Brand guidelines are a set of rules and laws that outline brand standards and expectations allowing a brand to communicate their principles both verbally and visually as well as remaining consistent throughout their brand. These sets of values over time, exposes the target audience to core brand principles which can promote brand loyalty and enforce brand identity.
For this weeks task were were set out to research a successful company’s brand guidelines before we start creating our own.
What is included?
- Logos: full logos, secondary logos, and icons.
- Colour palette: primary and secondary colours.
- Typography: font styles, sizes, and spacing.
- Alternative imagery: photos, illustrations, and artwork.
- Voice and tone: how the brand uses language and emotion.
I have decided to choose Uber for my brand guidelines research as it falls inline with identity of my brand as unlike other brands, when I think of Uber there is always a strong positive connotations tied with it. I feel like I’ve developed a strong emotional bond with the company, perhaps it’s the professional service they provide or the beautifully engineered brand identity that is enforced on all platforms. Their message is clear and simple, get to point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ without any hassle. We can see this value strongly reflect throughout their brand both verbally and visually.
The iconic Uber logo connects with the consumer due to the sheer simplistic design. This is a result from using a custom clean and basic sans serif font known as ‘Uber Move’. Through this simplistic design, Uber conveys a sense of safety, accessibility and universalness.
Uber recognized that their logo will be placed on many applications, platforms and products so they carefully considered the design of their logo which is based on basic geometric shapes and assembled to maintain its unique and recognizable characteristics which makes it versatile and readable from any platform. It uses visually proportionate optical kerning between the ‘U’ and ‘B’ which balances out the overall design and through this pattern prescribes a sense of visual inclusiveness to the brand.
The space between the logo and outside elements follows basic principles such as the clear space shouldn’t be placed any less than double of the space from the cap height of the ‘U’ and vice verse for the horizontal axis. Although, in some circumstances, there is exception for when this rule can be broken:
Visibility is vital to Uber in prescribing its simplistic visual identity. Uber understands the importance of this playing a key role in their design and to make it stand out it must scale appropriately whilst maintaining visual significance. They created a scale guide for both digital screens and print (Smallest size = 18 pixels wide/ 0.25 inches wide).
Placement of the Uber logo makes creates a directional style that is uniform to their identity as it just doesn’t bring awareness and visibility to their brand, it also creates a stylistic pattern unique to their brand. Their placement however takes into account both sinistrodextral (English, Spanish, etc) and dextrosinistral (Arabic, Hebrew, etc) universal writing systems. An example of this is below showing the placement of the Uber logo being placed at two opposing sides between two different writing systems.
Other methods of placement include centred and top left. Depending on the situation such as if the composition is using a bold ‘u’ frame (long element or image with clear space to left, right, bottom) the logo can then be placed centre and underneath or above the composition. Another example is if Uber is digitally communicating calls to action it can be placed at the top left.
Uber also displays a system of do’s and don’t when displaying their logo such as:
- Don’t type out Uber in other weights.
- Don’t stretch or manipulate the logo.
- Don’t pair the logo with marks that may be confused as logos.
- Don’t type out Uber in all caps or no caps.
- Restricting use to only black or white affords us the highest contrast ratio, aiding accessibility.
- Don’t type out Uber in any other fonts.
Colour & Alternative images
Uber uses two main primary colours; white and black. The black psychologically conveys a sense of (positive) global dominance and the white symbolizes cleanliness and simplicity. However, these two opposing colours were created to be combined with one another. White plays an important role in communication which should always be balanced with black to make elements stand out.
However, it is not always just black and white. Uber takes a different approach when it comes to things like illustrations, imagery and other elements. An example of this would be the use of blue on their mobile app to contact emergency services as this colour psychologically represents a sense of safety, support and assurance.
Secondary Colours & Alternative Images
Uber uses a broad range of colour for advertising, illustrations and alternative pictures. However, they usually create one dominate primary colour per composition. Uber also contains four different colour codes/models including RGB, CMYK, HEX and pantone. This shows their versatility and compatibility with their visual material.
Ways to implement colour:
- Typographic compositions
Uber extends its list to problems to avoid when implementing colour:
- Avoid improper use of ‘safety’ blue.
- Do not create colour effects or new colours.
- Do not cover surfaces with safety blue.
- Do not use wrong colour proportions.
- Do not use too many secondary colours
- Text should never be coloured.
Typography & Tone of Voice
Uber uses simple and coherent typography to emphasise consistency throughout their brand. Uber’s typeface ‘Uber Move’ is one of the founding pillars that holds up the strong identity of their brand in which they implement it in almost every piece of work they do. This high emphasise on typography shows how important it is to them.
Uber uses the same typeface for their logo, body copy and advertising. Besides from being consistent, this simple sans serif typeface is used to create clarity, versatility, be recognizable and to provide equity to the brand as a world renowned leader in taxiing.
Uber also has a clear guide on how their typeface should be used consistently while also creating a contrast between two different variations of text such as when pairing the typeface:
Or maintaining and creating type hierarchy:
And also, when combined with alternative compositions:
- Do not use coloured typography
- Text must remain black or white
- Do not use all caps
- Do not adjust kerning or tracking
- Do not make different levels of hierarchy the same weight
- Do not make any level of hierarchy the same size or scale as another
- Do not separate chunks of text
Tone of Voice
For Uber the tone of voice is loud and simple; create a bold, recognizable and personalised voice for the costumer. Uber uses these characteristics on all platforms on a global scale, no matter the language or country, their tone of voice remains consistent. This is designed to spread their brand identity worldwide and tell the globe who they are and what they stand for.
Uber communicates boldly, directly and honestly, three things that contribute to its successful brand essence. It also has a guideline to follow when creating such material:
- Cut the adverbs
- Choose clear words
- No repetition
- Limit exclamation points
- Use specific nouns
- Turn passive voice to active voice
- Confirm all homonyms and homophones
- Use specific nouns
- Check adjectives
- Avoid ‘That’ – Overused
- Pick strong verbs
- Make negative statements positive
- Don’t choose something because you like it, choose it because it works
I am very happy at the brand I have chosen to research as it contains similar guidelines and values that I want the direction of my brand to follow. This research has greatly helped me into exploring the methodology into creating and maintaining brand identity which intern has gave me the knowledge and ability to decode and to create a similar set of rules and guides for my own personal brand. I will now begin focusing on creating guidelines for my brand.