How to Create A Proper Logo Design Guideline

In order to create visual consistency throughout all brand collaterals,
there are specific guidelines that designers need properly make. Let’s find out more!
Created by Rashed Mamun |

Creating something for a company and brand deserves a lot more attention and preparation. It happens to every aspect of the industry, including design-focused works such as creating logos or brands. For such important notice and works, many designers will use what they call design guidelines. It is something that helps provide data and ideas for future alteration. 

In the case of logo design guidelines, you can say the same to its functions. The current and future designers will need a proper guide to help create memorable, impressive, powerful, and consistent work. That is why a company or brand will need a guideline to create a similar logo and stay consistent with the meaning. 

Created by Jessica Strelioff |

The design guide is particularly vital, especially if the company needs to make a logo that provides a consistent meaning and brand even with new alterations. With that in mind, one needs to create a consistent brand by developing brand style guides for the logo design. 


What Is Logo Guidelines 

Many similar terminologies and ideas explain the exact meaning of the logo guidelines themselves. In many cases, people call it a design style guide or logo usage guidelines. No matter what kind of naming it is, the meaning is still the same. It is a part of every company's plans or procedures for certain design products, in this case, the logo.  

It is also easier to consider that the guidelines are the rule book that contains every specification, detail, information, and everything that plays a role in the feel or look of the logo and brands. It can include every point of the design elements, including the color, typography, meaning, to imagery for the branding mark itself.  

Created by Aydan Karimova |

Every company needs to have logo design rules to help create a proper rebranding in the future. It is especially vital for top tech companies or growing and developing businesses, which likely need to rebrand or update their logo in a few years. Even though it is recommended to avoid changing logos, creating new branding with guidelines proves better improvement. 

It goes with the fact that the trend is changing, and rebranding has been one of the ways to stay close to the trend without losing its initial ideas. It works for logos or any other branding elements. In many cases, the logo design guidelines are part of the undisclosed details every company has since it compiles every meaning and important detail of the work.  

Created by Lada Design |


Why Do You Need To Make One?

Many reasons are put into consideration in making the work and its guidelines. But, the result is more important for future rebranding. And some of the reasons to make rules on the design can help companies establish a cohesive brand. In business, branding is imperative. It should represent the company or the brand, which is why it should be consistent. 

This is where the first reason to make guidelines appear. A solid pair of rules on how to create the design for the logo make the future alteration still under the same page or similar. The rules should help the new logo avoid changing meaning, overhaul the brand, and lose the company identity. That is why the guide is a comprehensive document every company or creator needs.  

Created by Jessica Strelioff |

It showcases how important it is to retain and maintain brand aesthetic without changing meaning and still memorable. For logo design, a slight change can add a different meaning or aesthetic. Take an example of the black & white version and the colored one. It can have dissimilar connotations on how it changed. 

Try to put Nike's checkmark logo as an example. The simple checkmark design is not changed, but the new work can appear with varying colors and textures. Since the logo is versatile and simple, the alteration hit a similar meaning and aesthetic. One can put the mark with a rainbow color to signify LGBTQ appreciation without losing its aesthetic and identity as Nike. 

But it won't be the same if the brand is specified for a certain demographic. Changing color might alter the target's and its meaning. An example of a woman's product with a pink identity. Without color, it can lead to different targets. As a specific product, it makes the new work fail to fulfill the function. That is why the logo design guidelines specify the dos and don'ts. 

Created by Riya Moni |


Creating The Proper Guidelines

1. Brand Story And Description 

Starting the guidelines with some story and description of the brands helps new designers understand the underlying reason for the already made design. This is where you can use brand stories to specify every mission, vision, and core value of the company. The key is to help new players or designers to understand what the company cares about. 

In practice, brand stories to help signify the result can look different from one company to others. However, you can always stay with the core values and description for the logo design itself. One point for sure, you can talk about personality in the brand story. You can give keywords or niches such as practical, optimistic, bold, easy to understand, or youth. 

Created by Jessica Strelioff |

To give a better foundation for the logo design ideas, you can also lay down every piece of information that you use to do the final project. Sometimes, it works better if you can showcase some mood boards on the guidelines to properly show the idea behind the creation process. The Mood board itself will help add more details such as the concept or inspiration. 

Along with mood boards, it is also okay to show who is the competition you are trying to beat. Most people will need these competition details. It does not have to be so specific down to the T. You can try to give the basic details and allow the new designer or logo creator to learn further about the competitors. The key is to help them know, not restrict the new idea. 

Similar to the uses of mood boards and competitors, you likely want to signify the audience or target viewer on the logo design guidelines. Remember that every demographic tends to have different characteristics of interest. Even with the diverse ideas, it is best to mention how your creation works on the guidelines. Thus, the new rebranding won't go awry. 

Created by Sunny at Sea |


2. Add Space Specification 

It sounds trivial, but the spacing is essential in design creation. Many designers and professionals will pay attention to the usage of negative spaces and spaces around the logo. For such a small work, the space gives room to breathe. It also makes readers understand the uses and meaning and avoids the crampy looks for the overall visual impact. 

In the design itself, the use of logo spaces and their negative space help improve the clarity. The thing about spacing and details should be included in the guideline. Assume that the specification is rather complicated and very detailed. Only looking at the final result won't show you how much attention the space is on the design process.

Created by Riya Moni |

Take a simple example of Apple's logo. The iconic logo is very simple, with its bite of part and separated leave. Now imagine if you don't have any logo design guidelines for that work. You only work with the assumption of what you see. It can affect the final result of the logo rebranding and recreation. 

You might put the spacing between the leaves and the Apple differently, or you make the bitten size too big or too small. The slight change is barely noticeable, but it lacks consistency. The worst case is that the icon or the new change might add different definitions and usage on different media. It might disrupt other element composition, including text placement to the uses on cards or websites.

Created by Mehedi |


3. Specifying Color Usages

Color is another element that has a huge effect on the final result. Color, in general, can create mood, meaning, presentation, and impression. While some products can rebrand their color usages for logo and its design, adding logo design guidelines help to understand the initial ideas. The Instagram logo is the perfect example of color transformation. 

The old logo uses the classic camera design with its brown and white color. But the new rebrand takes a similar shape with a more colorful intake on the logo. While it certainly adds another layer of new meaning, the new idea still stays in the same range as the previous design. The previous simple mark implies a broad use of pictures, which is on par with colorful work in the new logo. 

Created by Moin std |

But color guidelines are more than just meaning. It can also include usage. If you are working with a company that likely has printed products, be sure to put color code in the design guidelines. It is because the printed and screen display will look different. Having the color code helps create a similar final result on both printed or screen. 

The color code can include HEX, RGB, or CMYK. Based on the logo used, it is best to provide a similar or at least the closest match for the different media. Along with the code, every guideline for logo or design, in general, will specify the color palette. It determines and states the acceptable color variation that the branding should use or can work along with. 

Color, in general, can and has varying meanings. Removing ambiguity with color specification helps create a more content and consistent design. It is good to mention the primary, secondary, or the ones to avoid. In many cases, logo design guidelines will include any possible combination of dark to a light version of the work. 

Created by DEBUT |


4. Typography Options

Typography is similar to color. One or two changes to the typography can mean a lot to the design. That is why the general rule of thumb on how to make the brand guideline should signify fonts for typography. Typography itself comes with tons of possible combinations, ideas, connotations, and models. 

You can specify what kind of fonts are used for the logo. Tell about the font design used for the projects, such as semi-bold, light, or italic. At some time, there are also some details on typeface selection such as sans serif, serif, or cursive. In this case, you put every detail about the typeface or the typography. 

It goes with the fact that some clarification can help differentiate the logo model from other competitors. Sometimes, font selection also affects the clarity of the work itself. It is given that some logos might be used on different materials and media. That is why the proper logo design guidelines will specify the typography and typeface to prevent hard-to-read information. 

Created by Abbas |


5. Determine The Sizing 

Considering that many modern designs comprise varying usage, it is better to put some sizing details on the guideline. It is also a great detail since some logo designs appear in different styles and models. One night only has the mark, but some models combine the mark and its brand name. The size guideline can prove better sizing uses. 

To give better visualization, you can take an example of the Facebook logo. At one point, the company used the full name as its logo. But on the different version, it will have only its initial. With different models, it has dissimilar dimensions. That means it needs good sizing details on how to use both styles. You might have to specify the print size and the digital size as well. 

Created by Moin std |


6. Provide Versions 

Logo design guidelines can include different types of versions. The version can happen in many ways, from the style, the use of initials, full brand name, color combination, or sizing. Depending on the company and the use itself, some logos might be applicable in a variety of places. It makes the design can face different situations, which demand different approaches to its model. 

The example is a simple white background. It is possible to have the initial design, which does not demand any alteration. But with a colored or black background, the logo design might need some alteration. That is why some guidelines provide different kinds of versions. The easiest one is the colored and the black & white version or monochrome. 

This new change is something every designer needs to specify, especially if the company has many possible uses. A lack of explanation on this matter can again lead to a different approach. The new designer might come out with a cream or pastel color for the dark background, which is not your main intention for the initial logo design. 

Created by DEBUT |


7. Tell Every Exclusion 

Guidelines include many details, including the dos and don'ts. It happens in many ways that exclusion in logo creation, uses, and design can vary in many ways. The best part is the color combination elements. One of the best guidelines will specify every bad and don'ts on the design; as an example, avoid using pink on Facebook design. 

Why does the new designer need to avoid the color? In the case of Facebook, the company already has its blue brand colors. Using pink or different shades only adds ambiguous and likely fake impressions. Other than the dye, you can also specify every other exclusion on the logo design guidelines. It can include capitalization, fonts, dimensions, positions, to spacing. 

Created by Vectorial Studio |


8. Giving Examples (good and bad)

It is possible to provide a concrete example of good and bad uses or design ideas on the guideline. Believe it or not, a concrete example makes the explanation and details of the rules easier to follow. Showcase the proper uses of the logo design in many ways, such as how it is supposed to look on the website or printed version. 

Similar to the bad examples. Show what needs to avoid, such as the unbalanced use of marks and brand name. It is also possible to show the wrong sizing, slanted model, or anything. Putting remarks and details on why and how to avoid it on the guidelines will also make it easier to work in the future. 

Created by Sunny at Sea |


Final Words

In general, the logo design guidelines are the rules or details that every creator needs to have. It helps the future creator to make new and rebrand the work under the same umbrella without breaking the initial ideas. While every guideline will look different and show diverse information, at least there are eight points to specify. 

The details that should be inside the guideline include the brand story or description. It shows the initial ideas, information about the company, and what shapes the final work. Other points include spacing on the logo, the color design, typography models, the sizing, version, some exclusion on the works, and some examples. 

It is possible to make the logo design and its guidelines written in a very detailed manner. The idea depends on the work and how complex the work is. Some companies are looking for rebranding will get better recreation or rebranding in the future. Good details and rules provide remarks on what to do and don'ts. It helps the company have the best consistent brand for the new work.

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