Understand what a Brand Manual is and 7 amazing models to be inspired – WAU

The brand manual is a document that contains all the basic information on standardization and guidelines that should be used in the branding of a company. It ranges from information related to the brand’s tone of voice to the graphic application in campaigns.

THE visual identity of a company has always been important, even in the early days of marketing and advertising. Today, with the greater presence of actions in digital, it is even more important to respect the application of this identity in different layouts. Because of that, the brand manual is an indispensable document and must be strictly followed.

Communicating respecting the visual identity is what allows a company to be recognized when exposed to the public. A number of elements established as brand standards need to be applied when advertising any type of advertising. It is essential to respect typography, colors, application of logo and other details to ensure the effectiveness of these works.

In this post we talk about what the brand manual is and how to create it correctly. You check out content that will cover the following topics:

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What is a brand manual?

The brand manual is a document that brings a collection of information about how visual elements related to a company should be used, both in branding as in marketing and advertising campaigns.

This document must be consulted during the creation of any piece, graphic design layouts or videos – whether they are published online, whether they are published offline. It will indicate which colors to use, how to apply the logo, which typography to work with, among other details.

The starting point of the manual is to create the brand identity. Every brand has its own “face”, which is related to details such as the company’s segment, the public with which it communicates, what it sells, etc.

From this it is possible to develop the identity of this company, especially in marketing and advertising. However, what ensures that the visual identity of the brand is applied and properly respected is the brand manual, since it is a more technical document that guides how to use the visual elements that represent and identify the company.

Proposal, mission and values

The brand manual, in addition to being technical, is a document that goes much deeper on what the company is for the market, but also on what values ​​base its performance. When developing a branding strategy that will work the image of the company, for example, it is important to start with its history, its values ​​and its personality in the relationship with the public.

This deeper understanding becomes essential for the proposed actions to be faithful to what the company really is and wants broadcast to your audience. One of the most important issues that goes beyond the graphic representation of the brand is its tone of voice, a concept also known as brand voice.

Companies with a more serious approach need to take this as a cornerstone of creating campaigns and communicating with the public. If this is ever changed, the decrease in the identification of consumers is one of the possible consequences, which causes strangeness and even alienation from the target audience.

In a strategy of storytelling, for example, respecting this positioning and the personality of the brand are factors that generate the intended involvement. Clear, transparent and faithful communication to the values ​​that are exposed to the public must always be respected. Commonly, all of these guidelines are in the brand manual, which is why it is so essential.

Why is a brand manual important?

The brand manual plays an important role when it comes to marketing and advertising. When developing a campaign, it is one of the documents that needs to be available to those involved – from planning to execution. Check below some points that show the relevance of the manual!

Ensure accurate communication to the target audience

The relationship with the public depends a lot on how the brand is exposed visually and also in relation to its brand voice. Especially in Digital Marketing, where this relationship is cultivated with greater strength, the manual will provide support for speak the right way and use the visual elements that generate instant recognition and association.

Respect the application of the brand’s visual elements

Logo, color palettes and other graphic elements must be standardized, that is, respecting what was proposed in the brand identity. Violating these details can harm stabilization of that company’s recognition in the market. The visual appeal is great and the public gets used to identifying certain graphic elements when viewing publicity, packaging, among others.

Maintain standardization for any campaign

Marketing campaigns have different motivations, such as Christmas or Black Friday, which naturally require different approaches. However, even with these variations, it is fundamental to stay true to brand standards. The campaigns are punctual, however, the brand is the same, so standardization must be preserved.

Pass on accurate information in third-party campaigns

It is common for some companies outsource larger campaigns or, in some cases, even all of your marketing demands. In such cases, reviewing the brand manual is even more important, as it guarantees brand management proper. The company in question must have this information in order to respect the standardization and also understand the brand values ​​they represent.

Reduce the incidence of errors

Have you ever thought how it can be harmful to finish all the development of media pieces for a campaign and only then realize that they are not standardized in the brand manual? Avoid these mistakes that generate costs and rework it is also fundamental.

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How to create a complete brand manual?

A brand manual needs to be complete and have all the information relevant to the company’s values, which defines its brand voice, and also its rules for applying graphics. Next, see what are the main indispensable topics for a good manual.

Values, history and brand voice

The beginning of the manual must contain the information related to the brand. Your history, their values, which motivated its foundation, how she relates to the audience and other such data.

Thus, it is possible to understand how your approach will be in campaigns and the level of proximity with the consumer. From this information it will also be possible to understand the brand voice.

Logo concept and its applications

The logo must also be deepened. This topic needs to talk about its concept and specify its elements, after all, this is the main graphic representation of the company, with symbology relevant. In addition, this part of the manual should contain instructions on how to apply the logo, considering the main ones:

  • application in negative;
  • application with color variation in different backgrounds;
  • guidelines as to sizing possible logo;
  • applications where only the soon or just the typography.

Brand color palette

Every brand also has its own main colors, those that will direct the use of tones in any graphic representation, products, packaging and whatever else is related to the company.

More than the colors used in a logo, for example, this topic can go further and explore related ones that can be part of these applications. Therefore, the palette allowed should be informed, including with CMYK and RGB codes each color.


Some brands have graphic elements that are part of their representation and that are generally applied in campaigns or layouts. It is also necessary to dedicate a part to them in the manual, with instructions related to the variations they may receive.


Typography deals with the pattern of fonts that should be used in the communication of companies. The manual should show what are the letter styles, if there are variations for the bold, the size in each application, when to use each one and inform the font name accordingly.

Photographic identity

Many layouts need to make use of Photos. In some campaigns, it may even be necessary to produce this material from scratch. Therefore, the brand manual should give specific guidelines as to the style and approach in these generated images.

What are the best examples of brand manuals?

Every big company that cares about its image has a brand manual detailed and with an in-depth level of information. The more there are indications related to how to produce campaigns and layouts, the greater the precision in producing these works.

When we think of world giants, it becomes easier to understand their brand characteristics, either in the graphic representation or in the way they communicate. Absolutely everything is influenced by the manual, so these companies generate theirs with a high level of detail and, many times, they are public.

For those who are about to develop a manual or are curious to understand how this document works in major brands, some of the best ones for you to check out are:

  1. Spotify;
  2. Uber;
  3. Pinterest;
  4. Hi;
  5. PayPal;
  6. Twitter;
  7. McDonalds.

Every brand that values ​​itself and wants to have a good position in the market and adequate communication with its public needs to create standards and respect them. The brand manual is a fundamental document and must always be the basis of any campaign for companies!

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