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The Brand Book: What it is and how to make it

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Branding, Graphic Design, Marketing

As your business expands so will you staffing base and it is important when you bring newbies aboard that they fully understand your company and your brand.

It may even be useful to have when you’re starting out as it can really resonate clarity in your presentation.  If you create a system of branding rules to stick to then your website and marketing material is bound to look super profesh!

A Brand Book can be an excellent way to not only create your parameters for your brand but also format it in such a way that is in keeping with your company’s branding.  This not only gives your presentation a clear vision but also allows others who join you, whether freelancers or employees, to quickly gain a full understanding of your business’ branding.

You may want to consider hiring a professional (like The Arts Business) to pull together your brand properly, especially if there is no one on your team with a graphic design edge. This document makes a statement for your entire operations so it’s important to get it right.

But, as I’m sure you know by now, here at The Arts Business we are firm believers in Doing It Yourself!

So, here’s how to make your very own!  You can pick and choose the aspects of Brand Book you want to enclose and as you grow, it can grow with you.

I’ll be working off The Arts Business’ very own Brand Book’s included sections and how to write them. Here is our lovely front cover!


Cover page


Click here to download The Arts Business Brand Book to follow along, use as reference or simply admire.

I will also chuck in some bonus headings you can include. Just pick and choose which ones are best suited to you and your business.


Contents Page

  1. Contents

Direct the reader to each section at the beginning. Simples!


brand book

  1. Mission Statement

Kick start the book with what the brand represents.  Officially it is a formal summary of the company, but I like to think of it as a series of bullet points telling the reader immediately what the company does and its goals.


  1. Core Values

Single Words or phrases that ring true with your company and its aims.  Have fun with this page. Really let your imagination run free with your design!


  1. Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach? This is so important to define as it will not only make your vision clearer but will help you to design growth and marketing strategies to ensure that your business is reaching the right people.


logo brand book

  1. Logo

Not only are you showing how your logo is displayed in colour, greyscale and how much space should be allowed around it but also any dos and don’ts for your logo. For example: don’t stretch or distort the logo, don’t recolour the logo. Don’t be afraid of details, your logo is one of the most important aspects of your brand and you want to make sure it always stands out.


  1. Tagline

Think of this like your company slogan. When starting out you want to make sure your tagline clearly explains what your company does, really spell it out for anyone who stumbles across your page organically! Here is your opportunity to display how you want your tagline to tie in with your logo and those ever so important dos or don’ts.


  1. Colours

In a nutshell this is the colours you want associated with your brand. It pulls your designs together. Be sure to include the:

  • HEX code: a six-digit number used particularly in coding.
  • RGB: it’s a mix of red, green and blue balance which dictates how the colour appears onscreen,
  • CMYK: stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key. This is the colour balance to recreate the exact same colours in printed materials.

Most brands include primary and secondary colours. Generally, (although not a rule) primary colours are those seen in the logo and secondary colours are used to compliment and offset those colours.

Some bigger brands even name their colour, so it is forever associated with their brand, for example: Spotify Green & Netflix Red.



  1. Typography

Similar to colours these are the typefaces you want your brand to use. Give a description of each font along with what and when it is appropriate to use them. You can use the terminology primary and secondary here again to create a font hierarchy. You can also include information about font format and weight.


  1. Social Media

A relatively new addition to the Brand Book and so important it takes up two pages. This should show what social networks your business uses and how to use them in keeping with your brand. Remember your dos and don’ts and be sure to use some illustrative imagery to explain exactly what to do. Social Media is one of the most important platforms for your company’s organic growth so if you’re not sure what sites to use or how you should check out our previous post on finding the perfect social media platform for your business.


  1. Photography, Illustration & Artwork

The Arts Business has chosen to group these items into a single category to explain simply and efficiently how to use imagery throughout the website and any branded documentation. Should your Arts Business focus on any of these elements you may want to break them down into individual categories to expand on how you use them for company branding.


tone of voice

  1. Tone of Voice

This is how you want your content to come across. Are you professional and corporate? Conversational and friendly? Explanatory and informative? It’s up to you how you want your brand to be portrayed but think carefully about your target audience appeal when making this decision.


brand book stationery

  1. Stationery

Stationery in this context includes branding like letterheads, email signatures and business cards. Pretty much any time your business presents itself in print. Use this page to show examples of your stationery and how you have incorporated your brand guidelines into the design.


  1. Flyers, Posters & Merchandise

Similar to stationery I have shown examples of flyers and merchandise The Arts Business has produced in the past to suggest how the logo might be used.


  1. Contact Details

Self-explanatory really! Whoever reads your Brand Book should be able contact you if they have any questions or simply want to congratulate you on a job well done!

contact us

I like to display my contact information in the same way:

  • Logo – make sure it’s there somewhere, doesn’t necessarily need to be above but somewhere on the same page! I like to think that subconsciously this means that when someone sees your logo, they automatically associate it with you contact details springing to mind but even if this isn’t true it still looks pretty.
  • Name and Job Title – not necessary to include with the Brand Book but if you think it is applicable to the document go for it!
  • Tagline – As I explained previously the company’s tagline is kind of like a one sentence pitch or explanation of what you do, so I try to include it at the beginning or end of official company documentation to remind anyone who may be reading it exactly what we do.
  • Phone Number,Email Address, Social Media, Website – make it as easy as possible for the reader to contact you should they have any questions.


  • Optional Extras
    • Brand Journey – your company’s origin story and brand history
    • Composition – how to arrange company documentation
    • Iconography – specifically about little, simple icons used throughout your branding
    • Animation and Video – should you include video content frequently with your work, you’ll also wanna specify guidelines for these
    • Product Line – should this be central to your brand, include it


There are loads of ways you can build your brand book so here are some links to awesome examples from companies of all shapes and sizes including:


Ultimately, don’t be afraid to get specific! Remember, it’s your business, your brand, your baby. It should be exactly how you want it to be!


Do you have a brand book to be proud of? Let us know! We’d love to share it.

Want The Arts Business to create a brand book for you? Get in touch.


What is Your Target Audience? The Checklist

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Marketing

Whenever I begin a marketing plan I always start with what the target audience is. Who exactly is this show or exhibition for?  And are there any products and merchandise I could develop to go with the it that my audience would also enjoy?


Earlier today whilst trying to figure out the target audience of a large-scale dance company I thought to myself, do you know what would be really useful? A checklist!


So here it is:



  1. Demographicsdefined as the statistical characteristics of the population, think about equal opportunities forms, basically everything you fill out on there relates to your personal demographic.  Obviously you don’t need to filter everyone of these down to one answer but you do need to consider each one.


  • Age – simply how old is the intended audience
  • Gender – Is your work more predominantly targeted towards men or women or unisex?
  • Sexuality – Heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual?
  • Marital status – Single, Widowed, Married, Separated, Divorced?
  • Nationality – not simply where they are from but how your audience refer to their nationality
  • Education – what level of education they have attended and what qualifications were obtained
  • Income – simply how much is earned whether weekly, monthly or annual.  You may also be interested in what kind of expendable income they have
  • Occupation – what is their job?
  • Religion
  • Social Class – working class, middle class, upper class.  I also like to include aspiring upper class.
  • Number of Children



  1. Geographics – pretty simply where the audience is located, but there is a little more to think about than that.


  • Location – where do they live?
  • Area Type – city centres to the middle of the countryside?  What is in their area? What amenities do they have access to?
  • Climate – what is the weather like there at a specific time of year? Particularly important when considering international touring.  Think about the temperature when your going.  Think about any potential extreme weather conditions.  This will prevent you touring an outdoor theatre show around India during monsoon season.
  • Cultural behaviours – What are the local laws? Are there any traditions to be respected? What is the culture like? I.e. Don’t take Magic Mike on tour to Morocco or Ru Paul’s Drag Race to Dubai.
  • Available resources – What do they have available? What kind of community spaces are there?  How do they live?  You’d be unlikely to take a piece revolved around telling stories on facetime to the Scottish Highlands where you wouldn’t be guaranteed mobile signal.



  1. Psychographics – This is where we begin to understand the target audience’s personal preferences, how are they living their life?


  • Lifestyle – how people live their lives
  • Interests – your target audience’s likes and dislikes
  • Hobbies – what do they enjoy doing in their spare time?
  • Beliefs – what are there politics? Left or Right wing? Are they environmentally conscious?
  • Personality – what they are like.  Introvert or extrovert? Analytical? Sociable? Relaxed? Easy going? Lover of Sarcasm? Bit of a hipster?



  1. Behavioural Patterns – this is analysis of the decision-making process which goes on when making purchases.


  • What do they buy and when?
  • How often?
  • What leads to purchasing decisions?
  • How do they use their purchases?
  • Responses and attitude to purchases



So now you have your checklist it’s easy to create a profile for your target audience:


Women aged 25-35 from UK educated to degree level (demographic), sociable extroverts who have a healthy lifestyle and like painting (psychographic) lives in 20 mile radius of Birmingham, West Midlands (geographic) and attends galleries and specialist exhibitions at least once a month, frequent theatre and cinema goers (behavioural)


You’ll soon discover with a detailed checklist like this one it’ll be much easier to create bespoke marketing campaigns tailored to appeal to the exact group you’re looking for!  Why not give it a go? Let me know what your next project is and who you think your target audience is.


If you think I’ve missed anything then let me know in the comments below and I’ll update as necessary!