What Is A Brand Book

What is a Brand Book?

When we create or re-design a brand, the logo is just a small part of the job. If you read my previous articles on branding you will remember that a brand is composed of several unique elements. The Brand Book is what defines a seamless identity to your brand.

A guide to your branding strategies

The Brand Book is a collection of the brand elements and a detailed description of a brand. It influences every marketing campaign, communication and products. By covering every aspect of the brand, this document functions as a strategic guideline.

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What is inside a Brand Book?

Every Brand Book is unique because it covers a specific brand. There are, however, some elements in common. Usually a brand book will contain:

  • Name
  • Logo, logo variations, icons
  • Typography guidelines
  • Color palette
  • Graphic elements
  • Tone of voice
  • Image positioning guidelines
  • Brand description, mission statement or manifesto

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Description of the brand

Some Brand Books cover just the graphic elements, while others provide extensive information on “tone of voice”, “manifesto” or “mission”. Why do these things matter?

These elements describe how the brand will communicate with the customers. If your brand is young, dynamic and cool you want to communicate with a joyful tone (like Vimeo). Your message would go like “Thanks for joining our team! Welcome aboard and get ready to be surprised with the most amazing videos you’ve ever seen!”

A more serious company (like a financial consulting group) would indicate a more traditional tone of voice in its Brand Book: “Thank you for joining the Financial Group. A consultant will contact you shortly with more information regarding your desired plan”.

The mission statement or the manifesto are short descriptions of why the brand exists and how it plans to make a difference. This is specially important when it comes to marketing strategy.

The DOs and DON’Ts

An interesting feature of many Brand Books is a section dedicate to what you should NOT do with that elements. Skype’s old Brand Book had a page with “Words we like” and “Words we don’t like”. Apple Identity Guidelines has page after page of things you cannot do with the Apple logo.

It’s very handy to include this feature if you plan to distribute your Brand Book to designers or clients outside the company. It will help them position your brand correctly (and will avoid embarrassing situations).

Need help?

This article is intended to help you understand what a Brand Book is. If you need help designing a new brand, or updating an existing one, just send us a message.

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Mário is our creative director.