Are you sick of team members and suppliers using your logo and brand assets incorrectly? Wrong colours, squeezing logos to fit, using old versions of your logo, adding items to designs that shouldn’t be there. These are all common problems that occur when there are no clear guidelines on how to use your logo and brand assets.

This post will go over what should be included in your brand identity kit so that everyone can apply it consistently every time.

What are brand guidelines?

A Brand Guideline Kit includes all the elements of a company’s identity such as logos, colours, fonts, and taglines and simple guidelines on how to use them.  It is how your brand is practically applied to all your communications and marketing tools.

Why do you need brand guidelines?

Consistent branding is important to the success of your brand. Businesses that create branding guidelines and enforce them create a stronger, more recognised brand that leads to a richer customer experience and increased brand value. If you want your brand to be consistently applied everywhere then it is important that you have effective brand guidelines.

Brand Guidelines will help you communicate your brand standards to your team. They help make sure that everyone is singing from the same song sheet. They help present your organisation to the world in a unified way.

Brand guidelines can be given to media partners, signwriters, and graphic designers, to help them maintain brand consistency.

Downing Creative can help you create brand guidelines for your company that will give your team everything they need to stay on message with each other, suppliers and customers. To get you started we have created a list of essential elements to include in your guidelines.


New Zealand King Salmon brand guidelines include logo, colour, typography, and core messages.
What should be included in your brand kit?

Here are some items you may like to include in a brand guideline kit:

  • Company logos. This is the foundation of a branding kit. It can be a symbol, icon, or wordmark that represents your brand and what it stands for. The logo guidelines should also include how it should be used in its simplest form. This is normally black and white or one colour. It should show how small the logo can be shown.


  • The Guidelines should provide access to a library of logos in various file formats and colour options. Some file formats could include pdf, ai, eps, jpg, or png.


  • The Exact brand name. State the exact company name or product names that are to be used. It is important that everyone uses the same version of the name in every communication piece that comes from your business. If the brand name is long is an abbreviation acceptable. If so what is the exact abbreviation?


  • A company slogan. If your brand has a slogan then make sure it is clear easy to understand. Give instructions on the font style and how to position it in relation to your logo is clear to have one main message they want people to remember and associate with them. The phrase should reflect what you do, who you are, or what you stand for.


  • Colour palette. It is an important visual element to include in your kit since it can be used across all branding materials such as websites, advertisements, posters, and more. The colours should reflect the personality of the company and how they want people to feel when seeing them. Colours should be specified in a range of formats. A good branding kit should include CMYK and RGB files for printing, along with Pantone colours (if applicable).


  • Fonts. One font needs to be chosen as the core font of the identity – another may be picked just in case the core font can’t be used.


  • Graphic Elements. Some brand systems have support graphics that can be used to design branded items, These may include background textures, watermarks or abstract patterns.


Other things that can be added are:


  • Stationery design templates. These include business cards, letterhead and envelopes.


  • Proposal Documents. This may include Powerpoint or Word templates that may be used for proposals or presentations.


  • Photography. If your brand has a library of hero photos that can be reused a number or times then these should be included. How photography is used in your branding should be specified and it should align with your brand personality and values. Some photos may have licensing agreements attached to them that require the photographer to be credited. Or they may have limited use that users need to be aware of.


  • Tone of Voice. It’s important to remember that your writing and image is a key part of how you want people to interact with the company. The tone of how you communicate should align with your brand personality. If you want your brand personality to be fun and exciting then everything you communicate should have an aspect of fun and excitement. Having some guidelines on how all team members should write on public platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is useful to maintain consistency.


  • Icons. Include any other icons that are specific to you such as favicons, icons, infographics or animated gifs.


  • Signwriting. This may include vehicles signs, site signs and wayfinding systems.


  • Uniforms. Nothing demonstrates unity like a team all wearing the same uniform. If your organisation uses uniforms then they need clear guidelines. Where uniforms are not worn to


  • Merchandise. If your marketing includes standard giveaways such as pens or notebooks then these can be included.


  • Advertising templates for the most popular media channels. Footers and headers can be useful in maintaining consistency in advertising messaging across diverse channels.
Brand Guidelines for Nelson Tasman
How long should brand guidelines be?

This is a bit like saying how long is a piece of string? the answer is as long as it needs to be. Only include items in your guidelines that are useful in the day to day use of your brand. Too much detail and they won’t get used.

Remember if you need help with all this then please get in touch.