What is Brand Style Guide?
A brand style guide serves as a crucial tool in maintaining a consistent brand identity across various platforms and products. It acts as a rulebook that outlines the look and feel of your brand, making it easier for your team to create a cohesive brand story. By providing logo guidelines, design elements, and primary brand colors, brand style guides assist marketers, designers, and other professionals in ensuring that your brand is represented accurately and effectively. Additionally, they can be shared internally among partners, media, and agencies to ensure brand consistency.
A Brand Style Guide serves as a guidebook for utilizing your logo, colors, fonts, imagery, voice, and tone. Essentially, it provides the guidelines for effectively communicating your brand by detailing its overall look and feel. Furthermore, it establishes regulations for accurately representing your brand and ensuring consistency across all marketing platforms.
Having a Brand Style Guide ensures that your team and external partners understand how to accurately represent your business through marketing materials. This consistency builds trust with customers and fosters loyalty. The guide outlines the use of your logo, design elements, and brand colors across all physical and digital platforms to promote brand consistency.
Your Brand Style Guide is essential in maintaining consistency across all touchpoints, ensuring that your company's brand and values are accurately reflected. From your logo's size, color, and placement to typography guidelines, visual identity, imagery styling rules, and more, it provides a comprehensive manual for designers and marketers to follow. Additionally, it guides the use of specific elements like buttons or other design elements to ensure a cohesive look and feel.
Why are brand guidelines important?
A few key reasons Brand Guidelines are important to include
Having a brand style guide is crucial in ensuring that all members of your marketing team can effectively communicate and represent your brand. By providing clear guidelines, it helps to establish consistency and build trust with your customers, ultimately leading to long-term customer loyalty.
They also assist in protecting the integrity of your brand, as it ensures that all communications are consistent and accurate
Brand guidelines also ensure that your brand is recognizable and memorable. When customers recognize your brand, they’re more likely to remain loyal to it over time
Brand guidelines also help you stand out from the competition by creating a unique look and feel that sets you apart from others in your industry.
Brand guidelines can also help to build trust with your customers, as they show that you care about the representation and accuracy of your brand.
Elements of a Brand Style Guide
1. Mission Statement
A concise yet powerful way to convey your brand's purpose and values is through a mission statement. This statement should highlight the fundamental values that fuel your business and differentiate you from your competitors.
2. Buyer persona
Creating a buyer persona is crucial in crafting content that speaks directly to your target audience. By gathering demographic information, psychographic traits, goals, and pain points, you can develop a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. This will enable you to create content that resonates with them and ultimately drives conversions.
3. Color Palette
A comprehensive Brand Style Guide must comprise of a color palette that clearly defines the primary, secondary, and accent colors of your brand. This is crucial in maintaining consistency and ensuring that all marketing materials align with your brand vision.
4. Style guide
A style guide for editorials serves as a framework for writing standards that govern grammar, punctuation, content formatting, and tone of voice. It helps to ensure consistency in communication with customers while representing your brand.
Brand typography sets the tone for all visual elements of your brand. It should include rules for fonts, font sizes, and font colors.
6. Brand Story
Brand stories are a powerful way to establish a connection with customers and foster an emotional attachment to your brand. They offer a glimpse into your business's history, values, vision, and mission, providing a comprehensive overview of what your brand represents.
7. Brand Logo
Brand logos are a key part of Brand Style Guides. It should include guidelines for logo usage, including size, placement, and color variations.
Guidelines for imagery usage should be an essential part of any Brand Style Guide. These guidelines must cover the use of stock photography, illustration styles, and other visuals that are utilized in marketing materials.
9. Brand Voice
Brand voice is how you communicate with customers. It should include guidelines on the language and tone used in communications.
How to create a brand style guide
1. Find inspiration
To create a successful Brand Style Guide, it is crucial to seek inspiration from other brands within your industry. Observe the use of colors, typography, imagery, and content that aligns with your brand values. This will aid in the development of an impactful Brand Style Guide that accurately represents your brand.
A comprehensive Brand Style Guide consists of six essential components. These consist of a mission statement, buyer persona, color palette, editorial style guide, typography, and other specific requirements unique to the brand.
2. Elements of a Brand Style Guide
There are six key elements of a Brand Style Guide. These include a mission statement, buyer persona, color palette, editorial style guide, typography, and other brand-specific needs.
3. Other Brand-Specific Needs
To fully capture your business identity, it may be necessary to incorporate supplementary Brand Guidelines into your Brand Style Guide. These may encompass instructions on logo usage, photography protocols, and other Brand Guidelines that enhance the definition of your brand.
4. Outline & Build the Book
Designing a visually appealing Brand Style Guide book that accurately reflects your brand is the next step after outlining the Brand Guidelines. This can be achieved through the use of a design program or an online tool.
Brand Guidelines should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in your Brand. It is important to anticipate future updates and ensure that your Brand Style Guide continues to accurately reflect your Brand's identity as it grows and evolves over time. Remember that your Brand Guidelines are a living document that should be regularly reviewed and revised to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.
Brand Style Guide Examples
Netflix places a strong emphasis on its logo treatment when it comes to public branding. The company's style guide provides clear instructions on how to properly size, space, and position the capitalized typeface alongside a specific color code to create the iconic red brand logo.
The company's logo and "N" icon are widely recognized as iconic symbols of the brand. As a result, the online brand guidelines primarily focus on proper usage of these symbols, with less emphasis on other aspects of the brand. It's important to note that comprehensive brand guidelines aren't always necessary - sometimes, a clear understanding of the basics is all that's needed to maintain consistency and ensure success.
Google Marketing Platform
Google launched the Google Marketing Platform on July 24, 2018, which effectively merged the DoubleClick advertiser products and Google Analytics 360 Suite into a single brand. This move was deemed necessary at times when combining two products into one can yield better results.
The aim of the new brand is to establish a trustworthy and polished image while retaining the friendly approach that Google customers know and appreciate. The brand's visual identity seamlessly merges simplicity with captivating visuals that instantly capture the viewer's interest.
The color scheme, fonts, and illustrations remain consistent throughout, forming a visual language that speaks for itself. Google's Brand Guidelines feature a straightforward yet impactful design that can serve as a model for any Brand Style Guide. The Google Brand Guidelines outline the fundamentals and provide a visually appealing Brand Style Guide that is both accessible and practical to apply.
The Brand Style Guide is a reflection of the agency's core values of exploration, discovery, and collaboration. It provides a comprehensive description of the agency's mission statement and core objectives. The guide also incorporates illustrations and photographs from NASA's history to help users visualize the agency's significance and impact. Additionally, the Brand Style Guide outlines the agency's brand standards, including guidelines for colors, logos, typography, and other important elements.
The guide is comprehensive, spanning over 200 pages and providing in-depth explanations on how to use logos, colors, and supplementary designs. Even NASA's space shuttles adhere to their own set of branding guidelines.
With Audi being a prominent name worldwide, it's not unexpected that the brand is imitated and promoted in numerous locations. The Audi Brand Style Guide offers explicit directions on utilizing the brand assets accurately and consistently, guaranteeing a superior brand experience.
Audi has strict brand guidelines for various aspects such as user interfaces, corporate branding, communication media, corporate sounds, motorsports, dealer facilities, and motion pictures. Furthermore, the usage of the company logo in any branding material is regulated by specific ratios and alignment rules.
Hulu's brand is more than just its content. It is defined by a positive emotional connection that viewers have with the brand's personality. This is reflected in the brand guidelines which cover aspects such as the logo, brand typeface, and brand color palette.
Hulu's style guide encompasses brand principles, usage guidelines, voice standards, and messaging approaches. The brand guidelines exude Hulu's original and congenial personality, with the use of green and white hues contributing to a cohesive brand identity. Freelancers and media creatives working with Hulu's brand voice will quickly become familiar with its confident, daring, understanding, and humorous tone. To assist graphic designers, the company also offers examples of its illustration style, enabling them to create assets that accurately reflect Hulu's image.
Firefox exudes a confident and opinionated brand personality, which is highlighted by their openness, radicalness, and kindness. Their Brand Style Guide offers comprehensive guidance to designers and marketers on how to effectively utilize the brand. From color usage and typography rules to layout guidelines and logo usage, the Brand Guidelines cover all aspects. Additionally, Firefox's bold statements are not only conveyed through their language and large font sizes, but also through their brand colors. Their analogous color palette of deep purple, bright orange, dark pink, and bright red visually represents their Personality section.
Firefox's style guide takes into account the psychology of color, making it an invaluable resource for designers, businesses, media creatives, and other professionals working with branded products.
WeWork's core offering revolves around providing physical spaces for social interaction. It's no surprise that their branding comprises a holistic approach that encompasses style, community values, and visual design, which can also be extended to architecture.
WeWork's 848 locations worldwide boast a consistent interior design style, thanks to their comprehensive Brand Style Guide. This guide covers crucial aspects such as Brand visuals, colors, typography, logos, and photography, among others. Creating a cohesive brand identity is no easy task, especially for a brand like WeWork that encompasses everything from marketing materials to architecture and interior design. However, their efforts have paid off, resulting in a distinguishable brand identity that sets them apart from their competitors.
The design of Visa's logo is focused on being modern, recognizable, and global. Maintaining a strong online presence is crucial for the company, and it achieves this through the use of memorable colors and iconic imagery. What sets Visa's branding apart is its emphasis on sensory elements, including sight, sound, and touch. As Visa is utilized across numerous apps, a consistent physical identity is essential.
If you have an eCommerce or digital-only brand, sensory feedback might be key to your success.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices offers high-quality resources to individuals in the US interested in purchasing, selling, or investing in luxury real estate. The brand's guide is incredibly detailed, spanning 106 pages, and provides information on elements such as color schemes, brand tone, and brand voice. Additionally, the guide includes established guidelines for physical items, such as yard signage and printed stationery.
This guide is designed to ensure that all possible scenarios are accounted for, avoiding any confusion or misinterpretation. It is applicable to all forms of communication with the brand, whether online or offline. To ensure comprehensive coverage and greater value as your brand grows, it is important to include both physical and digital elements in the guide.
The Starbucks interactive style guide offers comprehensive instructions on utilizing the Siren logo and green color scheme, along with visual examples of how to use creative assets on diverse platforms. Additionally, the guide provides a thorough explanation of the brand's voice, tone, and visuals, emphasizing the use of key brand assets such as the logo, colors, and typography.
The TikTok style guide is much more than just a set of instructions - it's an interactive brand book that brings the brand to life through design. The guide covers everything from the logo to co-branding, color, and typography, providing a comprehensive overview of how each element should be used by TikTok's creative and expressive user base.
Developing a comprehensive Brand Style Guide is a crucial component for achieving a strong and effective brand strategy. It serves as a guide to guarantee that all marketing and communication initiatives are uniform, polished, and memorable across various platforms.