What is a brand manual and why do I need one?

By: Fiona Humberstone

Date: 24 November 2009

Does your business have a brand manual? Perhaps you're not quite sure what a brand manual is or why on earth you need one. Let me shed a bit of light on the situation.
Your brand manual is the guide that keeps all of your design on the straight and narrow. It's the document that shows you what your 'house fonts' are, which palette of colours best represent your business. And it shows everyone who designs for your business how to make sure that each piece of collateral look like it's come from the same company. No easy task I can tell you!
It would be easy to accuse brand manuals of making your business design boring, stifling even. But that's not what they're for. Brand manuals allow your designer to be more creative by focusing on the bits they can add value to, rather than changing the font for the sake of being different. Brand manuals help keep your business identity intact. They help you build trust and reassurance with your customers because everything you produce has a common style or theme. That doesn't mean it needs to look the same, but just like it's come from the same company.
Every business needs a brand manual. They will save you time, they'll save you money and they will help you project a better image. What's not to like?

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