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Have you ever heard the phrase, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Well, just like your outfit can make a killer first impression, your business’s style can speak volumes about who you are and what you stand for. That’s where a brand style guide comes in – it’s like your business’s ultimate fashion lookbook, but instead of clothes, it’s all about your brand’s style and personality.
Every business needs a brand style guide. It’s up to you how big and intricate this is – whether it’s a one-page screenshot OR a 20-page in-depth look. A brand style guide will outline how to use your brand (and particularly your visuals) both for you and any team or contractors you have come into the business.
First things first – let’s talk about the power of consistency. Just like any fashion icon, your business needs to rock a consistent look, both in its messaging and visuals. This is where a brand style guide comes to the rescue. By defining a set of colors, fonts, and design elements, you’re ensuring that no matter where your brand shows up, it’s instantly recognizable and undeniably YOU.
This helps to build brand loyalty and recognition across every platform and touchpoint of your business.
Before you start picking out colors and fonts, you’ve gotta know what your brand stands for. What’s your mission? What are your values? Your brand style guide should capture the essence of your business and align with its heart and soul. Think of it as the backstory to your brand’s outfit – it provides the context and meaning that ties everything together.
Your answers to these questions are not only helpful to write out in your style guide but act as way-markers to help you decide on what your brand should look like in the first place!
Okay, let’s get practical. Creating a brand style guide doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can use programs like Canva, Adobe InDesign/Illustrator, or even Microsoft Powerpoint to craft a guide that’s visually appealing and easily accessible to your team.
LOGO: Add in your logo plus all its variations. Set out how different layouts should be used and when!
FONT: Your brand style guide should include all of your fonts – from your heading, sub-heading, accent and body text.
COLOUR: Define your color palette with precise hex codes (and perhaps CMYK, Pantone, etc. if you’re doing lots of printing) and set clear rules for their usage. Is this blue for the background or should it only be used for text?
IMAGES: Your brand’s visuals should have a consistent vibe that screams “you” from the rooftops. Is your photo vibe light and airy? Or dark and moody? Define this with examples.
If you’re not sure exactly which fonts you should use for headings or which colours go where try to use your brand in practice and see how it feels. Make adjustments until it feels just right and use this to inform your style guide.
Creating a brand style guide is more than just a box to tick – it’s your ticket to brand clarity and cohesiveness. So, take the time to build a guide that reflects the heart and soul of your business. Trust me, it’s worth it!
PS. If you’d like to hand over your brand design to the professionals, here’s the link to work with my team! https://www.whitedeer.com.au/designstudio
Or, check out the Seriously in Business challenge below to get your free start on DIYing it instead!
If you loved this episode as much as I loved sharing it with you…there is more where that came from!
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