Liz Grinnell by

Brand Style Guide 101: Creating a Guide in 5 Simple Steps

Econoprint

Let’s start with the basics.

What is the difference between a brand style guide and brand guidelines? And why does your business need one?

There are two different guides your company can use depending on the complexity of your brand strategy – a brand style guide and a brand guide. A brand style guide, which I’ll discuss in a minute, is a one-page document that shows a quick overview of your company’s logo, colors, and fonts, as well as their correct usage. Whereas brand guides are more in-depth explanations that include the company’s brand strategy along with a style guide. Often, you’ll see the two guides talked about interchangeably, but either option will help with brand consistency. The complexity of your brand will determine which type of guide is needed.

Now, you might be thinking that you don’t need a style guide, but I can tell you from experience how helpful it can be when working with a designer or agency. Many times, a brand style guide will suffice for what your business needs, and it’s easy enough to put together on your own.

The Following 5 tips will help create a well-rounded brand style guide for your company or creative team:

 

  1. Brand story – This sets the tone and will include your company’s Vision and/or Mission. Here are some great examples of brand stories from well-known brands.
  2. Company logo(s) – Be sure to include all logo formats, including one that will work on all social channels.
  3. Color palette – This includes colors to be used for print, as well as digital viewing (Pantone, CMYK, and RGB). Want to go more in-depth on the difference between these color types and when to use them? Check out post here.
  4. Typography – Includes a primary font and secondary font that work well together.
  5. Graphic elements – Includes any images or graphics used and shows how they are laid out – especially on different marketing channels.

 

Ready to create your own brand style guide? Download your FREE copy now.

 

Download InDesign template here.

Download Word doc template here.

 

So why does your business need a brand style guide? Two words – brand consistency! You want your audience to recognize your brand no matter where they’re seeing it (i.e., print, social, digital). There’s nothing worse than having inconsistent fonts, colors, or different logo versions. A brand style guide is a clear and quick way to help your team stay consistent, and it’s easy to share with outside designers or agencies.