Authenticity matters to consumers: 88% of people consider its importance when choosing the companies they prefer and support. Therefore, creating catchy branding and arranging its fundamental points in a set of rules is crucial. And a brand style guide is a roadmap that ensures consistency and coherence in brand communication.
Arounda is a design studio delivering efficient brand identity solutions for startups, small companies, and mid-sized businesses. This article shares our expertise and discusses how to create a brand style guide and what core elements to include. Stay tuned to strengthen your positioning and build a catchy image for your company.
A brand style guide is a document that provides a clear set of instructions and standards for internal and external stakeholders. It outlines the guidelines for the visual and tonal company aspects. Also, a brand style guide ensures you use all elements consistently, strengthening brand recognition and creating a cohesive image.
Before explaining how to create a style guide for a company, let's reveal its importance. Here are the most compelling reasons:
Consistency. A brand style guide ensures consistency in presenting and communicating your brand. In turn, it builds company recognition, fosters trust, and reinforces a cohesive brand image in customers' minds.
Identity. Thanks to defining the visual and verbal elements, a style guide creates a distinct and memorable brand identity. This way, customers can easily identify a company.
Alignment. A brand style guide saves time and effort, providing clear guidelines and eliminating guesswork. Moreover, it ensures everyone follows the established standards.
Proper usage. A brand style guide defines the correct and incorrect usage of particular elements. It helps safeguard the company's reputation and prevents dilution or misuse of its identity.
Improved communication. A style guide is a common reference point among team members, agencies, and partners, facilitating clear communication.
Flexibility. You can update and adapt a style guide as a brand evolves and expands to reflect new elements, platforms, or target audiences. It provides a foundation for future business growth while maintaining a consistent core identity.
What to include in a brand style guide? It encompasses the elements that differentiate and define your brand. A style guide conveys your company’s unique personality, values, and purpose. Let's explore each of these aspects in detail:
Brand story and values. Clearly articulate the company's mission, vision, and values. This way, you establish the foundation for all creative decisions. Moreover, it guarantees the brand messaging aligns with its core principles.
Logo usage and guidelines. Define rules for logo placement, size, clear space, and color variations. It ensures consistent and appropriate usage of the brand logo across different platforms and materials.
Color palette. Maintain visual consistency and brand recognition, specifying the primary and secondary colors. Include the color codes (Pantone, RGB, and CMYK values) to ensure accurate reproduction.
Typography. Establish guidelines for font families, sizes, weights, and spacing. Choose fonts aligning with the brand's personality and make your content readable across various mediums.
Imagery and photography. Define the style, tone, and guidelines for selecting and using imagery and photography. Visual assets should convey the desired message and evoke the intended emotions.
Iconography and illustrations. Specify the style, size, and usage guidelines for icons and illustrations. They must be consistent with the brand's visual language to enhance recognition and coherence.
The tone of voice. Outline the brand's tone and style of communication. Define guidelines for writing style, preferred language, and brand-specific vocabulary.
Design templates. Provide pre-designed templates for various marketing collateral like business cards, letterheads, presentations, and social media graphics. Therefore, it’ll be easier for teams to create on-brand materials.
To build a brand style guide, follow these step-by-step guidelines.
Understand your target audience, competitors, industry trends, and the company's brand positioning. Thanks to this information, businesses resonate effectively with the intended audience. Also, they identify opportunities for differentiation and stand out from the competition.
Determine the critical visual (logo, colors, typography, icons, illustrations) and tonal elements (tone of voice, messaging, brand story, and values) reflecting your brand's personality. They should attract your buyer persona and align with the company's values and positioning.
Compile all the brand elements, including logos, colors, typography, imagery, tone of voice, and design templates, into a comprehensive document. Ensure the guidelines are clear, concise, and easily accessible for all stakeholders.
Use visual examples and illustrations to showcase brand elements' correct and incorrect usage. With this approach, interested parties understand and adhere to the guidelines more efficiently.
Clearly explain how to use each element across different mediums, such as print, digital, and social media platforms. Provide specific guidelines and specifications to ensure consistent brand representation.
A brand style guide is a living document. Regularly update it to accommodate changes in design trends, market demands, and brand evolution. Establish a process to review and revise it periodically.
Once the brand style guide is ready, ensure its effective implementation throughout the organization. Consider the following steps:
Conduct training sessions. Educate employees, creative teams, and external agencies on the brand guidelines. Provide thorough training sessions or workshops to familiarize them with your style guide and its importance.
Encourage collaboration. Foster a collaborative environment that encourages feedback and suggestions from stakeholders. Make sure your teams embrace and implement your brand style guide consistently across all crucial touchpoints.
Provide resources and support. Offer resources like brand assets, templates, and style guide documents to support adherence to the guidelines. It will streamline the creative process and reinforce consistency in further communication.
A brand style guide is a powerful tool for creating a consistent brand identity. It provides stakeholders with a clear understanding of using and applying company elements. From logos and colors to typography and tone of voice, the brand style guide delivers guidelines and specifications that foster cohesion and recognition. It minimizes misinterpretations, streamlining the creative process and enhancing the company's overall image.
Now you know how to create a style guide for a brand. However, if you don't feel you have enough time and expertise to make it yourself, we'll be happy to help. Arounda has been building solutions for companies of different sizes and industries for over five years. Check our portfolio and contact us to discuss your project.
A brand style guide is a comprehensive document that provides guidelines for maintaining visual and tonal consistency in brand communication. It includes logos, colors, typography, imagery, and tone of voice, ensuring a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
A brand style guide is essential because it ensures consistency across all brand touchpoints. It helps maintain a unified visual and tonal language, enhancing company recognition and creating a memorable experience. It also serves as a valuable resource for internal and external stakeholders, guiding them in effectively representing a brand.
A brand style guide should include critical components, including the following ones: The brand story and values, Logo usage guidelines, Color palette specifications, Typography guidelines, Imagery and photography style, The tone of voice guidelines, Design templates
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