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Tips on Brand Identity Guidelines for Clients

Brand identity guidelines tips for clients

To avoid the all-too-common scenario of seeing beautifully designed brands go out into the world only to be abused by a client, we must arm them with the right brand identity guidelines.

Tips on Brand Identity Guidelines

It’s time to take a cue from user interface design and start developing guidelines that leave nothing to the imagination of the client.

Working on a brand and then releasing it into the market with what amounts to a hastily scribbled guide on the back of a receipt is woefully inadequate.

Find a solution to assist clients in using their new visual identity to their absolute advantage, which is a pattern library. We’ve all seen the beautiful digital User Interface kits, pattern libraries, and style guides created by big brands for their digital products; now it’s time to do the same for small and medium base businesses.

During the need analysis stage, the simplest solution is to establish and understand all of the ways the brand identity will be used; this will greatly inform the final design.

Here are some guidelines for brand identity;

Digital Usage:

These days, a logo must be responsive; it must work on all screen sizes, so there will undoubtedly be multiple versions of the logo. A desktop version, a more simplified version for small screen sizes, and possibly a tablet version. You may require an even more simplified version for use on the favicon in different sizes and colors for different browsers.

Social Media Usage:

When it comes to social media identities, keep in mind that one size does not fit all across all platforms. Learn about the platforms that your client uses or may use. Set up test accounts on all of the major platforms so you can test the usage as you design it.

Email Usage:

What about emails, do they need a file specific for an email signature or a few different versions for Email Marketing. Consider using thumbnail mock-ups of a couple of different mail chimp layout scenarios so the client can see which logo to use where.

Print Usage:

Demonstrate how the variations of the logo can be used on different documents from business cards to brochures. What backgrounds should the white logo version be used on and what background should the colored version be used on.


  1. Demonstrate the colors, contrast and variations and show how they can be used and explain why certain scenarios won’t work and demonstrate why.
  2. Explain when transparency is appropriate and when it isn’t.
  3. Think about what the client truly needs as opposed to what you’ve always sent out.
  4. Will they really need a black version of their logo?
  5. Might they use it incorrectly if you supply them with one?
  6. Explain when PNGs should be used and when Jpegs should be.
  7. Explain the color variations that will be experienced from print and digital. Include Hex, CMYK, RGB and Pantone where possible.
  8. Explain why colors look different in print than digitally


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