Brand Style Guide – Why You Need One and What They Consist Of

Why Brands Need a Style Guide

*This Brand Style Guide is a brief outline and if you would like more help with this, please feel free to contact me and I will guide you through it 🙂

Brand defines what the organisation is, who it is for and what it does. All of this is encapsulated in the brand.

There should be a strong link between brand and the organisations purpose as defined by whom they serve.

What is a style guide?

It is a set of rules or standards that define your company’s brand image. It includes logo, colours, typography, language, tone, photography.

Why do Brands need a Styleguide?

  1. Brand needs to be communicated in a cohesive way so that the target market isn’t confused.
  2. It also allows for instant recognition, even in the absence of all the cues. For example, even if the label has been removed, a Coke bottle is still readily identified as a Coca Cola product.
  3. It builds trust with your market. They can expect and rely upon consistency in your communications.
  4. It makes the content more enjoyable for the audience because it doesn’t ‘jar’ or not feel right—like something is off.
  5. Brand recognition, via consistency, is a key factor in a consumer’s decision to purchase.
  6. Branding efforts can fail without a style guide. The message may be lost as the audience fails to recognise it as coming from the organisation.
  7. Staff or media outlets know how to treat the brand, the rules, and how they should be applied.
  8. Increased awareness and brand recognition – the more touchpoints a consumer has with a brand, increased through consistent marketing efforts, the more brand awareness
  9. Authenticity is enhanced through consistency. Authenticity builds trust.
  10. A cohesive brand, created with the target market in mind will increase the likelihood that messages resonate with this audience.
  11. Communicates the organisations values – tells partners and other stakeholders how to treat your brand
  12. Increased efficacy and efficiency with producing marketing material, saves time trying to figure out design

Questions an Organisation Must Ask Themselves:

  1. What is your purpose?
  2. What are your values?
  3. Who is your Target Market (existing, but also if you believe there is an audience you don’t already serve, but to whom you could provide value) – be specific here, give them a name, a persona, describe them and what they do in detail?
  4. What do they need from you – make sure that this isn’t what you think they need?
  5. What does your brand need to communicate about your offering to your Target Market?

Components of a Style Guide:

Logo

  1. Primary Logo
  2. Secondary Mark/Symbol
  3. Size and Spacing
  4. Colours
  5. Where and when the logo should and shouldn’t be used

Brand Colours

  1. Primary Brand Colours
  2. Extended Colour Palette
  3. Colour Ratios

Typography

  1. Primary Font
  2. Secondary Fonts
  3. Type Scales
  4. Web Fonts
  5. Typography Principles
  6. Formatiing – eg, bullets, numbers, lists, hyphens, quotes

Photography

  1. Mood
  2. Composition
  3. Colour
  4. Lighting
  5.  

A mood board can be used to visually convey brand image

Icons

  1. Data visualisation, eg graphs, tables, diagrams

Voice

  1. Consider your audience
  2. Voice and tone – give examples and describe
  3. Headlines
  4. Grammar
  5. Sentence style
  6. Abbreviations

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