A brand style guide is a file that is created that showcases your logos, colors, themes, patterns, typography, photos, graphics and inspiration. Many designers (such as myself) design these for clients to give them an overview of their brand and how it looks as a whole. We then use this as a guide for other designs such as newsletters, web design, business cards, collateral, etc. This helps both the designer and business owner be able to refer back to it and use those aspects with ease of use.
Some people don’t see the point in this and don’t think it is necessary. In what I have seen, those with brand style guides have a more streamlined and cohesive look and feel to their biz. In my defense, this is not the case for every single person with a brand style guide, but I have seen it help tremendously with brand clarity and ease of sharing. Hey, it can’t hurt!
Having a brand style guide not only makes your life easier but those you work with lives easier. You have your brand all set up and you decide you want to hire out a newsletter designer. You send her your brand style guide files which includes your logo, secondary logo, color palette, fonts, textures, icons, photos, inspiration, and social media icons. You have all these files in one place so it is easy to send a long and the designer doesn’t have to redesign anything within your brand. This is also helpful if you have your brand all designed and you want to hire out a website developer. Sending this along to the developer will allow them to understand your brand and be able to focus on those aspects and stick with the theme.
Cohesiveness & Focus
Being able to look at all the aspects of your brand in one place allows you to understand how people see and feel about your brand as a whole. You can even include this on your About page or within your brand story and mission for people to see. It also helps give you a more focused approach to your brand and whenever you design a graphic or do something on social media, you can refer back to the guide to make sure it is aligned with the theme of your brand.
Keep As Inspiration
We all know how important it is to stay motivated and inspired by your brand. When you are feeling a bit uninspired and overwhelmed, take a step back go back to your style guide and remember why you started and let the colors, patterns and typography feed your inspiration. Adding your tagline or mission statement to your guide can also help you remember what your business is truly about and will help you get refocused.
Do you have a brand style guide? How does it help you?