When developing a brand manual, the natural tendency is to concentrate solely on the logo design color palette and then move to marketing materials and website design. However, the best method to build a brand manual is to create a brand identity system. It's critical to develop a set of rules and standards for how the various parts of the brand identity design system are integrated and performed in your branding initiatives and Digital marketing campaigns.
A brand handbook or a manual is a document that lays out the rules and standards for the parts of your brand identification system and how they should be utilized. It is one of the most essential brand assets for your firm. Consistency in brand messaging and design is critical to your brand recognition and recall. The manual ensures that this uniformity is maintained.
To create an effective brand manual, you must keep the following in mind:
1. Start with a good brand story
A company's most important values are defined and described in its brand story. It's used to convey a company's values to the public, and it may also be used to influence critical organizational decisions. A captivating brand narrative lies at the heart of every great brand, so make sure to keep yours interesting.
2. Use logo guidelines to create a recognizable brand signature
Aside from your brand narrative, your logo is the most significant aspect of your business. It's the one thing that everyone should instantly identify as yours and yours alone. It takes a lot of repetition to make a trademark immediately recognized, so make sure to use yours everywhere and every time.
3. Include your brand’s core color palette in your brand manual
It's more vital than ever to make key brand colors well-known and consistent to maintain brand awareness. Define your brand's color palette in your brand style guide. Earlier, brand colors were straightforward. You may have just needed to choose one or two colors that matched your logo, and you were good to go. However, that's not the case anymore. Make sure to keep the current color trends in mind before deciding the core color palette for your brand.
4. Choose typography that matches your visual style
Typography is one of those things that go undetected when done correctly but stands out like a sore thumb when it isn't. Allowing font selections to fall through the cracks can seriously devalue your brand. Instead, use a brand style guide to ensure that your typography is applied consistently across your assets to improve your brand recall.
5. Find your brand’s voice
Having a consistent brand voice in your marketing is of utmost importance. Spend some time identifying a style that connects with your target audience and is compatible with your brand's personality. Once you've worked it out, ensure that it's consistent across your channels by putting it in your brand style guide!
6. Describe the graphics and icons that make up your visual design
The design, color, and content of your imagery all contribute to how people perceive your brand. Therefore, provide some standards for images (pictures, drawings, charts, infographics, and so on) to include in your brand manual.
A brand manual that isn't thorough enough is almost as good as having none. If you want yours to be as valuable as possible, it should be comprehensive, practical and accessible. As your brand grows and changes, this should also reflect in your brand manual. In keeping with this, it is imperative to keep your brand manual updated and ensure that it is accessible to all stakeholders.