A brand style guide is an essential yet often overlooked tool when creating a company’s branding image. Without a brand style guide, building a cohesive brand and setting out ground rules for consistency with your marketing, advertising, and even between branch locations can become an almost impossible task. To build a style guide, though, it’s important to understand the basics about what a style guide is and what it includes.
What Is a Style Guide?
A style guide is a set of design rules to be followed when producing any material related to the brand and its image. This includes things like a standard color pallet, series of approved fonts, approved logos and colors for said logos, building architecture and design, floor layouts, and display layouts, among other things. Style guides can be more or less comprehensive, depending on how rigid or lax your company wants to be with its brand marketing. Regardless of how lax a style guide is with its restrictions, it usually covers, at a minimum, approved colors for ads and the logos and approved logo styles and fonts.
What Goes Into Making a Good Style Guide?
Having cohesive visual elements when designing a brand and a style guide is important, but there is more to making a brand work than visuals. When creating and envisioning your brand, it is important to hammer out some more abstract qualities like brand identity, personality, and keep your target audience in mind. This will help avoid issues like brand dissonance, where your brand’s visual image conflicts with your brand’s identity or your target audience. You’ll also want to include things like your mission statement and brand values in your style guide since these two points should be at the core of everything your brand pushes towards.
Lastly, you should include some examples with your brand style guidelines. These examples will help drive home the type of visual communication you want your brand to achieve and help hammer in the dos and don’ts on advertising for your brand. A healthy style guide will ensure that your brand stays cohesive, consistent, and dedicated to the core values and beliefs laid out in your brand’s mission statement. When it comes to effective marketing, consistency is key, and with that, so is a brand style guide.