A brand style guide helps ensure your brand is consistently represented across all forms of media so your consumers can better identify your services or product. Think of it as an instruction manual on how people should use a company’s branding materials. How to create a brand style guide that clearly communicates a combination of brand values and visual/creative preferences is entirely up to you. But the branding pros at Clearbridge Branding Agency have a few tips for you to consider.
Here’s how to create a brand style guide that works for you and your business.
How to Create a Brand Style Guide for Your Small Business
The format of your guide can range from a book or brochure to a screen or interactive PDF. Different templates pose their benefits and limitations, so pick one that will best suit your needs. An interactive PDF, for example, is accessible, cheap, and saves paper. Physical copies of your brand style guide can be given to employees for review and more easily discussed in meetings on maintaining your brand’s image.
Position Statement and Voice
Who are you? Clearbridge recommends that your brand style guide should explicitly answer what your company does and what it stands for right away. The first or second page should let the reader know your company’s position compared to your competitors in the industry. You must also include your brand values and, if relevant, the organization’s history and growth. Aside from the position statement, your brand style guide must also have a consistent tone established in the first page. If you are going for a formal style guide, carefully consider the words and phrases used to convey this. Be ready to adopt the tone throughout the guide to avoid ambiguity with your target audience.
Oftentimes, visual elements, such as the company’s logo, are the most critical elements of a business. Visual inconsistencies deemed noticeable by your customers might make them mistrust and lose interest in your organization, says Clearbridge Branding. Therefore, your brand style guide should dedicate a substantial portion of the manual discussing visual identity.
Visual identity covers logo specifications and applications. You can also include the appropriate locations to place your logo when dealing with different types of media. Aside from the logo, your branding guidelines should also state the primary and secondary colors in the approved palette and the typography, such as font faces, weights, and sizes. This section can even go in-depth regarding when to use photography and illustration styles. Take this opportunity to address broad concerns such as your image and aesthetic preferences you want to associate with your brand.
Some companies can add all the details of the visual identity on one page, while others take up more than two pages for all the information. Remember, the more information you provide to your content designers and partners, the less likely they will use your visual styles in ways you did not intend.
Don’t feel pressured to create a brand style guide on your own. Clearbridge Branding Agency is full service marketing, digital,and branding agency who can show you a variety of options that are fit for what you are looking for. Contact them today for more information on how to get a jumpstart in developing branding guidelines for future content creation.