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Topic: Branding

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Branding Style Bible

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
Hello all,
I posted a few weeks back on using company stationery as a branding tool. I now need to put a style bible together, which will incorporate a guide on all of our comapny's stationery/documentation etc and how it needs to used.

We are a global company with offices world wide but we want to have a consistant look world wide to strengthen our brand.

Any ideas?


  • Posted by Blaine Wilkerson on Accepted
    I have the same issue. What I do (and am in the process of doing) is create a gudeline with examples of each possibility (i.e. stationary, business cards, etc). I create a CD with various templates and logos, and I plan on posting it all on a website for easy access.

    You can organize it any way you want, just make sure everyone has easy access. You may want to require a confirmation email, phone call, or something to indicate they received the guidelins and agree to the terms.

    I hope this helps!
  • Posted by SteveByrneMarketing on Accepted
    Hi Emero,

    My past experience includes working at a corporate design firm doing many corporate identity systems. The firm would typically develop a Graphic Standards Manual for help ensure consistency of the corporate and brand graphics over time. Here are a few links to Graphic Standards Manual examples:

    best of luck,

    - Steve
  • Posted on Accepted
    Hi Emero

    Everyone has given good examples for you to decide how to put your brand guidlines together.

    You can select to be as comprehensive as you want but you also want to give some breathing space or creative expression from your agencies with a structure they can rely on and work with.

    Having worked with several branding guidelines for global brands here are some suggestions which I have found most helpful:

    1. Explain the importance of using the brand guidlines consistently
    and why they need to be used across all markets and what this contributes to the brand. Include maybe, how much re-branding has cost to the company and why EVERYONE needs to ensure the correct formats, identity, logo, colour etc are used.

    2. Include exact colour match in Pantone reference (or other international colour standard) & 4 colour process for your identity(logo) and brand palette colours. Specify print processes and ensure these are complied consistently.

    3. Clearly illustrate the different versions of your identity(logo) - e.g. colour, greyscale and outline versions and specify colour usages. E.g. for Sony we had 3 versions and they worked differently for above & below the line activities internationally.

    3a. This also applies to your product & brand typeface usage but can be applied to pictorial usage and any other elements you use as a standard across your brand. Also allow for some interpretation of elements for International markets for flexibility. For any substantial additions, these should be requested and cleared through HQ but depends on your individual marketing dept.

    4. Show relationship sizing of your identity(logo) & products regarding its placement within collateral material with samples of use in e.g. a full colour ad, bw ad, billboard, poster treatment, email campaigns etc

    5. Specify media usage with clear examples using the identity, colours, sizing and proportion.

    6. Also show, how your brand CANNOT be used. Give examples of wrong use of identity, colour etc and product usage. This refers to brand identity mutilation and distortion, inappropriate or offensive imagery or association (becomes more important internationally) This saves alot of headaches and annoying questions.

    7. Include your brand values, philosophy, proposition with a little brand history about your brand, its roots, founders etc It gives the creatives a little more meat to chew on and they love a good story!

    8. Specify photo usage and how they can be used with your chosen media. Include examples as mentioned. You need feedback from your International markets regarding photo 'sensitivities' e.g. sexual references but this will be clarified in your brand values, philosophy and proposition earlier.

    9. Use a binder that you can add inserts to and that are easy to print and do not incur unnecessary costs by being 'creative' - an A4 size will do and is a pretty universal format.

    10. On your CD/DVD make sure your interface is simple and easy to use with a hyperlink to get updates from your website/intranet. Include commercials or well known campaigns.

    There must be more but these are what I can remember immediately.

    Hope this helps.
  • Posted by Sharon on Moderator
    I completed an identity process a year ago, and I found that when you introduce the style guide, it is a good idea to do a presentation to the key constituencies in your co who will use your guide. I had some odd things, unusal spacing around the identity, the PMS color was only the "coated" stock version, even for uncoated stock, and we couldn't use two types of identities together. So I was able to point these out and help the group to understand some of the finer points of using and working with the new identity. Plus they had a face to go to, not just a manual.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • Posted by ajay on Accepted

    No doubt it will be an extremely helpful tool for all marketing/ sales and branding people. A corporate identity manual should be:
    a) Easily printable and easily referred to
    b) Should be easily accessible
    c) Should use very simple language - and atleast in 2 languages(one in a major language of the country plus vernacular languages). e.g. In Canada it will be in English & French.. in Middle East English & Arabic, in Pakistan English and Urdu and so on and so forth. If international, then English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Mandarin etc. depending upon the countries you operate in
    d) Use lots of "Dos & Don'ts" to lucidly depict the logo type, colour scheme, size, height etc.
    e) Should display options in colour & if in black & white
    f) Use try and portray all possible avenues of branding

    Hope this helps

  • Posted by Sharon on Moderator
    Hello all. I am closing this question. This is standard procedure when the question author gets busy and falls out of the conversation for a while – or doesn’t understand the procedure for closing.

    Thanks for participating!

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