Pull Logo
Toyota logo on truck grill.

Everything you need to know about brand guidelines.

Here’s an attempt to pull together everything you need to know about brand guidelines.

What are brand guidelines?

Ever wondered why some brands look so polished and put together, while others seem to be all over the place? The answer lies in their brand guidelines. Brand guidelines are a set of rules and guidelines that dictate how a brand should be presented across all marketing. From color schemes and typography to voice and tone, brand guidelines help ensure that a brand’s identity is consistent and coherent, no matter where it is seen.

According to branding expert Marty Neumeier, “Brand guidelines are critical to building a strong, consistent brand identity.” They help to establish a clear visual and verbal language for a brand. That, in turn builds trust and recognition with customers over time.

But it’s not just about consistency. Brand guidelines can also help to differentiate a brand from its competitors. As branding consultant Simon Middleton puts it, “A strong brand identity is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate your brand from competitors and build customer loyalty.” By establishing a unique visual and verbal language, brands can create a strong sense of identity that sets them apart in a crowded marketplace.

Brand guidelines are also important for maintaining brand integrity. When a brand is presented in a consistent and cohesive way, it helps to reinforce its core values and messaging. This is particularly important in today’s digital age, where brands are constantly competing for attention in an increasingly crowded space. As branding expert David Brier explains, “Your brand guidelines serve as a beacon, a north star for your brand’s identity, values, and voice.”

Finally, brand guidelines can also be a valuable tool for internal communication and collaboration. By establishing a clear set of rules and guidelines, everyone in the organization can be on the same page about how the brand should be presented. This can help to reduce confusion and improve efficiency, particularly when it comes to creating marketing materials or working with external partners.

Brand guidelines are essential for building a strong and recognizable brand identity. They help to ensure consistency, differentiation, and integrity, while also facilitating internal communication and collaboration. As branding expert Neumeier says, “Brand guidelines are the glue that holds a brand together. Without them, your brand will likely fall apart over time.” So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start developing your brand guidelines today!

How do you create brand guidelines?

Creating brand guidelines is essential for any business looking to establish a strong and consistent brand identity. Brand guidelines serve as a roadmap for how the brand should be presented across all channels and touchpoints, ensuring consistency and clarity in all communications. Here are some expert tips for creating effective brand guidelines:

Define Your Brand Identity

Before creating brand guidelines, it’s important to define your brand identity. This includes your brand values, personality, tone of voice, and visual identity. Michael Bierut, a renowned graphic designer and partner at the design firm Pentagram, once said, “A brand identity is the visual representation of the values and personality of your organization. It should be distinctive, memorable, and flexible enough to evolve with your company over time.” So it’s important to understand how your brand is perceived by your target audience and use that information to inform your brand identity.

Keep it Simple

Brand guidelines should be easy to understand and use. They should be concise, clear, and avoid unnecessary jargon. As branding expert Alina Wheeler notes, “The more straightforward and understandable the guidelines, the more likely they will be used and understood.”

Cover All Bases

Brand guidelines should cover all aspects of the brand, from visual identity to tone of voice to messaging. According to Brier, “A brand guideline is not just a set of rules for how to use a logo. It’s a comprehensive document that covers everything from the brand’s mission and values to the way it communicates with customers.”

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to brand guidelines. All elements should be presented consistently across all channels and touchpoints. Wally Olins, a renowned brand expert and founder of the global branding agency Wolff Olins, once said, “Consistency is not conformity; it’s about creating a unified, identifiable brand that people recognize and trust.” This quote emphasizes the importance of consistency in branding, not as a means of stifling creativity or individuality, but as a way to create a recognizable and trustworthy brand identity.

Stay Flexible

While brand guidelines should be consistent, they should also be flexible enough to allow for creativity and innovation. Neumeier notes, “Brand guidelines should provide a framework for creativity, not stifle it.”


Creating comprehensive brand guidelines can be incredibly beneficial for outdoor brands. These guidelines serve as a roadmap for consistent brand messaging and design, ensuring that all marketing efforts align with the brand’s identity and values. By establishing a clear set of guidelines, brand managers and marketing managers can ensure that everyone involved in the branding process understands the brand’s positioning. Not to mention messaging, visual identity, and tone of voice.

Furthermore, brand guidelines can help save time and resources by providing a clear framework for brand consistency. With a set of established guidelines, marketing teams can easily create and distribute marketing materials. No need for constant revisions or approvals. This can also help new team members or external partners understand the brand quickly, reducing the risk of inconsistencies or errors. Overall, comprehensive brand guidelines can help outdoor brands build a strong, recognizable brand identity that resonates with their target audience.

PULL is a full-service branding and consulting agency specializing in outdoor brands. We have experience in both building brands from scratch and shepherding established brands to their next peak. 

If your brand could use an outside perspective or you just want to shoot the breeze, don’t hesitate to drop us a line

More from the blog.