Brand guidelines, also known as brand style guides, are the rules that help you express your brand consistently. It ensures that everyone who represents your company uses the same colors, spacing, fonts, logos, and voice that make up your brand. But, knowing what to include in brand guidelines can be tricky. To help you form yours, we’ve highlighted the top brand guideline examples from famous brands.
We’ll also dive into what makes these brand guideline examples unique, along with tips and tricks on designing your own.
What to Include in Your Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines keep your brand consistent and help build trust and authority for your business. From visual aspects like photography styles and logos to the brand voice and tone used when speaking on the company’s behalf.
Here’s what to include when creating your brand guide:
- Logo: Acceptable logo usage, including colors, sizes, and variations
- Colors: The brand colors that represent your brand, both the primary and accent colors.
- Typography: The brand fonts, along with size guides and how they can be used
- Design elements: Shapes, illustrations, and other visual elements that represent your brand.
- Photography: The style of photos in marketing materials and where to source them.
- Mission statement and values: What your brand is about and why your company exists.
- Voice and tone: Words and phrases that should/shouldn’t be used when speaking on behalf of the brand, and the brand voice and tone (ie. compassionate, professional, fun).
15 Inspiring brand guidelines examples
We’ve highlighted 15 incredible brand guidelines examples that creatively use their visual identity to express their product, personality, and purpose.
The Sonos brand guidelines embrace simplicity, quality, and the modern beauty of their products and brand. They outline their modern font in both header and body text, in one of their signature colors. The brand colors are inspired by their southern California office, with the sand, sky, and pine balanced by sunset-themed rust and rose.
The illustrations have crisp lines and a soothing geometry to them – further enhancing their brand and making their guidelines easy to follow.
The Glossier brand guide is concise and simple to follow. As the “cool-girl” beauty brand, their brand guidelines highlight the importance of negative space (white space) and minimalistic use of their minimalist color palette.
The guide itself follows Glossier’s brand guidelines, providing employees and other company representatives with a clear example of how advertising and marketing materials should appear.
Oatly provides a clear, one-page guideline that includes acceptable fonts, phrases, illustrations, and color combinations. It also includes real examples of brand packaging and t-shirt design uses for their brand.
Oatly highlights its bubbly illustration typography, which is a critical part of its visual brand identity. As an animated brand, it emphasizes display fonts and a pastel color palette to maintain uniform packaging and digital branding.
Airbnb is another company that offers very clear brand guidelines. Its single-page UI Toolkit has examples of the colors and color combinations that brand representatives are permitted to use.
As an app logo, the instantly recognizable “Bélo” logo symbol, is one of its defining features. There are strict mentions of displaying their icons, buttons, and clickable features in the right colors and shapes.
Uber’s brand guidelines dive deep into how to use spacing in its logo and fonts. Having ample space is key to maintaining its modern and minimalistic look. The guide covers app guidelines as well as the animations and imagery acceptable for their brand. They keep things simple with a black-and-white color palette and crisp imagery.
Casper’s brand guidelines go into great detail about visual design restrictions while providing great visual examples of approved advertising campaigns throughout.
The brand is disruptive in nature, so its brand guidelines are strict with its use of colors, fonts, and original illustrations to maintain its unique vibe. Even the brand voice is bespoke to their personality!
Headspace’s guidelines are calming to look at, and highlight imagery and animation as their main form of communication. Their wording is simple and direct, with tons of negative space to create an airy and approachable look. They’re exactly what you’d expect from a brand trying to make meditation easy and accessible to everyone!
Instagram uses its brand guidelines to address logo placement in ways that other companies don’t. It includes examples of how placement should and shouldn’t look, as well as how to group its logo alongside others.
It started the gradient graphic design trend, making it incredibly irresistible as an app, and impactful as a brand.
Mailchimp’s brand style guide goes into design elements in a comprehensive way. It explains why the company should be represented in a particular way, as well as how the viewer should feel when encountering Mailchimp marketing.
Mailchimp’s brand guidelines are cohesive and focus on expressing their friendly and human brand personality through their brand elements.
When it comes to typography, colors, and graphics, Chobani is among the best brand guidelines examples. It provides samples and color codes for all brand colors, and specific illustrations to be used. They display their multitude of brand colors in an effectively by enlarging the main colors and minimizing the accents.
As a disruptive brand, it differentiates itself through its visual identity (and products). Their distinct serif font and colorful brand photography are all aligned to their aesthetic and maintained through their unshakable brand guidelines.
When you visualize YouTube, chances are you picture a lot of negative space around the brand’s logo. It’s not by accident, the brand uses space deliberately to create more impact!
The company puts a lot of care into ensuring its logo is represented clearly and without clutter surrounding it. It also offers concise guidelines on what not to do with its logo.
Snapchat’s brand guidelines offer the dos and don’ts of using its branding. As a predominantly mobile company, it focuses on logo usage, main colors, and font use. It’s straightforward but clear, with detailed use cases.
Salesforce’s brand guidelines are displayed in a way that’s incredibly user-friendly. The online guide is easy to sift through, with voice, colors, typography, and logo guide split into sections and explained in intense detail.
They use animation and imagery to illustrate their brand guidelines and offer downloadable guides for each section.
Dropbox brand guidelines go beyond providing the standard logo, color, and typography guide. The brand includes information about acceptable shapes, and how an on-brand customer journey should look for dropbox.
What’s unique about dropbox is its intense detail in how to use its brand in various layouts and compositions. It also divides product and marketing visuals by using illustrations within the product interface, and photography for marketing materials.
Spotify’s brand guidelines make it easy for designers to access the information they need to create marketing materials for the brand. It covers how branding can be used within external platforms and apps, and when its content is shared.
It includes RGB color codes, acceptable font uses, and examples of how to use their branding in partnerships.
Brand guidelines keep your brand together
Your brand guidelines play an important role in keeping your brand consistent. If you don’t use guidelines, your brand will look inconsistent in the eyes of your viewers.
Use these brand guidelines examples as the scaffolding for your brand guide, and make it easy to express your beautiful brand everywhere.