Most corporations and large businesses really focus on their brand image and how they are portrayed in all mediums. But how do they keep track of all the different ways their brand might be showcased? They create a brand style guide, an all-encompassing guide to what can and cannot be done to their brand logo, what fonts to use and much more. Now let’s walk you through what is a brand style guide? And why you should have one for your business.
A brand style guide is simply a rule book that will walk any designer or production company through the rules of your brand. Most brand style guides will cover the basics. How to display the logo, what colors to use and what fonts are used in the brand overall. A more detailed style guide may go through exact font sizes to use for title and body copy on websites, emails or print materials. It may even specify what imagery to use in certain situations.
Your business’ style guide can be as detailed or simplistic as you think necessary. Every business is different, really focus on what is important to keep your brand integrity.
Most small businesses probably don’t have a brand style guide, and the main reason is because either they designed their own logo or the designer they had create their logo was less experienced. Every logo should come with some form of style guide to let the client know what fonts and colors were used at least.
Consistency is key when it comes to a strong brand presence even if you are just a small business operation. Small businesses can benefit from having this guide when they want to know what fonts to use for a flyer or any other materials. Having a style guide and will make it easier when you need to request new design projects from a designer who has never worked with you or your company before. They will be able to get a sense of the look and feel you are going for so they can match that style on all your new projects.
If you don’t have a brand style guide you run the risk of having a unclear and mismatched bunch of marketing materials. This can cause marketplace confusion if your potential customers can’t make a clear connection between different touch points they’ve seen you. In marketing they say you have to be seen by your potential customers at least 7 times before they remember you and if your brand looks different everywhere it’s almost like re-setting that counter every time they see you.
You don’t need to be a designer to create your own brand guidelines. Creating a brand style guide is easy, see the simple example below. You can use any editing software such as Microsoft word or PowerPoint to create a one page rule book for your brand.
Include things such as:
Remember it’s more important to have a brand style guide then to not have any at all. Start simple and add on more as you grow your business. Now that you have a good understanding of how style guides work and how to create one, feel free to fill out the form below to get a FREE Branding Audit!