Learn how to create a brand guide from scratch with this tutorial

ere you just commissioned to create a brand guide and you have no idea where to start? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Just take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee or tea (or wine) and get ready to find out everything you need to know about creating the raddest brand guide in Illustrator!

Radpaw logo design
Logo design by top level designer Mky for doggy brand Radpaw.

First things first, what is a brand guide? It’s a document that captures a brand’s essence. It defines its personality, style and tone and it represents how the brand communicates. A brand guide should be clear, easy to understand and highly visual.

I believe what differentiates a rad brand guide from a brand guide that is merely okay is the fact that you don’t have to read a single word in order to understand the brand. An effective brand guide tells you everything you need to know about it using imagery and colors.

 

In this tutorial we will guide you through the following steps:

Let’s get to it then!

1. Research

The first and most important step in creating a brand guide is research. You should start by writing down everything that comes to mind about the brand: style, tone, adjectives, related objects, colors or even actions. Think of the brand as a person: what would he or she be like?

Descriptive features
Design by Mky for Radpaw.

Don’t try to make a pretty, presentation-like page for this, just let your ideas flow. It really helps to have the brand’s logo in front of you as you do this and write down everything related—and I mean everything, even if it sounds or seems unimportant at first.

Once you feel like you’ve noted everything about it, you can now use these keywords to look for images that reflect the brand’s image. If you have no idea where to look for these images, here’s a list of the best sites.

Collection of colorful images

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