Style Guides – the brand rulebook for your business.

Branding | Opinion

November 16th, 2012

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A Style Guide is an important document for a business that regularly has a variety of marketing items produced. It lays down the ‘rules’ for how your brand should be represented.

Why have a Style Guide?

A Style Guide or Brand Guidelines help anyone using your brand to understand how it should be represented, so that brand integrity is retained, and consistency across a huge range of possible marketing items is maintained.

Who uses a Style Guide?

– all staff who are involved in producing publications or promotional items for your business
– external suppliers: designers, signage companies, web developers, marketing consultants

What is included in a Style Guide?

Style Guides can be very simple, or very detailed depending on the size and individual needs of your company. It may be a very simple document simply setting down how the logo should look, what the corporate colours are, and what the preferred corporate font is.
A larger detailed Style Guide, or Brand Guidelines, might carry right through to set out the rules for the kind of language that should be used in copywriting, the kind of imagery that portrays the right message, even complete layouts for stationery, brochures, vehicles & uniforms.

A simple guide would include:

– your logo: what it looks like with and without any secondary graphics or taglines, what the minimum size for the logo is, and often, examples of how it should NOT appear (eg stretched, rotated, reversed etc)
– your corporate colours: specific Pantone colours, along with CMYK and RGB breakdowns, and how the logo should look if produced in black & white.
– preferred font for written communications. Often a speciality font will be purchased for a company for specific marketing documents, however a more generic readily available font option may be specified for more administrative documents.

Consistency in use of your logo and application of your brand is very important, and a Style Guide is the key to ensuring conformity.