A business setup, irrespective of how big or small it is, can run successfully only when it follows a strictly professional routine for all internal and external operations.
A brand style guide is an essential tool that helps in establishing a unique brand identity for your business by communicating a consistent message to all the stakeholders.
In simple terms, a brand style guide is a way for a business to lay down a set of rules, or guidelines, as to how they want the company to be presented to the world.
The brand style guidelines can vary from industry to industry; however, the components remain the same in the form of their structuring.
Brand guidelines can contain sections on:
And, this is where the importance of a brand style guide is marked with graphic designs.
Today, in this article, we are going to discuss the reasons why your business needs a well-developed brand style guide and how can you create one.
Every business, irrespective of how new or old they are in the market, wants to make a name for itself.
A brand style guide is a very effective tool to ensure a business is able to achieve consistency which, eventually, helps in establishing a unique brand identity.
When, as a small business, you have clarity on how your visual, as well as textual, communication should look and sound like, it becomes easier to make a connection with the right set of the target audience.
Your target audience is highly likely to be found on several different online platforms; and not just one of them.
Now, imagine, they saw one of your brand ads on Facebook and a similar one on LinkedIn but, both the ads were different in the form of designing.
Or, let’s say you run a SaaS firm that is supposed to carry a technical tone of voice in its messages but, one of your social media posts turned out to be jovial.
Such, discrepancies in messaging and communication can harm your brand’s reputation by reflecting an unprofessional approach.
And, therefore, a strict brand style guide is important.
This could arguably be considered as the most important reason why your business needs a strict brand style guide.
It is your brand’s consistency in communication with the target audience as well as the internal stakeholders (and the industry overall) that helps make your business easily recognizable.
Building a recognizable brand can take a lot of time, but your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines.
Typically, the brand style guidelines are composed of rules on how to apply a brand’s visual elements. These rules, generally, include factors such as;
-When, where, and how to use your logo design (and of what type*)
-What should be the visual hierarchy (of color, graphics, and typography).
- What will be the optimization of print design will look like (for business card designs, brochure designs, etc.)
*Check out these 10 different types of logos and how to use them
As the business owner, you may know your brand’s identity inside and out but, the designer to whom you may have outsourced graphic design services may not.
A brand style guide will work as a helpful tool that you can share with the designers to keep your brand cohesive.
So, now that we have got a fair share of ideas about why a business needs a well-made brand style guide, let’s take a look at how you can make one.
Broadly speaking, a professional brand style guide is made up of 6 basic elements.
- A brand story
- Logo design guideline
- Color palette
- Typography structure
- Image guideline
- Brand voice
First, and foremost, begin your design style guide with a simple, yet impressive, brand story. You don’t want to overcomplicate your brand story just to make it look fancy and glittery.
Stick to your brand’s value propositions. The mission, vision, and core values of your business will constitute the headlining brand story for your business.
Logo design guidelines
We all know the importance of a logo design for a business. Being the face of your brand in the market, it is important that you outline a proper guideline for your logo design.
Your logo should be instantly recognizable irrespective of its placement and usage.
The psychology behind colors is an interesting aspect to consider when structuring the brand guidelines. The colors that you are including must reflect the mood and essence of your brand and, must relate with your target audience.
A good way to make it easy for the designers to understand your core brand colors is by adding the hex codes along with the RGB and CMYK values in the brand style guide.
The font style is another very important aspect of your brand’s visual communication assets. You should clearly specify the style, size, and weight of the typeface you want to use for your brand graphics in the style guide.
Your brand style guide must mention the kind of images you want in your designs. Be it your website designs (UI/UX design), Label designs, Brochure designs, or any other business designs; provide clear instructions for style, concept, and composition.
Just like the color palette, you need to pick a suitable brand voice to connect with the right set of audience.
For example, if your business offers products/services for kids and teenagers, you cannot use a brand voice that is mature and complicated. Similarly, for a target audience of young adults, you cannot come across as an outdated brand.
It can easily be concluded from the above discussion that the core value of a brand style guide is to provide consistency to the brand. And, who doesn’t aim for consistency?!
If you want to ensure a unique brand identity for your business, it is important that you have a well-structured brand style guideline to refer to whenever required.
If you are not sure how to go about creating or managing a brand style guide, we can help you by taking the load off.
Simply send us an email at email@example.com and tell us your design requirements. One of our design experts will be there to help you with your visual communication and brand style guide.