Why is a style guide important?
A style guide documents your brand styling and ensures everything is kept consistent throughout your marketing collateral. They are even more important these days as they not only need to include your printing guidelines, but also your branding across all digital and social media platforms. Basically it helps ensure a continuous brand experience across all touch-points. So wherever or whenever a customer sees or hears your brand, they are getting the same experience everytime.
Why is brand consistency important?
If your brand isn’t consistent throughout the buyer decision making process, then your customer is probably getting mixed messages and in all honesty, lose trust in your product. A good consistent brand builds trust and also recognition. Keep putting your brand consistently in front of people and they will get to know you and your products!
If you are changing colours, tone or basic styling for everything you do, then how is your customer going to recognise you and trust you?
Visual style guide
Pretty obvious – but the visual style guide is just that, visual! Basically they are used to define how a brand will look and keep everything consistent across all mediums. The main one’s to consider are:
- Logo – different logo variations and how and when they can be used. For example when is the best time to use your logo reversed, or do you have a stacked version that is used on stationery only? Another aspect that is normally included is how much space is needed around the logo and the minimum size it can be used.
- Fonts – these include not only the fonts used in your logo, but if you have corporate fonts that you use across your marketing collateral. It should go into the detail of size limitations, kerning and leading.
- Colour palettes – The colours will include all colours used in your logo, but also any additional colours you use throughout your branding. They should include PMS, CMYK, RGB and HTML breakdowns.
- Images – is there a particular style of images you want to use? Are they photos taken yourself, or stock images? And if so, are they close up or do they include people? You also need to factor in whether filters will be used over your images, or if they are going to be black and white only.
Our Instagram page uses our corporate green colour heavily throughout, so it not only stays consistent, but people get to know the colour and resonate with use when they see it.
Content style guide
The editorial style guide usually contain rules regarding the tone of voice you want your company to portray. Is it playful or professional, spoken in first or third person, is there any abbreviations or words to avoid or include?
It’s important to portray your company’s voice in a way that your customers realise you are real people – it’s a way to personalise your brand, so try not to make it too ‘stiff’.
How do I get a style guide?
When you get your branding designed, your designer/marketer should at least give you a logo style guide as part of the package. However, if your logo was done a while ago with no style guides, we can produce them for you, and include everything from visual to editorial!
Styles guides are vital to any business regardless of size. And even more important if you have several staff members working across your marketing collateral. It keeps everything together and consistent with one focus!
Do you have one? If you would like us to look at your branding, give us a shout!