With branding, consistency is key. Establishing a visual brand identity gives your company a voice in the world. That voice should sound (and look) consistent across all media platforms, not only to make your brand easily identifiable, but to also to build up trust between your business and the consumer. The easiest way to keep things visually consistent, especially as your business grows, is having a brand style guide. Listing all of your basic brand elements and acting as the singular point of reference for any future design projects and the designers that might be work on them. Having a style guide can save everyone time, money and frustration.
What’s included in a branding style guide can vary a lot depending on the size of the company. Most small businesses can benefit greatly from just having a simple, visual one-page reference, while larger companies require more robust corporate identity guidelines.
At the most basic level a style guide should include these elements:
Your Logo & Tagline/Slogan
Include all versions of your logo: color, reversed, black and white. Also include any approved alternate logo arrangements such as stacked vs. one line, or a shortened or iconic version used for social media perhaps.
The colors used by a brand should be spelled out with as much detail as possible. That means offering up not only hex codes for web use, but also equivalent CMYK and even Pantone color values for print projects.
Every brand should have a consistent set of fonts being used in all of their marketing materials, online and off. Listing out these fonts, with examples and character sets, is hugely important. This should include the fonts used in your logo, font’s that should be used as header/body copy and any suggested web fonts.
Photos, Textures/Patterns, Icons, and Other Imagery
Here you will want to include any custom textures, patterns or graphic elements that have been designed to be used in association with your brand as backgrounds or highlights through places on your website and/or marketing materials. You could also include any specifics about the style of photos and imagery that you would like associated with your brand. That way if any stock imagery is needed for marketing down the road it will have the same look and feel as the rest of your imagery does. We are happy to give your existing brand a style guide of it’s own or help you with a whole new branding package! Take a look at our work and contact us today!