Free Brand Guidelines Template

Free Brand Guidelines Template

I decided recently to update my own Brand Identity Guidelines template that is sent to clients upon completion of a project. This basically lists the ‘rules’ of consistency, so the client knows how to use their new files correctly and successfully. Simple guidelines, tips, what not to do, colour and typefaces are all essentially packaged into one PDF that they can refer to later, or pass on to another designer.

 

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A few months back Graham Smith (imjustcreative) did something nice and released a free brand guidelines template to the design community and I thought it only fair to do the same – his can be found here by the way.

Living in Adobe Illustrator for my logo design services, it’s comfortable and therefore logical for my template to be illustrator-based. InDesign would be the recommended software for page layout, but that adds a step to the process.

Free Brand Guidelines Template

Please note, this is a general branding document that can be edited in terms of layout, content and arrangement of pages / sections. I am more than happy for you to tweak and improve these, I’d like to see the results and post them for others to see. Anywhere you see my logo (Inkbot Design) I suggest using the client’s logo – again, feel free to play with layout to best fit your options. My logo doesn’t adhere to the guidelines, it’s just a placeholder. The content itself is, in sections, generic and will work for any project but I recommend changing and personalising as best possible for the intended client.

It’s taken a days work, but using templates is a long-term time saver, nevermind keeping your own documents consistent (good for branding). I doubt this will ever be finished however as I tweak and develop it for further potential. It is a good starting basis though. The fonts (Avenir) should be embedded for editability but I can’t guarantee it will render the same on everyone’s machine. In these case, simply switch the content areas to a font you have installed already.

Any suggestions for improvement or development of this template would be much appreciated. Leave a comment below or get in touch.

Page Layout Template Brand Guidelines

I am grateful to others that have helped me in the past by providing free resources to the community, hopefully this can assist you. Even if you don’t use this exact file, there may be bits and pieces that could be worthwhile to include in your own documents, so check it out, it is free after all!

If you find this branding template useful I would appreciate you sharing on Twitter or Facebook, even a +1 would be great!

Feel free to check my Brand Design Services whilst you’re at it.

if you are looking for a graphic designer, click here to get a quote today!

42 Comments

  1. Wow, this is great. Thanks for sharing. I get bored to death when I have to design those guidelines. I will surely be using your template. :)

    Reply
    • thanks Branda – glad I could help.

      Reply
  2. Thank you very much, you saved a lot of time for me ;)

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    • Glad to have helped!

      Reply
  3. Oh man! I can’t believe I finally found something good! I had to dig through 3 pages of Google search results… but it was worth it!

    Thanks Stuart! I’ve been wanting to put together something like this for myself, but wanted to see what other pros were doing. Brilliantly done!

    Reply
  4. thank you. nice and simple template to use.

    Reply
  5. These are great. Vere generous of you to share with the design community.

    Reply
    • No problem Andrew, just giving back to the community that helped me so much starting out!

      Reply
  6. thank you for sharing Stuart, this is really helpful :)

    Reply
    • I hope you get some use out of it – if you do use it feel free to send me some pics and I’ll post them up here!

      Reply
  7. I am currently self-educating myself in logo design using various resources (books, internet etc.). However, none of the books I’ve read or sources on the internet has given me information when it comes to bringing logo design into practice. Things like pricing, creating a brand identity guideline like in this blogpost of yours. Incredibly helpful! You might want to think of writing your own book about this one day. Love the posts and information your website offers. Do you perhaps have any resources (books or links) that are helpful for those starting in logo design?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment and feedback Adam! I’m sure I’ll get to a book when my learning has reached a point I feel there is something to offer others – however, a free ebook may be on my ‘to-do list’ ;)

      With regards to learning the ‘trade’ of logo design, all I can suggest is what I did. Follow the blogs of other designers whose work you respect, read and view their case-studies bringing aspects of their work into your own. Not stealing the concepts, more their process. Try and see if it works for you, if not adapt it. I have a blog post on my own logo design process which may be useful.

      Pricing is a whole new kettle of fish, my suggestion is to start with free or pro-bono work, then edge in a few paid clients if possible – maybe a freelancer or startup company you know needs a logo? Then, with every project as you grow in experience and skill, up the price little by little. Generally speaking, if you have too much work, raise prices; not enough interest, drop them temporarily. Again, I have a post on How much does a logo cost?

      Books are of course good too, even though some are pretty costly. A few of my personal favourites include:

      Symbol by Angus Hyland

      Logo Design Love by David Airey

      Designing Brand Identity by Aline Wheeler

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the information! I’ve already done my first logo for free, so I am well on my way. I also got the Logo Design Love book by David Airey. Furthermore, I have another thing that may be a bit off-topic: from what I read is that it’s quite important to have a mentor when it comes to learning design. I for one am self-educating myself on design using the various resources around me. I’m currently nearly completing my first study involving Communication (not design related though). However, I’m thinking of doing a design course after this, but the high tuition fee is currently what is blocking me. Hence the reason why I’m self-educating. But would you say that a design course is essential?

        Reply
        • I don’t think a mentor is essential, however, learning from people that are better than you are is important. I guess in a way they would be indirectly mentoring you via their blogs, tips and advice.

          Personally, a design course isn’t as important as a passion for the trade. I didn’t do a design course, instead coming through art college with a degree in illustration – really, I started to learn after leaving formal education. Self-education really works when the drive to be the best is there, if that’s the case, expensive courses may only waste your time and money. Instead, buy some books, follow some designers you respect and build your portfolio, one project at a time. In four years, you could be living off the trade, instead of leaving an educational system only to start fresh four years older.

          Just my thoughts.

          Reply
          • That’s actually how I think about it. Other than that, I was thinking of looking around for some agencies that may offer some form of apprenticeship (not necessarily an internship). Anywhow, thanks for the input, it sure gave me an extra boost!

    • This is a really helpful site and i appreciate Stuart for it.. Also try to check other books like LOGO DESIGN LOVE by David Airey & DESIGNING BRAND IDENTITY by Alina Wheeler… it will surely give a good insight of brand identity designing… Anyway.. all you guys are awesome.. Keep up the good work.

      Peace
      Sherin

      Reply
  8. Hey, the link for the template is broken, just a heads up!

    Reply
    • Seems to be okay for me, maybe try it again now?

      Thanks for the heads up anyway.

      Reply
      • Yeah, works now :) Thank you very much!

        Reply
  9. Awesome! Thank you!

    Reply
  10. Nice! :D Thank you. :D

    Reply
  11. Thanks for sharing :)))

    Liv

    Reply
  12. Thank you for sharing. This is beautifully done – clean, elegant and organized. You’ve saved me hours!

    Reply
    • Very glad to have helped – thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  13. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful bunch of helpfullness! :D
    Very nicely done!

    Reply
  14. I owe you.
    Your brand-book template spared me lots of hours.
    I also got inspired by some of your work.
    I hope to God you get lots of business and prosper.

    Reply
  15. GREAT STUFF AND TUTS, thanks a lot

    Reply
  16. Thanks for sharing, Stuart!
    Cheers!

    Reply
  17. Thanks for the template, saved me loads of time creating guides and pages for my brand book. Excellent resource.

    Reply
  18. This was a great help – thank you for sharing!

    The only part I would disagree with is the guidelines surrounding logo usage –

    “When reproducing any logo elements, only the original high resolution or vector graphic files shall be used – logos should not be taken from this document.”

    This is not true with many consumer retail brands – I work for a designer clothing company and we are forbidden from using high-res logos anywhere on the internet to prevent knockoffs and other fakes being produced! While it likely wouldn’t be an issue for the majority of companies – its a huge mistake in a few industries!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Terry.

      I wasn’t aware that the reproduction of clothing logos could become an issue within digital media, but you bring up a good point that the protection of the material should be paramount, specific industries will have their own rules regarding copying items.

      Reply
  19. Stuart, I want to say a massive thank you for developing and sharing this. I was recently took on a new project for a startup and I found your document very timely, excellent quality and general very smart. Top regards dude.

    Reply
    • Thank you! I’m glad I was able to help.

      Reply
  20. This is so incredibly helpful! I was just assigned the task at work to create the brand guidelines and this template will save me so much stress and time. I am eternally grateful!

    Reply
  21. You just know when you have hit the jackpot on the Google Toss! I have just downloaded the free branding identity guidelines zip, but I wanted to let you know I can just feel it that this is exactly what will help me. I am still in school for Multimedia Design & Development, but we are learning about branding ourselves first. I will certainly be pinning this website in my browser. Again, thanks for helping others!

    Reply
  22. amazing blog, it’s really helpful indeed; like someone said up there, I coudn’t find something as important as a template for a brand guideline, so I was happy to see a little in the images. Although, I coudn’t find the download link to see it full size :/.

    Reply
    • Apologies Katherine, there was maintenance on the site and the ‘download’ button had disappeared! I’ve updated the page with the link so you should be able to see it now – thank you for the heads up!

      Reply
  23. thankyou sir my clent kill me if i m not present my work proffesionaly
    thanks a lot

    Reply
  24. Thank You…..

    Reply
  25. This looks really good but it won’t let me download it or even click on it to fully read it. :(

    Reply
  26. Thanks, this is absolutely great. Very useful !!

    Reply

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