What is a company style guide?
A company fashion information is a rulebook that explains how a business enterprise presents itself to the world via its logo, font and shade selections, photography and a whole lot more. Put another way, it’s a reference device that helps preserve consistency in what a brand looks, feels and sounds like. It’s so powerful that some human beings even name it a manufacturer bible, however, don’t let that intimidate you—those are simply extraordinary names for the same document.
Using a company ebook ensures that your company appears and feels the same, even when you have extraordinary people working on client service, marketing, format, and sales.
Read Also: PERSONAL BRANDING VS CORPORATE BRANDING
Why is the style guide is important?
Think of your manufacturer’s identity as your company’s personality. It’s how the world acknowledges you and starts to have faith in you. If you see anybody alternate how they appear and act all the time, you won’t experience like you be aware of who they are, and you truly wouldn’t trust them.
Imagine a co-worker who usually wears a dress shirt tucked into slacks, with his hair reduce neatly short. Now imagine if that same individual walked into work one day unshaven, sporting cutoff jeans and carrying a new tattoo of a tiger riding a bike through flames. It’d likely sense uncomfortable due to the fact it’s now not what you’re used to. You would possibly even test in with him to make positive everything was okay.
The identical logic applies to brands: inconsistency will confuse and alienate your customers. A style guide is vital because it helps your business talk in a steady way throughout all teams and channels.
How to create a brand style guide in 5 steps
Step 1: Collect manufacturer guide inspiration
You’ve heard the saying that a photo is worth a thousand words, right? Prep for your brand style guide by using saving reference factors that feel on-brand. For MakeMaya Designs’ rebranding process, each group created a Pinterest board to exhibit the core values intended to them. This is a gorgeous exercise that gets a couple of people at a company involved and helps to create buy-in.
- What’s labored for your manufacturer in the past? Collect examples of profitable ads, emails, mailers, etc.
- What do different brands do that you like?
- What questions come up repeatedly? Keep track of routine feedback. If your word you’re giving an equal note to your writers and designers, it may be something beneficial to add to your fashion guide.
These will give you concrete examples to define the look and sense of your brand.
Step 2: Define the 6 essential company guide elements
Once you’ve gathered your inspiration, it’s time to begin working with a designer to begin placing it all together. Choose a designer who communicates nicely and makes you feel comfortable. The brand graph is a manner of discovery, and your designer will be your partner in that process. She may additionally have thoughts or offer enter that you hadn’t considered.
There are six imperative factors that need to go in each brand fashion guide. These ought to be the first matters you prioritize with your designer. Some of this can also already be created (like your logo). But for others, you’ll favor going returned to your proposal boards. A designer will help you take those moods, feelings, and snapshots and flip them into tangible company elements.
Element 1: Brand story
Introduce your brand to the world. An easy summary will give people perception into the coronary heart and soul of your company, which will help them apprehend how to symbolize your brand.
Element 2: Logo guidelines
You may additionally recognize what color your emblem has to be, but do you be aware of how it’s going to look in special environments? This section of your brand fashion guide ensures your emblem is used in the way you intended. It also prevents mistakes—like stretching, altering, condensing or re-aligning—that ought to ship the wrong message.
Include all accredited variations of your logo, describe when to use everyone, and exhibit visual examples to make it certainly clear.
- Size: List minimal dimension and appropriate proportions.
- Space: If a brand requires a sure amount of white area around it, provide clear instructions.
- Colors: Show variants (reversed, in color, black and white) and when to use them.
Don’ts: It can be simply as essential to exhibit how you don’t want your logo to be used.
Need a reference point?
Element 3: Brand coloration palette
Speaking of colors, defining a brand palette will go a long way towards creating a constant appear and feel. Most manufacturers select 4 or fewer principal colorations and don’t stray too away from the shades of their logo.
It’s a true concept to choose one light shade for backgrounds, a darker coloration for text, an impartial hue and additionally one that pops. Heineken follows this rule of thumb to a tee.
In your fashion guide, exhibit swatches of your company colors. Make positive to encompass the information needed to reproduce those colors accurately, anywhere your brand message goes.
- Color match: PANTONE title and number
- Print color: CMYK
- Digital color: RGB and HEX codes
Here is some accessible online equipment to help you pick a coloration scheme or convert digital color into other values.
Element 4: Typography and font guidelines
Another massive phase of identification format is font selection. Your brand needs will dictate whether one typeface family will meet all your wishes or if you want to define more than one manufacturer’s fonts. An excellent rule of thumb is to use a one of a kind font than the one in your logo, due to the fact the distinction will help it stand out. A professional designer can guide you through this process.
No count number how simple or complicated your typography scheme is, make positive it’s used in all the right methods by way of explaining the choice and giving clear instructions for use.
Introduction: Tell the story of the typefaces are you using, how it relates to your brand, and what everyone is used for (headlines, physique text, captions, etc.).
Alignment: Make it clear if you prefer a copy to continually align right, left, or centered.
Spacing: Include tracking and kerning ratios to maintain a steady fashion when font size changes.
Element 5: Image guidelines
When it’s your company, you have an herbal instinct for which pictures and illustrations are proper for your brand. The imagery area in your style information will steer anybody else in the right path except including extra approval to-dos for you.
You can approach this in a few one of a kind ways. You may even use some of the proposal points you gathered to prep for your style guide!
Best practice: Show examples of photographs that have performed well for your brand. Make certain you tackle the important methods that your company communicates, whether or not it’s a print catalog or an Instagram account.
Aspirational: If you don’t have all the examples you favor for your brand, find what feels right from higher brands. This will nonetheless provide your crew a sense of fashion to align to, plus it never hurts to intention high!
Mood board: Collect images that bring the feeling that you desire human beings to get when they have interaction with your brand.
Element 6: Brand voice
Writing style doesn’t always bounce to an idea when wondering about company identity, but company voice strongly affects how your target market feels about you.
Just like with imagery, you can method this in a few different ways.
Best practice: If you have messaging that works nicely for you, show those examples here.
Build on personality: Remember that list of 3-5 adjectives that describe your brand personality? Use that to describe the type of language that is on-brand.
Do’s and don’ts: Sometimes, easy is best. Pick phrases you like and phrases you don’t, in reality, reveal what your company voice is.
Step 3: Make a listing of other brand collateral your information have to cover
While nearly every organization is going to want to encompass the six vital factors in a brand fashion guide, some will need to go deeper.
Is your company specifically digital? You probably want to codify how you graph photos on your website.
Do you sell bodily products? Perhaps you want packaging suggestions that provide an explanation for when to use the product identity and when to use the employer name.
Are you focusing on social media marketing? Then you would possibly want some tips on the types of imagery you use in your posts.
Step 4: Make an outline for your guide
Take your 6 quintessential elements, mix them with any business-specific wants and wants, and construct yourself an outline! This will assist determine the shape of our guide
- Brand story
- Color palette
Once you have your outline, figure out if you want your information to stay as a digital PDF, be reachable online, be printed, etc. You and your fashion designer need to join on any specs (landscape vs. portrait layout, page size, etc.). Then you’re ready to go!
Remember this will be a working document. You’ll want to make certain that crucial data is easy to discover (perhaps by a table of contents?) and very clear.
Step 5: Plan for the evolution of your brand
our manufacturer style information is a living, respiratory document. You will end up studying what works as you use it, and you can constantly add to it or alter the information. The most vital element is to set a strong basis by developing one.
But you’ll also prefer to revisit it periodically.
Designate one place to preserve thoughts as they come up (new decisions made, new examples you like, etc.), so you can without problems discover them when it’s time to review. Then calendar time to evaluate and revisit and refresh your fashion guide. You can do this one month, a quarter, or a yr after finalizing the guidelines.
You’re ready to create a company fashion guide!
Your agency is more than just the products or offerings you sell. A strong brand tells the world why they ought to pick you over all the other picks on the market. A manufacturer fashion guide tells your crew how to stay actual to that brand.
While some fashion guides are as thick as a novel, others are a simple one-page reference. It all relies upon on your business needs. The necessary aspect is that it lists all your basic brand elements and can act as the singular factor of reference for any future diagram project.