Having a brand style guide is a necessity to ensure that there is consistency when it comes to design as it relates to your blog or brand. I see a lot of brands that have no cohesiveness throughout their business. Having a brand style guide is important so your message is clear to your audience.
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What Is A Brand Style Guide?
A brand style guide provides you with the brand identity marks and elements that define your business. Having this style guide indicates how these items should be used on your site, marketing products, packaging, etc.
You may find a style guide as simple as what the logo, sub marks, patterns, and typography are for your blog or business. However, there are brand style guides that go into intricate details including when to use certain logo marks, how photos should feel, and even how to write copy.
Typically, a larger company may find it useful to have a booklet in PDF format to send to their freelancers and vendors to ensure proper use of their brand. You may be used to seeing one-page brand style guides when skimming through Pinterest.
Why Do You Need a Brand Style Guide?
Having a brand style guide for your blog or business, even if you’re a one-woman show, can be beneficial. It makes it easier to stay consistent when designing items like your Pinterest graphics, or other marketing designs.
Should you hire someone to create something for you down the road, like a graphic designer for your first e-book, they have clear direction on how to incorporate your brand. Starting off right from the beginning saves you from any problems you may face down the road.
There should be no question that what you or your designers create is representative of your brand.There should be no question that what you or your designers create is representative of your brand.Click To Tweet
What Goes Into a Brand Style Guide
I’m going to keep the examples of a good style guide simple for the purpose of this blog post. I could get crazy detailed, but my audience is made up of solopreneurs and bloggers. It makes sense to keep it minimal and not feel overwhelming at this point.
Your brand style guide should include:
- The main logo
- Any logo sub-marks or variations
- Fonts to be used
- Color palette with hex codes
Additional items to include:
- Pattern designs
- Elements or Icons
- Social media buttons
The Anatomy of A Brand Style Guide
Having a style guide is necessary for consistent visuals and for marketing your blog or business. Brand recognition is vital to building your audience and your business. Using a brand style guide helps make it fool-proof.
Below is an example style guide board using Adobe Illustrator (Need help with clipping masks in Illustrator? Follow this tutorial). You can download this template below by entering your email. I recommend printing yours and having it next to your computer for easy reference.
You can update your brand style guide as needed. I’ve done this many times when I find that a different typeface works better for my brand. Just remember that your brand style guide is important for keeping your message and visuals consistent. Look professional and make it easy for others to work with you.