When it comes to branding, it’s all about coming up with a specific style and keeping it consistent. This might seem simple if you’re a small operation. As your business grows, though, you may bring in a variety of people to do designs, websites, copywriting, and more.
This is where consistency becomes a challenge.
The key to maintaining your brand is a style guide that each of these professionals uses. If you’re taking on this vital project, here are some tips about how to create a style guide.
How to Create a Style Guide
To protect your brand while you expand your team, your style guide should be a comprehensive description of your brand. Here are the key steps to help you get started:
Explain Your Brand
Always start with a detailed description of your brand. It can help to pretend your business is a person and describe him/her. This helps your design crew recognize the big picture.
Dictate How Your Logo Can Be Used
An great logo design is a vital part of brand-building. After you have your logo, though, you need to dictate how it should be used.
Provide the dimensions your logo should have, like sizing ratios (so it doesn’t get stretched) and minimum sizes. If your logo includes a trademark symbol, specify where it should be included.
It’s also essential to provide the acceptable color variations. You may have one in your company’s color scheme, but offer a grayscale option and other color variations.
Lay Out Your Colors
Another key to branding is having a detailed color scheme. If you don’t already have one, an interactive color wheel can help you find great combinations.
When you have your colors, include them in your style guide. Be sure to list the Pantone, CMYK, RGB, and HEX codes for each color.
List Acceptable Fonts
Consistent fonts go a long way toward keeping your brand identifiable. This is why it helps to identify the specific fonts you want your design team to use.
You may want to offer guidelines for how each font can be used. For instance, some fonts should only be used for headlines or select fonts shouldn’t be used for acronyms.
Set Photography Guidelines
Chances are that your team will be taking some of their own pictures for social media. This could include professional photography for your branding as your business grows.
Outline the types of photos that are and are not consistent with your brand. This is also a good place to remind your staff and contractors about how to use images legally online.
Define Your Writing Voice
Branding goes beyond the visual elements to include your written voice as well. Outline the brands’ voice in your professional copywriting guide.
It can help to offer a list of phrases that align with your brand and descriptions of your services. You can also include writing samples that portray your voice well.
Building Your Style Guide
If you’re not sure how to create a style guide, the tips above are a great way to get started. This is not a comprehensive list, though, so feel free to get as detailed as you want to be.
If you’re ready to put your brand to work on your website, contact our web design experts today!