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Professionals know that a brand reaches its audience through many channels, and consistency of expression plays a major role in its effectiveness. From brochures and web sites to annual reports and magazines, comprehensive guidelines ensure seamless brand communications. Here are examples of the identity building blocks and applications guidelines of a typical program.

Identity Building Blocks

  • Positioning
    • Personality
    • Key messages
    • Tone of voice
    • Editorial style
  • Primary logo/namestyle
    • Logo
    • Namestyle
    • Clear space requirements
    • Sizes
    • Color: preferred and variations; positive, reverse, 4-color, 1-color
    • Correct and incorrect usage
  • Secondary and supporting logos
    • Business naming decision tree
    • Supporting logo system
  • Product names/logos
    • Product naming decision tree
    • Sub-brand logo system
  • Tagline
  • Graphic signatures
  • Corporate typefaces
  • Supporting elements
    • Primary color palette
    • Secondary color palette
    • Photo or illustration style
    • Typography style


  • Business cards, standard
  • Business cards, dealer
  • Business cards, international
  • Letterhead, standard
  • Letterhead, international
  • Letterhead, monarch (executive)
  • Envelopes, #10 business
  • Envelopes, international
  • Envelopes, monarch
  • Envelopes, window
  • Envelopes, mailing
  • Stationery, co-branded
  • Mailing labels
  • Note pads
  • Fax covers
  • Internal Memos
  • Press releases
  • Microsoft® Office templates: Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint®, Visio®
  • Report format
  • Proposal format


  • Purchase order
  • Invoice
  • Estimate
  • Distribution
  • Bill of lading
  • Returns
  • Checks
  • Contracts
  • Human resource materials: Employment application, Benefits

Phone Systems

  • Greeting
  • Voicemail style
  • Acceptable “shorthand”


  • Brochures
  • Booklets
  • Flyers
  • Product spec sheets
  • Customer case studies
  • International formats
  • White papers
  • Executive briefs
  • Product catalogues
  • Sales catalogues
  • International communications
  • Stockholder communications
  • Hardcover books


  • Product packages
  • Product labels
  • Hang tags
  • Shopping bags
  • Shipping cartons
  • Point-of-sale materials
  • In-store displays
  • CD and DVD case and labels
  • Video cases and labels


  • Customer magazine
  • Employee magazine
  • Business partner/Dealer magazine
  • External print newsletter
  • External e-mail newsletter
  • Internal print newsletter
  • Internal e-mail newsletter


Exterior facility signs

  • Skyline
  • Monument
  • Directional
  • Parking
  • Traffic control
  • Site marker
  • Building identification
  • Corporate flag

Interior facility signs

  • Lobby
  • Directory
  • Directional
  • Floor identification
  • Stair identification
  • Room identification
  • Workspace identification
  • Restroom identification
  • Roof signs
  • Decals on glass

Vehicle Graphics

  • Service vans
  • Delivery vans
  • Shuttle vans
  • Tractor trailers
  • Plant vehicles
  • Security vehicles
  • Landscaping vehicles
  • Buses
  • Train cars
  • Ferries/Ships
  • Containers
  • Aircraft
  • Blimps/Ballons


  • Employee badges
  • Visitor badges
  • Contractor badges
  • Security
  • Shirts/ties
  • Jackets
  • Coveralls
  • Lab coats
  • Hard hats
  • Service hats
  • Seasonal uniform style

Exhibit Systems

  • Trade show booths/exhibits
  • Floor displays
  • Posters
  • Banners

Web and Interactive

  • Site design and interface
  • Web page templates
  • Information design
  • Content style and administration
  • Corporate Web site
  • Division/Group sites
  • IT systems: call centers, order entry, etc.
  • Employee intranet site
  • Web advertising
  • E-commerce site
  • E-mail style
  • Direct e-mail programs
  • Interactive CDs
  • Multimedia presentations
  • PowerPoint presentations

Special Events (Print and Web)

  • Sports sponsorship
  • Co-sponsorship
  • Olympic Team or Games sponsorship
  • Charity sponsorship


  • TV advertising signature
  • Print ads, Magazine
  • Print ads, Newspaper
  • Outdoor ads, Roadside
  • Outdoor ads, Bus shelter
  • Outdoor ads, Train station
  • Vehicle ads, Bus
  • Vehicle ads, Taxis
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • Banner ads, Web
  • Co-op advertising

Branded Merchandise

  • Hats
  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Golf shirts
  • Golf umbrellas
  • Note pads
  • Pens/pencils
  • Keychains
  • Mugs
  • Tote bags
  • Computer cases
  • Stuffed animals
  • Paperweights

14 Responses to Branding Guidelines Checklist

  • Wow! I have not seen a more thorough job than this in a long long time. My one reservation, has already been posted so, I shall simply compliment you on this very detailed and excellent post.

  • Hi

    I am contacting you through this contact form as there was no email address available.

    I am mailing in to find out if there is a possibility of buying ad space on your website.

    We would primarily be interested in buying a text link for our site from your homepage. Preferably intext.

    If that is possible, please let us know an yearly rate.


  • Hi Kathy, yes I am available for advertising. I sent you an email. And there is also the contact form at

  • This was a great list for branding. I am quite happy that i am reminded by this matters. I’ve been a graduate of marketing and advertising and its seems i failed to make use of some lectures here in internet marketing..


  • When i saw the header, i was just thinking of seeing a list of brand strategies for online purposes. But its seems that this article is targeting the whole marketing concepts because it listed some offline marketing brand strategies!

    Great post!

  • Extremely thorough list. There is not one thing that I can think of that is not already there on the list.

  • Whippy Shaft
    I figured since this blog post had some branding ideas for golf shirts and golf umbrellas then this was perfect to place a little blurb about the Whippy Shaft Golf Tournament.


  • Branding is important, but for certain industries online visibility is a bigger factor. Once things become profitable and steady branding can be a focus or you may just get lucky and whatever it is that you are doing works and people remember you and your brand.

  • What a good job on the list for branding. I can’t think of anything else that isn’t on the list, there is just so much.

  • Great job on this list…so thorough. With this kind of help, no one can go wrong!! Not only have you covered branding, but this is great for organizing your online marketing strategy!

    Thanks so much!!!

  • Wow, I was not expecting such a comprehensive list. You really did a great job defining branding and delving into the complete details of how to incorporate this, not online online, but in store, in employees, and in corporate culture. Consistency is the most important part of branding a business, as it needs to be recognizable in all different formats. This list is such a good reference guide, I will be printing it out and keeping it near my desk to remember to stay consistent across all formats.

  • I have to admit Branding is everything in business, but without any means of strategic marketing be it online or offline, your brand still would draw less customers.

    I’ve known this site that helps and guides and individual or startup company on how to create your own unique brand that stands out from the rest. In less than a month, I assure you, you will start to experience great amount of success on your brand or business with the efforts you put in. Believe me, I’m one of the million that benefited from that site.

  • This is an impressively in depth Corporate / Brand Identity check list. You have researched well. Great post, thank you for sharing and providing an excellent resource.
    .-= MJ Stapleford Corporate Identity’s last blog ..Logo Design for Company based in Bristol =-.

  • Thank you. This is an exhaustive list. Great job.


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