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Don’t create brand guidelines until you’ve read this

As designers or design agency owners we all know the benefits to creating brand and visual identity guidelines. They help build the platform for your shiny new creation so it lives on and looks as good in 5 years time as it does today. Not to mention they can be a good source of income.

As business owners or brand guardians you understand that good guidelines will help make your life easier in the long run and it’s a worthwhile investment so everyone else can understand this and more importantly implement them correctly.

Yet for both parties it can be a somewhat tedious task, normally at the end of the project, and usually needed within the next day or two unless properly scoped.

So what’s the best way forward to creating the ideal platform, that suits both parties with the minimum amount of fuss but the maximum level of skill and craftsmanship which the brand warrants.

Every brand is different, as it should be to help you stand out from the crowd, but staying ‘on brand’ is becoming harder for customers and designers in some respects.

The modern brand needs to exist in many formats and be adaptable to ever changing landscapes and technologies in today’s world. Your freshly created brand identity has to work across various print and digital executions which can be a complex process, not only in creation but in implementing correctly. What logo version do I use where, what are the RGB or CMYK breakdowns, what’s my brand font and how do I get it etc etc!

So how can you mitigate these challenges and move into a flexible and useful tool so everything for everyone can become less stressful.

First thing to remember is that brand guidelines or visual identity guidelines are just that, a guide to helping you build a recognised brand for your customers. Good guidelines should evolve as the brand does yet stay true to the core values and assets which make it so memorable. So having the right platform to achieve this flexible status is increasingly becoming a critical point.

You could create your guides as a PDF and update as you need to and package up logo and asset kits for your client every time something changes, but this can become tiresome for the designer or design agency and almost impossible for the customer to keep track of assets and version controls, especially in larger organisations.

A better solution would be to take them online. After all, we all live in a digital world with our phones and tablets, so why not take your brand guidelines there.

There are some clear benefits too. You can have access to your assets anywhere in the world by simply storing your assets in the cloud (no more searching servers for the right version or hunting down that elusive logo version). You can get your colour breakdowns or find your corporate font at a click of a button. Get links to hosted brand imagery or understand the approvals process in minutes not weeks, even before you start your project. Have a point of contact with someone who can actually help or simply just help your staff understand the new brand and what’s expected.

There are many more reasons for taking brand guidelines online and there are a few great platforms in which to achieve this enlightenment, such as frontify, brand portal and Brandora. The latter we are proud to offer. Built for designers by designers with a cost effective price tag and with the ability to scale up or customise as required. All will depend on what suits you, your brand and your budget but if you are creating a brand or visual identity guideline, it’s time to evolve your brand guidelines to a digital age.

Check out for more information on features and customisable options.