A brand style guide is a document that outlines all the elements of your brand and how to use them. Say you order flat-pack furniture and need to build it yourself. It’s no use to have all the pieces if you don’t have the instruction manual for assembling them. Now you might ask, what are all the pieces of a brand?
Many small businesses have their logos and consider that branding. However as we explained in this post, a logo represents only one part of a brand identity. Think of your brand like a uniform made up of a tailored suit. First, your logo might represent the jacket. Now, you’d look quite silly only wearing a jacket around. To make an outfit, you need other pieces that complement the jacket. In a brand identity, this could include:
- Jacket: logo. Sometimes you might want to wear a different style or a lighter jacket, so you might have a few different versions of this.
- Shirt: brand colours
- Pants: brand fonts
These would be your basics to make up an outfit. In addition, to make a more signature look, you might add pieces like:
- Shoes: brand patterns
- Tie: a set of icons
- Accessories: photography style
Imagine if all of those pieces were tailored to fit your taste and the occasion you were dressing for. That’s the type of work we do in creating custom brand identities! You can learn a bit more about our services here.
Now that you know the various pieces of a brand, you can understand why a style guide might be handy to have, particularly if you are dealing with a larger team with multiple people handling your brand materials. If you think of our uniform analogy, people would expect you to wear the same items everyday, for every occasion. If you had on different pants that didn’t match or weren’t part of the uniform, people would not know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to include all the pieces in the style guide so your team can follow the set of guidelines and keep your brand cohesive at all times.
You can create your own style guide by choosing a set of brand colours and fonts that would accompany your style guide. Write these out so that on anything you create for your brand (brochures, info sheets, website, social media graphics) follow these elements and all form part of your cohesive brand identity.