Brand styleguide: Why your business needs one

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One of the most critical, yet overlooked components of a brand’s identity is a style guide. A style guide is a cross between an instruction guide and the brand bible, outlining all the key information needed to create the collateral your company needs: advertisements, memos, website material, business cards, and anything else that represents your brand. Having all this information in one place will save time and frustration in later collateral needs, as well as protect the consistency and quality of your brand. Guiding the self-presentation of your business in one document makes it easier for both internal employees and external vendors to communicate a cohesive message to your audience.

 
  Courtesy of Nike Pro Services visual identity manual

Courtesy of Nike Pro Services visual identity manual

 

The style guide includes just how to use your logo (and as importantly, how not to). It dictates the size and placement of the logo, and how much space to leave around it. It includes any secondary logos, as well as different orientations you may use (for example, your normally horizontal logo may need to be vertical for a side web banner).

Another key element is color usage. It’s important to stick with the color choices you’ve made for consistency, as well as have the specifications of those colors so you don’t have any surprises when printing out those nice new flyers or business cards.

Font is also addressed, to make sure that any written materials representing your company have the same look and feel, for a more cohesive and professional look.

 
  Courtesy of Barnes & Noble brand guidelines

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble brand guidelines

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Some businesses add their history, values, and vision in their brand guidelines to really round out the full picture of that brand. Tone of voice (or personality) can also be an important component. The tone of messaging for a floral business should be quite different than that of a beer brewery, and those new to your company can need some help determining where you fall on that spectrum.

Here at Beach Lion, every brand mark we create includes a detailed style guide for our clients. We realize you invest countless hours working on your business, so having a document that helps keep your brand’s visuals and messaging consistent across all platforms is an invaluable tool.