the Brand Standards Guide since they take a lot of guess work out of design directions. When your primary, secondary, and tertiary colours are defined, there is no room for interpretation or error. Anyone using these colours can be confident that they will work well with the logo and compliment any of the other marketing materials the company has produced in the past. It’s the same thing with typeset. When the fonts are already chosen, the text will be consistent throughout. You eliminate the risk of a designer deciding to use a completely different font on a whim.

The main reason to have a Brand Standards Guide is that you can hand it to anyone in the field of marketing or design and they will have a manual for how to use your brand. If something doesn’t work with one designer, you can fairly easily change them without fearing that their own creative juices will take your brain in an undesired direction. Without a Brand Standards Guide you run a big risk of creating a lot of marketing collateral over the years that is inconsistent, diluting your brand in the process.

If you are just starting out, it’s worth looking at developing a Brand Standards Guide before you build the website, because doing it in reverse is a bit like putting the cart in front of the horse. But we also recognize that cash is tight when you are starting a new venture. A Brand Standards Guide that will meet the needs of most small businesses typically costs about $2,500 to develop. However a logo itself can be done for about half as much. And if you already have logo sketches that you want turned into a digital artwork, it would cost even less.