A guideline is a set of rules that regulate the use of the logo, corporate style, brand characters, and other brand identifiers. A guideline also contains standards and recommendations regarding colors, fonts, and placement on corporate and advertising materials.

What Is a Guideline in Advertising

A guideline is an important tool used by a company’s designers and marketing specialists to update, change, and distribute corporate identity without asking an advertising agency for help. When the elements of a brand’s visual image are used correctly, the brand remains recognizable and memorable, preserves its comprehensive competitive positioning, and maintains contact with the target audience.

Guideline Structure

A guideline is developed after a corporate identity that reflects a company’s positioning in the market has been created. The stages of guideline development depend on project details. However, there are always some key steps:

  - Logo description and use cases;

  - Color coding and acceptable color combinations;

  - Corporate fonts and faces;

  - Acceptable and unacceptable use cases of graphic elements and backgrounds;

 - Corporate documentation standards.

A Guideline, Brand Book, or Logo Book — What Is the Difference?

People often use the term ‘brand book’ to describe any set of brand instructions. However, this is incorrect. Let’s consider the differences between these three regulating documents.

A logo book describes the use of a logo, namely, its size, font, backgrounds, main and secondary forms. Unlike a brand book, it only protects a company’s logo from incorrect usage.

A guideline covers the use of the main corporate identity elements, such as corporate fonts, color palette, or placement on advertising and corporate media. The purpose of a guideline is to preserve the integral visual image of a brand.

A brand book contains important brand information: its positioning, mission, rules of communication, and descriptions of corporate style constants. A brand book helps promote a trademark and secure its competitive position.

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