How do you make your brand look hot? The answer is simpler than you think. If you're a B2B company or any professional, then it's time to get your branding nailed down. And that starts with the use of colors and logos on everything from business cards to PowerPoint slides. Remember, A brand style guide is an organizational tool that contains all of the information about your company's identity. It helps keep everything consistent and looking great.
What are Brand Guidelines?
Brand style guides (brand guidelines) set parameters for how you can give your company a cool branding representation. These guides act as a reference that employees can consult to ensure that the images they use reflect your business's image accurately. They also provide consistency across marketing materials like social media, print ads, sales collateral, and websites. This ensures that your branding message remains consistent even when you are working with various collaborators at different times.
Style guides consist of two parts: design style guide and content style guide. The first section outlines what typefaces, colors, logos, and other visual elements can be used in promotions. It might include rules about which colors work best on certain backgrounds, or guidance on whether brands should be displayed all uppercase vs lowercase.
The latter section covers content and provides rules and standards that writers and editors must follow. For example, this second part of your style guide might ban the use of slang terms in business communications or it might require a certain tone for company announcements (like lighthearted copy vs officious-sounding jargon).
Cool branding style guides help you make sure all your marketing materials support your brand's messaging techniques. You can create them yourself, with the help of professional designers, or find one on Dribbble — they are free to download and easy to edit.
Brand style guides are a great way to keep your branding message consistent across all marketing channels, but they are also useful for employees at every level. From copywriters writing ad copy to interns uploading images, everyone should have access to the visual guidelines that govern how your company looks to the outside world. That is why many companies are choosing to share their brand guidelines as downloadable templates that can be modified by anyone on staff.
Many of them include pre-formatted templates you can download along with usage instructions, color palettes, and specific fonts or typefaces. You will find everything from social media templates to editorial calendars, so feel free to choose the elements that reflect your business and brand message best.
You will also find an example of a brand style guide created in PowerPoint, which helps people create their guides with minimal effort. And do not forget to check out this simple, editable website template for designers who need something easy to work from when creating guides for clients. To give your brand a cool branding look try incorporating the following things.
Every company has a mission statement — but not every company communicates it effectively. Many websites display the text of the mission statement prominently (on the homepage and/or on an 'About Us page), but images or videos can help complement written messages and make them more memorable. Whether you are updating your existing site or creating one from scratch, make sure your branding guidelines include a statement from the mission statement that can be easily reproduced as an image. This gives you the latitude to use images of your product in place of text, along with a visual representation of the 'why' behind your company's existence.
Brands speak differently depending on their audience — and if you do not know who you are speaking to, it might seem like you are rambling. That is why cool branding style guides often include a breakdown of different buyer personas. For example, an athletic apparel company might have five or six distinct groups they target: runners, casual athletes, competitive athletes, and so on. Each group represents a certain lifestyle and set of interests, so your branding guidelines should reflect those differences across all marketing materials.
Choosing the right colors can be difficult, even for experienced designers. But when you have a brand style guide in place, it's much easier to maintain consistency across all your branding efforts. A few best practices include:
1. Using a color palette with bright, saturated colors so your logo and other graphics stand out.
2. Avoiding overly complex patterns and shapes — these might be difficult to reproduce in ads, on the packaging, and so on.
3. Including all relevant brand colors in the main style guide document for easy reference.
4. Ensuring brand colors are all black, white, or grayscale at 50% opacity.
Editorial Style Guide
This guide is for anyone who needs to write a copy that will be part of your branding message — whether it's product listings on an eCommerce site or campaign-specific content. Editorial style guides include the dos and don'ts of writing for your brand so there's no confusion among employees about how to talk about products/services, competitors, etc. Here are some things to consider including:
1. Tone of voice
2. Keywords to include
Writing about your own company can be challenging — it's difficult to speak honestly and directly when the subject is yourself. That's why editorial-style brand style guides usually include a list of frequently asked questions that cover everything from company policies to naming conventions for different types of products. This makes it easier for both internal and external writers to create content without stumbling onto landmines like out-of-date information or controversial topics.
Every brand has a distinct voice, including the way they use typography — or words printed in specific typefaces. Many companies also have their own signature font families, so your branding guidelines should account for those as well as common type choices like Arial, Helvetica and the like.
Brand typography helps to communicate a brand's unique personality and ethos to customers. In general, it is often best to use the same font family for all of your typography so that it looks cohesive and polished. Also enhances the brand's flow.
Brand-specific type information should be included in the main style guide document, with font name and family noted for easy reference. Font size, line height, letter spacing, and more can all go into the secondary document used for individual projects like web design or print marketing material creation.
1. Brand-specific fonts (if applicable)
2. Typeface guidelines (e.g., use of all caps, specific weight classifications, etc.)
3. Font size
4. Line height/leading
5. Spacing between lines (measure) & letters (tracking)
6. Vertical alignment of headers vs body copy
Brand style guides are the best way to get everyone on your marketing team to speak the same language when it comes to design. When you use resources like pre-written copy and guidelines about what makes sense for different products, services, stores, or other business units within your organization, there is less room for error — which means more time for creativity in how you present your brand to customers online and in person.