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Brand Manual Development Guide by Relevance

If a company doesn’t have a brand manual, then each designer or marketeer it engages will simply work according to what they like. If several different people are involved at different points this can result in a lack of consistency, making the brand look like it is going through an identity crisis. In order to keep the business’ personality in check, companies often come to us for branding creation. But what does this entail?

Below you will find a summary of the steps that our team takes in order to arrive at the finalised brand guidelines, often combining the client’s vision, our industry know-how, and the latest design trends.

Step 1: Brand manual brief/Research 

Any work we do always begins with a brief. The client either comes to us with a comprehensive brief and knows exactly what is expected, or they will fill out a document specifically developed by our team for branding creation. Sometimes, to get the full picture, it is also necessary to conduct market research to find out the preferences of the target audience. Our design team needs to collect as many references as possible, and they are often inspired by the photography and imagery that the client provides. Once all this information is collected, we proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Concept boards

The next step is creating the concept boards. This is where the branding creation work starts to take shape. The boards feature different colour palettes, icons and other digital elements that our team comes up with based on the brief. Usually a client receives 3-4 different concept boards and then shares feedback with us on what they like and dislike. Together with the client, we review each board and discuss exactly what inspired us to create it. The client gives us as much information as possible to bring us closer to the final result.

Step 3: Final mood board

The final mood board contains only those colours and elements that will later be used in branding. It presents the main aesthetic for the future assets. This information will later be transferred over to the brand manual. 

Step 4: Logo development

Before starting the work on stationary and other branding assets, our team works on logo development, a core element used on both digital and offline materials. After several trials, the final logo and its variations are approved, and we define the detailed principles for using the company logo. These include:

Step 5: Font, stationary and other assets

Once the logo is ready, we identify fonts that can be used in the design and several possible alternatives to those fonts. We suggest which fonts can be used in headings, body text, print and digital media, and presentations. We set clear boundaries for font sizes for all types of headings and media. These fonts and logos are then used in the stationary and any other branding creation assets that the client may require (packaging, promotional objects, etc).

Step 6: Guidelines/Brand manual creation

Once all the steps are completed, we provide the client with a brandbook that can be then shared with the internal team and external suppliers. This file includes the rules for using the logo and fonts, as well as the rules for creating and using colour palettes – one of the most important components of the guidelines. Our team prescribes the rules for using each corporate colour; for example, which colours can be used only in the logo, which ones can be used as a background, and which shades are used to highlight and decorate elements. The general requirements for the selection and processing of images are also prescribed: we look at contrast, size, stylization, additional effects. 

Undoubtedly, the development of a brand manual for a company requires perfect accuracy and complete attention to detail. At Relevance, we find that each project is also unique and exciting, with each branding package tailored to the client’s specific needs and expectations. Please see some of our design team work examples here, or get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can help your business.

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