A company logo, whether it is created with the Turbologo logo generator or developed by a graphic design studio, cannot do without a brand book. A brand book, also known as a brand identity book, is essential to create a coherent visual identity. Thanks to it, a brand has all the guidelines to correctly use the logo to mark different products and company gadgets. What is in the brand book? Why is it worth creating it?
Brand book of the logo – what is it?
A brand book is a set of rules regarding logo usage in various situations. A brand book is mainly used by third parties, who deal with the printing of product packaging, leaflets, and business cards, and also with the creation of advertisements or websites. The guidelines contained in the document facilitate the proper use of the logo in printed or electronic materials, which positively influences the consistency of the visual communication of the brand.
Therefore it can be said that a brand book is a manual for a logo. It is prepared by the creator of the brand mark so that other people always use the logo in the same, strictly defined way. This avoids mistakes such as using the wrong color scheme for the logo or its unwanted flattening. Logo recreated based on the rules from the book is more legible and allows for quick identification of the brand by the target group.
What elements does the logo book contain?
- strictly defined color scheme;
- protective field and proportions.
Following these guidelines is a guarantee that the logo will be used consistently regardless of the medium it will be placed on. Developing a brand book is the next stage of working on a logo, carried out by all professional graphic designers. With a brand book, reproduction of the brand mark is much easier regardless of the medium chosen.
The brand book should include information about the origins of the logo, its basic version, alternative versions, and a description of the logo’s design. The graphic designer also describes the colors and typography used, as well as the basic and protective field of the mark. Moreover, the brand book informs about the scaling of the logo and its minimum dimensions, the use of the logo on different backgrounds, and its unacceptable modifications. What is included in each of mentioned parts of the brand book?
In this section, the graphic designer presents the construction of the logo, usually using a construction grid and specifying its exact proportions. The logo may consist of two or one element, which is placed side by side according to specific guidelines. The brand mark may contain only a signet ring (the famous Apple apple) or a logotype (the Coca-Cola wordmark) or consist of a signet ring and a logotype used simultaneously (the WWF logo). It is another necessary element of the brand book in case of filing the trademark with the Patent Office.
A basic and alternative versions of logo
The basic version of the logo is the most important element in the brand book. The brand book presents it on a light and dark background. Usually, there are two versions of the logo: horizontal and vertical. In the vertical version, the signet, or graphic symbol, is placed above the logotype, or name. In the horizontal version, both elements are at the same height. Description of alternative versions of the logo includes information on the possibility to use the logo together with a slogan, in monochrome (one color) or achromatic version (shades of grey). If it is acceptable to use only the signet or logotype, this information should also be included in the brand book.
Color scheme and typography
The logo should have a strictly defined color scheme in which it can be used. This concerns both the colors of the signet as well as the font (typeface). Logo colors are presented in the following scales:
Depending on the needs of the brand, the brand book may contain a description of each of these scales or selected ones. A detailed description of the color scheme of the logo is important in the process of reproducing the mark on various media as it makes it possible to maintain uniform signet and logotype colors regardless of the conditions of use. Information on typography concerns the chosen typeface, its version (e.g. bold, italic), and methods of use depending on the logo version.
Protection field and basic mark
The protection zone is the space around the logo that should not be violated in any way. In this area, it is forbidden to place text or other graphics because it would reduce the legibility of the logo and its recognition by the target group. The protective field is used in both printed and electronic materials. The basic logo area is useful in determining the distance between the logo and the edges of documents. Depending on the specifics of the project, the protective and basic fields can be the same or occupy a different space.
Acceptable minimum logo dimensions
Determining the minimum dimensions of the logo is necessary because of the legibility of the logo. The logo should be easily recognizable, that is why the designer indicates what size (in millimeters and pixels) allows for quick identification of the logo by recipients. Optical tests take into account minimum dimensions for the basic version of the logo and possible version with claim, i.e. slogan.
Application of various background colors
The standard logo is placed on white background, but in the case of using it on black background or background similar to the logo color, the logo often becomes unreadable. To avoid such a situation, simplified versions of the logo are created, usually monochromatic and achromatic. The brand book describes in detail when to use each of them to increase the legibility of the signet and logotype.
Unacceptable logo modifications
The last element of the brand book is a description of unacceptable modifications to the logo. This usually concerns changing the color scheme of the signet or logotype, improper scaling, or adding shadows. The chapter gives clear indications of which ways of using a logo will negatively influence its readability and the cohesion of the visual identification of a brand.
Brand book – a basic document in communication strategy
Brand book is a comprehensive document, which is prepared in the electronic or printed version. Thanks to it, brands entering the market receive a set of rules, allowing the creation of a coherent visual identity and answering most questions related to the use of the logo. In a way, it is a natural continuation of logo design preparation and its implementation. Ordering a logo design without a brand book is a bad solution because sooner or later there will be problems with the proper use of the logo and brand recognition in the target group.