Last updated on July 23, 2018.
The Must Have Style Guide Every Brand Needs
The importance of a comprehensive style guide is never said enough. A comprehensive style guide makes it very simple for your stakeholders to use it for various marketing materials. The brand style guide of every company is basically a set of elements, rules, and considering that it should put in place to create a consistent presence across several channels.
In this article, I am going to talk about the must-have style guide for every brand.
Your brand story:
A brand story consists of a clear overview of the values, personality as well as the vision of your organization. Having a strong brand story in place helps you to centrify your message as well as core beliefs across various channels. While creating a brand story for you, imagine it as a foundation of all of the growth strategies along with visual symbols you’ll be using.
Your brand’s color scheme:
This aspect is very important. When deciding on the color palette for your brand, provide a clear description of the primary as well as secondary color tones. Mainly brand settles with 2-4 primary colors, complimenting them with around 8-12 secondary colors. In some cases, brands include extended color palette too in order to provide additional tonal options. With secondary colors, you can go with the simple variations of primary colors. In this section usually come neutral colors such as gray, white, black hue, etc. To match colors on print, web and screen colors, you can look for RGB, CMYK and HEX codes to find a tool that can do the work for you.
Your brand’s typography scheme:
Usually, companies settle with one main typeface to use in all other marketing materials. This main typeface is actually the extended font family consisted of different styles and weights. When creating a brand style guide, consider how this typeface can be applied to headers, subtitles, captions and body content. Make sure to try this typeface across various channels. Also, keep an alternative typeface in case this one is not available.
Your brand logo:
While creating logo for your business, simplicity, and clarity are two must have factors that will help while logo placement too. Ensure that instructions related to brand usage are clear and easy to understand for every reader.
In this instructions section, you can explain details of the various logo versions like horizontal/vertical, black/white, with/without the tagline, etc. You can also share here web-ready versions of your logo like thumbnail, icon, etc.
Your brand layout:
In your brand style guide, you must explain how the creators should handle logo white space as well as placement. Also state, how text must be laid out with the help of print and web grids. Having a solid web grid system in place will help you to centralize your online presence especially when there are multiple developers involved in several marketing materials.
Your brand’s audience:
The buyer persona is one thing you will need at every step of your business. Buyer persona basically answers following questions
- What is the gender of your major audience and their age?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- Is your business any location specific?
- What’s the lifestyle of your audience?
Defining your audience in the early stage of your business will definitely help you get through. Connect with your audience at multiple channels to understand what are they expecting from you. Connecting with them will bring you a special position in the market. Finally, the purpose of creating branding guidelines is to represent a message for those who need it most, but without buyer persona, their needs won’t be identified.
Your brand’s tone
While you are busy designing other branding elements, have you thought about the tone or language you are planning to use while addressing your audience? Are there any specific words or vocabulary that you want to be used or should your brand use a regular tone? These are some of the questions that will help you create a platform for marketing materials, user experience, and various other touchpoints.
Your brand’s supporting graphics
In this section, you discuss things like which kind of photography, backgrounds, iconography, and patterns you will be using or what role they will be playing in your visual identity? Are there any specific images that best represent your brand’s vision? Or how will complementary textures convey your message?
Dear friends, now you might be wondering how you are going to fit all these ingredients into your recipe book? Well, worry not! There are many online tools available out there that can help you create a brand recipe for you.
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