Planning out our brand book

Published by Colin Finkle on

BMB creates it’s Brand Standards Manual, Chapter 1

Executive Summary  |  Abstract  |  TL;DR
We take the advice in our guide on how to develop brand standards. We decide that our guide only need to communicate to designers (logos, colours, city visuals), copywriters (brand message), and external vendors (brand mission.) We choose PDF as our final format. We choose what pages we need and do not need. We mock up these pages on paper using pencil and solicit feedback from our stakeholders.

We outlined how to build an effective brand book in our Brand Standards Guide.

Well, it’s time we take our advice. We believe in our guidance, so we are going to go through the exercise of making a brand standards manual for Brand Marketing Blog in a multi-chapter series. The first chapter will be planning the pages out.

What it needs to communicate and to who.

If you read our Brand Standards Guide, you probably understood that our biggest complaint with most brand standards guides is that they speak to no one. Certain disciplines are looking to this book to get certain information, and it can be hard to pull that information out. Worse, it can give very basic advice that can come across as condescending to talented people, especially designers and copywriters.

We recommend a user-centric approach. This method means thinking about the people who will read this document, and ask what they will want to get out of it.

In the Brand Standards Guide, we suggested thinking about designers, marketers, front line staff personnel, copywriters, business development people, and external vendors. In Brand Marketing Blog’s case, only three of those people are applicable.

designer man

– the importance of the black and white + gold colour scheme
– brand colours for web
– brand colours for print, including use of gold inks / foils
– city visuals
– photo standards for people in photography
– photography we already own
– the emotion we are trying to convey: success, professionalism

copywriter man

– brand message: authority
– the entire goal of the brand is to establish credibility, expertise, and authority
– humour in the copy if fine, but when used to communicate the advice better.

External Vendor lady

External vendor:
– brand mission: to empower business owners and marketers to use the power of brand marketing effectively.

Format choice.

We are choosing PDF for our brand standards guide over Powerpoint.

We chose this for a few reasons. We know we will eventually share the document with you through the web, so it is important that the file size will be as small as possible. PDF documents can be smaller than Powerpoint documents. One advantage that Powerpoint has over PDF is ease of editing, but we have in-house designers that can easily and quickly make changes to a PDF.

We are also going to make the pages of the BMB Brand Standards Manual 16:9 so that we can present it on a modern HD or 4K TV.

Page selection.

Our Brand Standards Guide went through what pages we thought were necessary, less than necessary, and outright wastes of everyone’s time. Every company is different, and your brand standards may need some or all of the pages we recommend. There may be pages that you need that are entirely unique to your brand; this is completely okay as long as you consider the audience you are speaking too.

Pages we will need:

  • Mission
  • Why this mission?
  • Mood board
  • Personality
  • Why this personality?
  • Brand promise
  • Brand fantasy
  • Logos
  • Logo Dos
  • Logo Don’t
  • Addition icons / graphics
  • Primary colour palette
  • Typefaces
  • Headline / Sub-Head / Body copy
  • Existing photography
  • Choosing new photography
  • Mascot guide.
  • Contact
  • Change log

Pages we do not need.

  • Preferred industry terms. (At this time, we are not picking terms)
  • Secondary colour palette (We will not have a secondary colours.)
  • Industrial design guide. (We have no physical products.)
  • Packaging guide. (No packaging.)
  • Illustration guide. (No illustration’s other than our mascot.)

Page mock-ups.

We took our list of pages and mocked up each very simply in pencil on paper.

Alternatively, we could have used Powerpoint but I wanted to show that this step does not need to be fancy. All we are trying to achieve is to get a sense of the content, and conveying that content to the designer for the next step. Content will change, so even that does not need to be final. This is just our first rough pass to get us started.


01. Cover Page


02. Mission page.

Why this mission. Problems: many businsses are well run but fo not get results because their branding is poor. People dont like how their brand is and would be more satisfied with another brand.

03. Why this mission, pt. 1

Why this mission. Solutions. Brand Marketing Blog can guide and convey knowledge that will save business owners and marketers hassle. BMB products and services can take their brand to the next level.

04. Why this mission, pt. 2

Personality. Confident. Knowledgeable, Honest Direct, intelligent, encouraging, sauve. Photo of man or woman that could be described that way. Dics profile: high D, high C.

05. Personality

Why this personality? Our audiences and clients are most likely to action our advice when it comes in a confident and knowledgeable tone. Strong personality = strong results.

06. Why this personality?

Brand promise. What our customers expect from content, products and services. Actionalble Advice. Based on science / industry best practices. Will strengthen and grow their business.

07. Brand Promise.

Brand Fantasy. Successful business person. Providing value to their customers and a brand they can connect to. Catharsis, at ease, ready for more.

08. Brand Fantasy

Primary logo. Sketch of logo on white and on black.

09. Primary Logo.

Secondary Logo. Sketch of the BMB logo. This logo is to be used when the small size of the space makes the primary logo hard to read.

10. Secondary logo.

Other logos. BMB consulting. BMB Premier List. BMB Reserve Brands. BMB Master Class.

11. Other Logos.

Symbol. Sketch of logo. Gold. Sketch of logo. Debossed.

12. Symbol.

Logo Dos. Brand Marketing Blog logo. We use the side by side logo whenever possible. Logo donts. Don't rotate the logos. Don't crop the logo.

13. Logo dos / Logo donts.

Additional Symbols. Branding definitions symbol. Good branding symbol. Branding how to symbol. Branding interviews symbol. Design symbol.

14. Additional Symbols.

Primary Colour Pallet. Gold. Hex code for gold. RGB coade for gold. CMYK code for gold. PMS. Dark Grey. Hex code for dark grey. RGB code for dark grey. CMYK code for Dark Grey. A key to keep our brand memorable is our strict use of only the brand colours.

15. Primary Colour Pallet

Typefaces. Robonto. Blod. Normal. Download here: ---

16. Typefaces.

Typeface use. Headline = roboto bold. This is a sub headline = roboto bold. This is body copy and should be very readable. = Roboto regular.

17. Typeface use.

Existing photography. Photo of professional female. Photo of bearded man. Photo of business owner in front of building.

18. Existing Photography.


Mascot guide 1. Fen: Our lovable mascot. She is a fennec fox and had big ears to listen to customers and accute eyesight to spot details. She is always lit from the upper left. She helps make out brand more fun. She can be dressed but only in greyscale / gold. Gold coat. Angular like logo.

19. Mascot guide, pt. 1

Mascot Guide pg. 2. Two poses of Fen the fennec fox. Alternate poses.

20. Mascot guide, pt. 2

Contact. If you have question, contact Colin Finkle. Email address.

21. Contact

Changelog. 2016 10 05 created.

21. Changelog.

Black and white photo of Colin FinkleColin Finkle is a brand marketer and designer with ten years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies tell their story at retail. You can see his work at Colin Finkle’s portfolio site. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter. He is also the author of the book series, the Neverborn Saga.

Colin Finkle

Colin Finkle is a brand marketer and designer with ten years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies tell their story at retail. You can see his work at


Bernhard Hamaker · June 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I can’t believe you publish this, lol. 🙂 Thanks for sharing because this is stuff you don’t really see outside of a college course or branding consultation. You rock.

    Colin Finkle · June 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Hey Bernhard. Thanks for the comments, and awesome work on the Radian branding on Behance.

Brand Standards Guide | Brand Marketing Blog · January 4, 2018 at 6:45 am

[…] We take our own advice. See how we developed the BMB Brand Standards ourselves. […]

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