Updated: Feb 18, 2020
WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED ONE
A brand book is everything that drives your organization and everything that you stand for, put together in one gorgeous little document. It's powerful, inspiring, shareable, and evolving. It can help you make big decisions and attract the right clients or investors. It ensures you're projecting a polished and consistent brand image, always. It builds trust and shows the world that you mean business and you know your sh*t.
Whether you're building your empire from the ground up solo (for now) or you're an organization of thousands, the Brand Book is an incredibly powerful and necessary tool for your business.
You might be asking yourself some questions at this point, like:
"What's in a brand book?"
Great question! The term "brand book" is something we use to describe what is basically a digitally-delivered kit that contains your entire brand foundation. The components of that foundation are:
Logo Includes standalone mark, full logo, alts, all color combinations and file formats. All logos are vector and 100% original - we never ever use stock vector in logos. Your logo will appear in all forms in the brand book itself, and you'll receive a zip folder for download containing all versions.
Color Story The colors chosen to represent your brand do matter. Certain colors carry a strong emotional connection, and have the power to instantly set a specific tone for your organization, whether you realize it or not. Utilizing 13+ years of experience in color theory and branding, we carefully craft a unique and effective color palette, providing color numbers so you can always stay consistent.
Type Collection There truly is an art to choosing complementary typography to use in branding. For the inexperienced designer, it's scary-easy to go overboard with too many uncomplimentary fonts, and just as easy to use (and distribute to the client) an improperly licensed font, resulting in violation of copyright law, cease and desist letters and/or fines. We spend hours hunting down the perfect fonts for your brand, ensure they work together and are properly licensed before passing them on to you.
Brand Imagery Guidelines Choosing imagery for your advertising and social media posts can be daunting. Our brand books contain a set of guidelines each image you use should meet, taking the guesswork out and allowing you to project a cohesive, professional image.
Curated Image Library We start you off with 30+ images, chosen carefully by us to work with your imagery guidelines and brand feel. This library is fully licensed for commercial use, so you don't have to worry about violating copyright law (experienced creative studio FTW!)
Mission, Values and Vision This is the big one. This is what separates a "style guide" from a brand book. Style guidelines are a component of nearly every Brand Book we create, but the heart of the book is your incredibly important mission, values (or guiding principles) and vision. We'll work with you to identify what those are if you don't know, or elevate them if you do. Then we choose imagery to match and present them in a way that inspires.
Custom Section If you want your story, product information, a product catalog section or something else included in your brand book, we can do that!
"But I don't know what my 'Mission, Values and Vision' are."
To that we say: you're a liar.
JK. But really, you do know what they are. If you didn't, your organization wouldn't exist. If you're feeling like this, it's just because you've never gone through the process of writing them down. It's not always that simple, though. For a lot of people that don't have their M/V/Vs down on paper, it's because the process is not easy. You know it in your head, but getting it into a publicly consumable form that makes you look professional takes a little work. That's why we start you off with our "Mission/Values/Vision Workbook" - a series of worksheets, perfected over the span of a decade of branding work, that walk you through each step of determining and polishing your M/V/Vs. It's so important we won't start working on your branding without it.
Five Ways to Leverage Your Brand Book
Use it to recruit and onboard top talent. Since this book will tell anyone unfamiliar with your brand EVERYTHING they need to know about who you are - it's the perfect way to attract employees who are jazzed about working for you. Take a few copies to your next career fair and post it on the careers section of your site.
Use it as a sales tool. Leave a copy of the book with prospective clients after your pitch or bring a bunch with to the next tradeshow/conference. Part of the standard vendor sales script in virtually every industry at tradeshows is to rattle off a bit about the company. Having your brand book available frees up time for deeper conversations by covering the foundation of who you are and what you offer. It's also an awesome conversation prompt.
Use it as a qualifying & validation tool. We are not the cheapest creative studio. There are reasons for that, which are laid out in our own brand book. Our prices are in the book too, so if we're not in someone's budget they'll know right away rather than after a proposal process. We also include a lot of portfolio pieces so people can get a sense of our experience and quality. This validates our prices and eliminates some of the back-and-forth emailing of portfolio pieces (though we're happy to dig up specific examples if you don't see it on our site or in the book).
Use it to tell your stories on Social Media. We create these books in such a way that key pages (like your mission statement and values) can be shared to social media and look they were created as a standalone graphic. Want to know what we mean? Check out our instagram. Our brand books also come with an extensive image library, curated by us. All of the images are fully licensed for commercial use, so you are ready to rock with a bunch of brand assets right away.
Use it to guide processes and make purposeful decisions within your organization. Your values, not your Brand Book, help you make decisions. But having a tangible reminder available to you and everyone involved in your badassery from the start is hugely important to reinforcing those values. Creating processes and making choices based on what is important to you is easier when your values are on paper and reinforced often.
Guiding principles mean nothing if they don't actually guide you.
"How do I get a Brand Book?"
Another great question! And the simplest one to answer: Hire us to create one for you. Contact us here to get a copy of our brand book with pricing!
We're passionate about crafting good branding for world-changing businesses and organizations. More about Studio Vogl >>