12 Inspiring brand style and identity guides

Date Posted: May 26, 2016

As soon as I’m given a project to create something I automatically research the crap out of it to get inspired. Pinterest, Google, Behance—I’m constantly pinning and sending myself emails of all the awesome examples that I come across. (Some of them are probably not even related to what I’m looking for, but I’ll save them for later. Who knows when they’ll come in handy?)

12 Inspiring brand style and identity guide

Recently I’ve been putting together Human_Code’s brand story document and, of course, I turned to my Pinterest boards, favourite design blogs and Google for examples of brand guides I wish I’d designed.

Here is my top 12 list of brand guides

They aren’t in any particular order, and the one thing they have in common is they’ve inspired me to take Human_Code’s brand story one step further.

1. Stihl

Stihl Making size easy

This brand guide “makes it easy” to understand Stihl—memorable but still simple enough for your dad to get.

2. Uber

Uber new look

Many brand and identity guidelines are going digital, but it’s no surprise that Uber is the brand to do it right. Its design and parallax features are a perfect match to its app.

3. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver Brand Guidelines

From the font on the ingredients listing to the monochromatic image of Jamie on the packaging, this brand guide is a true reflection of Jamie Oliver and his beliefs.

4. Optus

Optus Corporate Image

This is not what you would expect from a cellphone brand. With the use of hand drawn typeface and a cute little character, it’s friendly and easy to understand.

5. Irish Red Cross (with a shout out to the Canadian Red cross)

Irish Red Cross Brand Guide Book

This is probably one of my favourite brand guides. It manages to feel a little nostalgic while being very modern. The use of white space and brand colours in a rounded corner pocket book makes me drool.

6. Nike

Nike Brand Style

Nike never lets you down. This football brand book gives you the perfect visuals to support their brand and inspires you to “just do it.”

7. Skype

Skype and clouds

This isn’t your typical brand book. It encourages you to create your own Skype-like illustrations using the simple Skype cloud.

8. Nasa

Nasa Graphics Standards Manual

The NASA Graphics Standards Manual was created by Danne & Blackburn in 1974 and it still holds its own. It comes individually packaged in—you called it—a space-age plastic pouch. I still love it.

9. Black Watch Global

12 Inspiring brand style and identity guide_BlackWatchGlobal_Image_9

This is a unique and modern brand guide, especially for an intelligence and risk management consultancy.

10. Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines Brand

Porter is probably one of the best designed airlines I have seen. Their brand sends you back to a time when travel was cool.

11. Spotify

Spotify is the right music for every moment

Spotify’s brand guide has my subscription. There’s exactly the right amount of imagery to capture the moment and make you feel the music.

12. Material Design

Material Design

Google challenged itself to create a visual language that unites design and technology—and material design was born. This digital style guide is an in-depth resource to help designers and developers use material design in their work. I may not entirely “get” material design yet, but this guide gets me a lot closer.

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