FREE Cars Branding Books and Style Guides

Added on July 2, 2021 - Category: Uncategorized
Cars branding books cover

Here’s another post with free content, this time cars branding books and visual identity guidelines

Visual guidelines are very useful for those who want to work with these companies because they help them to be aware of the issues related to the specifications ( typography, color palettes, use ). Finally, visual guidelines are also useful for people who want to work within one of these brands because they give them insight into the company values and philosophy.


Cars branding books are important in showing how the logo and colors can be applied in different contexts. They are a source of inspiration for designers who want to create their own logos or other visual elements.

Some of these guidelines are available online for free download, such as Volkswagen Automotive Brand Guidelines and BMW Identity Guidelines.

Others can be purchased in books such as Mercedes Benz Logo Design from Klaus Pfeiffer and Ford: The First 100 Years of Design Innovation by Peter Horbury.


As with any type of project, it is important to take elements from what others have done before – this is what we call inspiration. This article will be updated regularly with new material, so you can always come back if you need a visual guide or just want to be inspired.

Toyota Brand Guide

The Toyota Brand Guide focuses on the logo and how to adapt it to the context it is in. So we see the logo in different positions and sizes, in certain color palettes and on the other hand we see wrong uses of the logo either through color or image backgrounds. We can also see the logo applied to objects and stationery.

The Toyota Trademark Manual has an interesting part that covers the characteristics of the brand, including what makes Toyota unique in terms of design, technology and environment, among other aspects.

In addition to this part it describes how each element of the logo should look in different contexts (stationery, posters or advertising). Finally it shows some incorrect usages and gives some examples of usage for these addresses.

Download the full Toyota Brand Guide

Toyota Brand Guide
Toyota’s car brand book displaying logo adaptations with tagline

Ford Trademark Manual

Ford’s Trademark Manual has a more global focus, from the brand identity vision to more specific aspects of the brand. In this manual you will find from the variations of the logo in relation to the car model, fonts, color palette, images to use and how they should look, stationery and poster formats and much more.

The Ford Brand Guidelines is like a visual manual with information about the brand’s identity and how it should be applied to different media. It also shows some of the variations used by its sister companies, such as Lincoln or Mercury and details how those logos should look on other media besides cars.

Ford’s Visual Identity guidelines focuses on their logo and suggests several variations in color palette and size as well as correct ways to use them on different materials (vehicles, clothing material or stationery).

Download the full Ford Trademark Manual

Ford's Car Brnad Book and Trademark Manual
Ford logo in relation to the car model

Jaguar cars branding book

The 2012 Jaguar Brand Guidelines introduces its new logo and fonts. In this guide we see the logo in different variations, be it the logo in outlines, in colored backgrounds, with the jaguar in chrome and other aspects such as the minimum sizes for the digital or printed format. It also details how to use typography for headings and color specifications.

Jaguar’s Visual Identity Manual suggests several ways to adapt its new logo for specific events like ice hockey tournaments or exhibitions. This manual also includes all types of logos from which they can choose depending on their needs.

As we have seen in other manuals, Jaguar specifies which colors are available for different uses: red for interior parts; silver for exterior parts; black for tires; white/silver/gold for paint jobs; blue is reserved only for press releases etc…

The Jaguar guide also suggests that they should avoid using yellow (the main color) outside certain contexts (e.g., do not use yellow in communication channels meant for adults)

Download the full Jaguar Brand Guidelines

Jaguar Brand guidelines
Specifications for Jaguar logo in print and digital communications

Tesla Visual Identitity Manual

Tesla’s visual identity manual suggests several adjustments to the logo, as seen in the logo illustration, where we see the Tesla Wordmark, the Tesla Flag, and the Tesla T , as well as the color and size adjustments for the three logos.

It also describes these adjustments for other Tesla car models and shows how the logo should look on stationery, merchandising and clothing.

Tesla’s Visual Identity guidelines show us how “the Tesla T” can be adapted according to the context where it is being used either horizontal or vertical format either with a presence behind another word (“TESLA”) or without it (“TESLA”).

These guides suggest two kinds of typography: one serif font with very large letters that are closely spaced together. And another sans-serif font with moderate space between characters but bigger than normal size so people can read them even while driving by car at high speed.

While referring to colors Tesla specifies that black is preferred over blue because it conveys a sense of sophistication more easily than blue does.

We must take into account that this particular manual refers exclusively to Ulsan South Korea where Tesla Motors has just set up its first factory outside California USA where its headquarters are located.

Download the full Tesla Visual Identitiy Manual

Tesla Visual Identity Manual
Adaptations of Tesla’s logo

Mercedes-Benz Visual Guidelines

Mercedes-Benz visual guides, like most of the manuals we’ve seen, focus on their logo, variations, sizes, and other aspects like fonts and stationery. It also shows what kind of commercial images should be used, under concepts such as elegance, sophistication, modernity and authenticity, among other aspects by which Mercedes Benz defines itself as a brand.

The website Mercedes-Benz Corporate Identity Manual shows us how the logo can be used with or without a tagline and how it can be properly placed on vehicles, real estate signs, stationery elements and more. It also introduces some variations of their logo and colors used by Mercedes Benz. The manual also shows what type of images should be used for certain advertising concepts such as speed, elegance, sophistication, modernity, authenticity, and more.

Download the full Mercedes-Benz Visual Guidelines

Mercedes-Benz Visual Guidelines
Permitted combinations of the star and word mark for MB logo

Honda Corporate Identity

The Honda Corporate Identity Manual, like the other manuals, shows us the logo with its variations, either the isotype or the complete logo, adaptations of the logo, color palettes, how the logo looks on different colored backgrounds, and incorrect uses . It also shows the position of the logo in relation to stationery elements, posters and advertisements, vehicle decoration and more.

Download the full Honda Corporate Identity Manual

Honda Corporate Identity
Honda’s logo and specs

BMW Clubs Identity Guidelines

Car identity guideñines: BMW brand identity guidelines
BMW brand identity guidelines

In the visual guides of BMW we can see the logo in three different formats, the German “Bayerische Motoren Werke AG” and its acronym “BMW”, as well as the original name of the company “Bayerische Flugzeugwerke”. We can also see how it should be positioned on vehicles and in relation to other brands. This guideline is for the BMW clubs and doesn’t include the new BMW flat logo because the brand isn’t official yet (and we don’t know if it will ever be)

Download the BMW Identitiy Guidelines Manual

Škoda Identity Manual

On the one hand, the Škoda Identity Manual introduces the logo with its some manifestations and color variations and indicates how the logo should be positioned on the vehicles. On the other hand, the manual focuses more on the specifications for the hockey tournament in Sweden and Finland and thus shows how the event logo should look in landscape format on the car windows.

Download the full Škoda Identity Manual

Skoda Identity Manual
Cars branding books: Skoda logo and colour palette

Alfa Romeo Trademark Guidelines

The Alfa Romeo guide introduces the brand’s values and reviews the history of the cars and the development of the brand. It also shows different variations of the logo and its individual parts, how it is constructed, specifications for its printing, color palettes, typography, and more.

Download the full Alfa Romeo Trademark Guidelines

Alfa Romeo Trademark Guidelines
Alfa Romeo Trademark Versions

Fiat Brand Manual

The Fiat Brand Manual focuses on the logo and its variations, font, and color palette. It also shows how the logo should be placed alongside other trademarks and specifications for trade goods.

Download the full Fiat Brand Manual

Fiat Brand Manual / Cars branding book
Exclusion Zone in Fiat logo as shown in teh car brand book

MINI Car brand book

The Visual Guidelines of MINI, like other manuals, show us the structure of the logo, minimum sizes, color palette and typography. In addition, we can see the style guide in terms of technical issues such as the copyright notice, distinctions, how to write the names of the models, the URLs and other specifications related to the product, the history and much more.

Download the full MINI Visual Guidelines

Cars branding books: MINI Visual Guidelines
Cars branding books: MINI logo

Peugeot Brand guidelines analysis

The identification manual of PSA Peugeot Citroën presents all types of logos and symbols that are part of their corporate identity. Moreover, it shows us how to use them in different contexts, such as stationery elements, clothing and more.
In summary, we can say that a visual guide is an essential element for any brand that wants to consolidate its image among consumers. It is a collection of recommendations that allow companies or institutions to communicate their vision about their own brand through visual resources such as logos or fonts.

Peugeot Visual Guidelines Website (complete analysis in our site)

Other Cars Brand Guidelines

These brand manuals do not have the download option, but they are still of interest to us. Take a look at these pages!

Maserati Digital Guidelines Website

Audi Brand Guidelines Website

Toyota Brand Manual Website (updated manual)

Conclusion

Cars branding books are a great resource for brand designers as well as UX developers. They show how the biggest companies in the world do things, and set a tested path we can follow for inspiration.

These branding guidelines were designed by some of the best designers in the world, so taking them as an example is something good to do

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