Brand Style Guide and Get Better with Your Business
Smart brands stand out. the neatest brands realize that so as to differentiate themselves from their competitors, they’ll got to form a well-constructed brand identity – a process that goes way beyond creating an honest logo. Your brand’s identity is more of a philosophy than a picture . it’s what brings your business to life, reflecting its mission and setting you apart within the market.
In order to work out and maintain a uniform identity throughout all aspects of their brand, many business owners will address a brand style guide. a method guide is an incredibly valuable asset for brands at any stage of their development, and if you’re able to dominate the marketplace, it’s an honest idea to start out creating one.
In this article, we’re getting to shed light on exactly what a brand style guide is, why it’s such a strong tool, and the way to make one which will evolve together with your business because it grows and develops.
How to create a brand style guide
- Define your brand identity
- Research your competitors
- Include all the essential elements
- Make an inventory of collateral
- Plan for brand evolution
What is a brand style guide?
A good brand style guide acts as an encyclopedia for your brand identity. it’ll define each element of your brand’s character, covering everything from its mission statement and use of language to distinct color schemes and imagery.
Constructing a system of rules which will outline your brand’s aesthetic standards and therefore the voice behind them, the simplest style guide examples will pinpoint the attributes of your brand identity design and convey them to life.
Why are brand style guides important?
A consistent brand identity is significant for the expansion and success of your business. Once you’ve built a brand that’s a singular entity, your style guide will define exactly how its message should be reflected so as to make sure current and potential customers continuously recognize it across all its individual assets.
A complete and detailed style guide will forever dictate your brand’s presence to employees, partners and stakeholders. this is often critical, especially when delivering writing or design projects, or distributing your products to 3rd party sellers. Your associates can always ask your brand style guide to know the elemental details of your business’s mission and appearance.
How to create a brand style guide
There’s nothing like taking all the brilliant ideas you’ve come up with for your brand, understanding what matters most and putting them in one concrete place. Creating a brand style guide will entail some brainstorming and strategic thinking, but once you’re done, you’ll have an aesthetic bible for your business that you’ll always be ready to modify and refer back to.
01. Define your brand identity
What is your brand’s identity? Before you create a brand style guide, take the time to flesh out the personality of your brand. You’ll start by defining your brand’s goals, values, mission and target market – its reason . From here, define how these details are going to be expressed by the design , voice and behavior of your brand. Is your brand empowering and uplifting? Or friendly and informative? Perhaps it’s ambitious and professional? Whatever your personality, each element of your design should reflect your brand’s character.
02. Research your competitors
Check out what others in your field do with a touch of marketing research – who wore their brand identity better? note of what you wish and don’t like, and use this as inspiration for your own brand style guide. this sort of research are often a way to rule out what isn’t working or to require note of what’s already been done. Since your goal is to face out, you don’t want to use aesthetic combinations which may lead your brand to be confused with others.
03. Include all the essential elements
Each brand’s style guide is exclusive , and can differ intimately and execution. One common goal to stay in mind is to form sure your style guide is cohesive, easy-to-apply, and includes the subsequent tangible components:
- Color palette
- Iconography & photography
- Grid system
- Tone of voice
04. Make an inventory of collateral
Think about your collateral goals and the way your brand style guide will address them. Will your advertising materials be printed, digital or both? If you’re selling or distributing products – whether at a physical location or using your online store – you’ll want to think about having a neighborhood dedicated to product branding and packaging. If you’ve got a robust specialise in social media marketing or blogging, you’ll want to stress your brand’s copy and tone of voice.
05. Plan for brand evolution
Some of the simplest brands are remembered for his or her eloquent evolution. Your brand style guide may be a living, breathing document that you’ll revisit as your business grows. Lay down a solid foundation in order that the continued development of your brand’s identity are going to be easy to use . Pro tip: designate an area to stay new ideas as they are available up so you’ll find them when it’s time to review.
- Men and ladies working around a table with computers, paper, and pencils.Men and ladies working around a table with computers, paper, and pencils.
- What to incorporate in your brand style guide
- Now that you simply understand what a brand style guide is, let’s re-evaluate in additional detail the essential elements that ought to be included in yours:
Introduction: Your brand’s mission
We recommend that you simply begin your brand style guide with a transparent and concise introduction. Tell the conceptual story of your brand by including a version of your mission statement with an summary of what your brand seems like and why. this may help employees and stakeholders understand your brand and develop a reference to it. you’ll also explain the importance of your brand style guide during this section.
Your logo design is that the signature of your brand and you’ll want to present it at the beginning of your style guide. additionally to showing it off, this section should highlight any of its variations and include all the specifications for using your logo in design – like the spacing around it, size rules, file formats, etc.
Typography can set the mood for your words and provides off a variety of vibes, because of the myriad fonts, styles and sizes that are available in our day and age. Your brand’s typography choices are going to be a subtle, yet distinct aspect of how your message is interpreted by customers.
In this section of your style guide, you ought to note the first and secondary fonts your business will use, the hierarchy of fonts (sizes, heading, etc.), and various weights and designs . Designers and vendors will ask this section frequently.
Choosing the right color palette to represent your brand is fun business. It’s also crucial to maintaining consistency. Some businesses even go thus far on trademark colors of their own (think of Tiffany’s unmistakable Robin Egg Blue – synonymous with class and class , or Post-It’s famous canary , trademarked by 3M).
Color can deliver strong feelings to customers, and one brand may need 5-10 colors that reflect their spirit. during this section, you’ll include the brand colors that structure your palette. Remember to incorporate some neutral colors among the more distinct shades that you simply want customers to attach together with your brand. additionally , define which colors, hues, and tones are going to be used for precise facets of your branding, like text, buttons, illustrations, etc.
Iconography & photography
Advertising, websites, blog posts and other material for your business would require the utilization of iconography and photography. Whether these are borrowed from the web or customized for your brand, these images are a part of the sensory system that carries your message to targeted audiences, and will remain according to your identity.
In this section, identify the qualities your brand’s imagery should include and the way your visual assets should look and feel (bright, natural, vintage, etc.). you would possibly even create custom illustrations for your brand – during which case you’ll also define your illustration style.
Defining the thanks to structure your content are some things that ought to not be overlooked during a brand style guide. A grid system will lay out the architecture of your brand’s visual components, ensuring all of your materials look neat and well balanced. this technique can outline measurements for margins, spacing and columns – details that are especially important for guiding the layout of printed material assets like business cards and company letterheads, also as your website design.
Tone of voice
Who is chatting with your audience? Establish your brand as a singular personality by developing a prolific voice. Like other aspects of your brand’s identity, a tone of voice should be strong and consistent so as to be impactful. inspect this story of how “Website BUILD and DESIGN” developed a uniform voice for inspiration.
This element of your brand style guide will help writers adopt the proper language when crafting any quite copy for your brand, from advertisements to blog posts. By exhibiting a uniform tone, audiences will get to understand the character of your brand, and can learn to acknowledge and trust you.
The branding for Spotify is straightforward and modern. In their brand style guide, they note that the first Spotify logo is portrayed during a memorable green color, and can sometimes be combined with a wordmark. Additionally, they specify that their logo are often utilized in black or white, and which background colors are suitable for every variation.
Starbucks’ brand style guide gives a high-level overview of how the brand first came to life and the way it’s since evolved. The beloved coffee brand introduces the fresh design system they need created, which reflects the range of their customers’ experience while maintaining the core elements of their brand.
Netflix lays out their primary logo in signature red on top of a black background. Their brand style guide explains that this layout reflects a premium cinematic feel, which the logo’s arc represents the arc of a vintage CinemaScope. As you’ll see, the long-lasting logo also can appear in white – although they specify that this is often on only a few occasions, like during this video watermark.
LinkedIn’s branding premise is that it should be accessible and inclusive to all or any audiences. the design guide explains how the brand has changed over the last 16 years to speak better with its community and adapt a more modern style. It outlines the brand’s logo, illustration, typography and colours , which aim to convey LinkedIn’s warm community.
Presenting a transparent and efficient style guide that has the core elements of its brand identity design, Uber describes its assets as bold, flexible and localized. Although Uber’s grown in its lifetime, the corporate maintains a uniform presence that’s recognizable and dependable.