Consistency plays a huge role in maintaining quality and making your brand recognizable. It ensures you present your brand in a unifying way across all marketing channels so that people (your target audience) remember your brand. And you can achieve that by creating a brand style guide.
What is a brand style guide?
A brand style guide is a toolkit to help create a consistent and cohesive brand. It's a document or a "rule book" as some may call it, that covers all aspects of your brand identity.
It's there to ensure consistency in how you present your brand to your audience while making it easy for your team (or freelancers you work with) to understand how your brand should look, feel, and sound.
A simple brand style guide should include:
Logos and placements
Voice, tone, and messaging
What to include in your brand style guide
1. Business Logos
Your brand logos represent your brand because it’s what people usually recognize from the get-go, just like how people automatically know the brand Nike by looking at their logo.
Your brand logos should include one main logo, one horizontal logo, and one submark logo. And it’s important to note that these should not be altered in any way.
2. Brand Fonts
Your brand fonts should not only be consistent, but they have to complement each other. Font selections range from 2 to 3 options and should include one main font (good for headings and titles) and one secondary font (good for subheadings and description text).
3. Brand Colors
Just like your brand fonts, you want your brand colors to be consistent all the time. According to Forbes, color improves brand recognition by up to 80%. So if you want more people to identify your brand, you should be consistent with your brand colors on your materials and assets.
Your style guide should outline 2 to 3 main colors and 3 to 5 secondary colors and include color codes for easy reference. You can also add examples of color combinations to use as a guide.
4. Voice, Tone, and Messaging
Your voice and messaging are just as important as your visuals and play a part in how people perceive your brand. Are you positive and inspiring? Humorous and witty? Does your brand use a lot of slang? Do you have a tagline?
Outlining your brand voice, tone, and messaging in your style guide will help those who are writing for your brand get a clear understanding of how your brand should sound.
5. Mood Board
Your mood board serves as a visualization of your brand. It will help you know what style of imagery to be used, how it should feel, and what color schemes to use that best represent your brand in a cohesive way.
How to create a brand style guide
Now that you know what to include in your brand style guide, it's time to create them! When creating your style guide, it's essential to note two things: they should be shareable and easy to update. Canva is a great tool for this purpose and also for creating designs, including brand templates! It's shareable, collaborative, and easy to use.
If you need a brand style guide template that’s easy to use and not to mention FREE, check out our customizable Brand Style Guide. It’s an easy drag-and-drop template perfect to use for anyone with a Canva account. Try it for FREE now!
Once your brand style guide is done
You can share it with your internal team or with any freelancers or contractors you work with. Everyone can then have access to this guide and can use it as a reference when writing for your brand or creating assets and designs so they're consistent and aligned.
Need help with your branding or re-branding? We’ll give your brand a fresh new take and a comprehensive brand guide that reflects your values and goals. Fill up our inquiry form on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.