7 Must-Have Brand Guidelines You Need in Your Guidebook

Author: Abby Radewahn

In an over-saturated digital world, the power of your brand cannot be overstated. It’s not just your logo or your tagline: it’s the heart of your business.

Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” It includes your business name, messaging, logo and a whole bunch of other collateral that make your products and services easy to recognize (if you’re doing it right, that is). 

However, the true potential of your brand lies in consistency. That’s why we highly recommend you create a brand guidebook. A brand guidebook is a document that gives rules and use cases for all the important aspects of your brand so that you and your team can create the consistency necessary to resonate with your prospects. In this blog, we’ll dive into the essentials of creating a brand guidebook that gives you the guardrails necessary to stay on-brand at all times.

7 Must-Have Brand Guidelines to Ensure Consistency


Your logo is the face of your brand: the first impression that begins to show consumers who you are and what you’re about. Brands like Apple and Nike are great examples of iconic logos that have contributed to their global success.

For your Brand Guidebook, you want to include your primary and secondary (if applicable) logos in all their color variations. At a minimum, you should have a full-color version accompanied by a white version and a black version. You should also add the breathing room guidelines your logo needs to be effective. Finally, add some explanation of when to use each logo version so your team doesn’t need to ask a ton of questions while they work.

Guidebook Checklist:

  • Primary logo
  • Secondary version
  • Full-color logo
  • White logo
  • Black logo
  • Breathing room guides

Brand Voice Guide

Your brand voice can be simplified as the tone with which you communicate with your audience, but it’s more complicated than that. Your brand voice includes your company’s tone, language dos and don’ts, messaging maps and more!

Brand Guidebooks should contain a brand voice guide, or at least a thorough messaging map with your primary content pillars, to ensure every piece of content aligns with the narrative you want to share. Bonus: when you have a clear brand voice guide, you can use it to inform AI-generated content, too!

Guidebook Checklist

  • UVP (Unique value proposition)
  • Messaging Map
  • Tone words


It’s time to have fun with fonts! Your branding should include at least one font that you’ll use for all of your print and digital collateral, and we recommend using no more than three different typefaces. Choose fonts that communicate your brand’s personality and style, and fit visually into your other brand assets. Consistent typography builds a visual rhythm, contributing to the overall cohesiveness of your brand identity.

Make sure to include your brand’s fonts in your Guidebook and any size guidelines you may have.

Guidebook Checklist

  • Heading 1 (Title) font
  • Heading 2 (Subtitle) font
  • Body font
  • Size guidelines
  • Optional: Heading 3 and 4 styles

Color Palette

Colors are scientifically proven to evoke particular emotions, which is why they play a pivotal role in brand communication. A cohesive color palette that aligns with your brand personality and values is key to effective branding.

Consistency in color usage across digital platforms reinforces brand recognition and fosters a sense of familiarity. Your Brand Guidebook should include all of the colors you use in your brand and a brief description of what each color may be used for. Don’t forget to include color codes like Hex Codes or CMYK!

Guidebook Checklist

  • Primary color
  • Secondary color
  • Alert Color
  • Accent Color
  • Light Neutral Color
  • Dark Neutral Color


Icons, when used consistently and strategically, become synonymous with your brand. They serve as visual shortcuts, aiding in quick brand recognition. You can invest time in designing icons that encapsulate the essence of your brand, invest money in hiring a designer for custom icons, or purchase an icon pack from an open-source design site like Creative Market or Dribbble

Include all the icons you want to be used consistently across your branding in your Brand Guidebook. Consider including some examples so your team knows how each piece could be used.

Guidebook Checklist

  • EVERY branded icon you have
  • Use cases for the most important icons

Photo Usage

A picture is worth a thousand words, but depending on your brand’s look and feel, photos may be a very large or very small part of your branding. Either way, you’re bound to come across circumstances when there are photos you’ll want to use, and you want to be prepared.

Consider including any stock photos you’ve purchased, brand photoshoot photos or filter packs you want to be a standard across your content in your Brand Guidebook.

Guidebook Checklist

  • Stock photos
  • Brand photos
  • Team headshots
  • Filters your team should use on all photos if applicable

Templates for EVERYTHING

This one is a big lift, but the time you invest now will save hours in the future. By creating basic templates for typical documents, presentations or content your team creates, you’re allowing for a creative jumping-off point.

Your Brand Guidebook should include general templates of any high-traffic content so that each and every document, social post and presentation you create has the fingerprint of your branding. Templates are the unsung hero of brand consistency!

Guidebook Checklist

  • Blank document template
  • Blank presentation template
  • Email signature template

Crafting a consistent brand identity is both an art and a science. By adhering to a thorough Brand Guidebook — focusing on your logo, brand voice, fonts, color palette, fonts, iconography, photo usage and templates — your team lays the foundation for a brand that consumers recognize, a key to brand survival. Embrace the power of consistency, and watch your brand become a beacon of success.

In a world where attention spans are fleeting, a consistent brand is the anchor that makes your brand memorable. To develop a brand strategy that resonates with your audience, contact Keystone Click’s digital marketing experts. Plus, download our printable Brand Guidebook Checklist to begin building your own brand guidelines.