Style Guide: A Manual for Your Brand
A style guide is a document filled with information about your brand. A simple guide includes logo formats, fonts, and colors used in the logo. More in-depth guides add necessary white space around the logo, a brand mood board, brand voice information, a scaling guide, examples of logo misuse, and so much more.
Why are style guides necessary?
Consistency is imperative for branding.
A style guide provides a manual that answers all questions about the brand. The hope is to eliminate brand misrepresentation. Think about the most well-known brands. I bet you can see their logo, their buildings, and their packaging. What did you notice about these different parts of their brand? They use the same colors, fonts, and design pieces from one location to the other. That is good branding.
Present your brand consistently to achieve brand recognition.
What should be in a style guide?
There are no requirements for style guide content. It is up to the logo designer. Some designers provided a simplified guide that includes the bare minimum, while a more comprehensive guide is an up charge. If you do not see the information that you were hoping for, contact your designer.
We provide a simple guide to our clients that includes the following:
- Primary Logo
A simple representation of the primary logo
- Secondary Logos
Display of any secondary logos
- Fonts Used in the Logo
We will provide you with the font name and a short example of what it looks like in use.
- Logo Color Scheme
This section includes the hex code (web design), CMYK (print), RGB (digital), and Pantone information for each color.
More Style Guide Information may include:
- White Space Around Logo
Require white space refers to the amount of space needed around the logo at all times. Do not crowd the logo with other elements.
- Brand Mood Board
Examples of photo styles and subjects for social media, websites, and so on.
- Brand Voice
Set the tone of your brand. Should your brand content be relaxed, professional, informative, etc.?
- Scaling Guide
This area determines how a logo should change based on the size of the content. Maybe certain parts of the logo are eliminated at a smaller size. Think of an icon versus the complete logo.
- Examples of Logo Misuse
These are examples of what not to do with your logo. Maybe it is never to be used on a light background or shown in all blue.
How to use a style guide?
The most utilized areas will be your font and color information.
Expect to find a font name and location to download it. We often use Google Fonts. They are free to use without attribution. Additionally, they are the leading font library for web design. In some cases, we select a premium font for your logo. We will determine, with your input, the licenses to purchase. If you choose not to invest in a web license or it is unavailable, we will identify a Google Font alternative for the website. As long as it’s not content on your website, use the premium font.
Utilizing the color information will help your business present a single color scheme. Our design will give you four color values. The color information used depends on what type of piece you are creating. The body copy for your website will use the hex code value. Any print media will use the CMYK colors. A graphic meant to stay on-screen (like a social media post) should use RGB. We provide Pantone information, though many clients rarely use it.
A style guide is one of the most important things to have for your brand. The idea is that you can give it to an employee or designer; they have everything needed to create a cohesive piece for your brand. Address any unanswered questions by adding or modifying your guide. Providing as much information as possible will eliminate the chances of brand misuse and brand misrepresentation.
We have created logos for many Midwest brands. Don’t believe us, check out our logo portfolio.
Contact our team with questions or if you are interested in a redesign or scaling your brand. We look forward to working with you.