A company’s brand is often more important than the products it sells. It’s the reason why consumers avoid buying generic unless they’re on a budget. It’s a highly planned and perfected experience, and iconic companies like Apple and Coca Cola take these sort of things very seriously.

But what’s a brand? According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” In other words, it’s a strict set of rules that sets one company apart from any other.

A brand book lies at the heart of every strong company, and often reveals insider details, goals and marketing techniques. With all this in mind, here’s 11 major brand books to inspire you for your next logo or branding project:

Foursquare

The Foursquare brand book is exemplary. Check out the do’s and don’t’s for logo usage. Yes designers really are that strict, and yes it’s 100% necessary.

Skype

Skype’s brand book is much friendlier and appeals to both designers and non-designers, giving special attention to speech bubbles…

Unicef

Unicef’s brand book is wildly intricate, and even includes seasonal branding for holidays like Halloween.

Nike Football

Nike Football‘s brand book show’s an intense, powerful attitude. Hint: Click ‘Click to read’ or everything will be skewed.

Intel

Intel’s brand book, designed in part by Greg Kletsel, shows the evolution of its logo.

Adobe

Adobe’s brand book details an incredible task: maintaing continuity through tons of different products.

Apple (resellers)

Apple’s reseller brand book is particularly strict to prevent brand damage from outside companies.

I Love NY

Milton Glasier’s flawless I Love NY logo will be studied for ages. It was designed in 1977 and is now one of the most iconic logos ever created.

Nasa 1976

For the vintage-inclined, imjustcreative dug up a 1976 brand book from NASA.

Santa

Keeping up with the holiday spirit, Quietroom created a brilliant brand book for Santa himself!

Firefox

This Firefox brand book is more of a emotional guideline.

People develop relationships with the brands they trust, and the best brands reinforce trust while driving sales and building connections. What do you feel are the strongest brands around today? Apple? Google? 

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