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What goes into a brand style guide?

A brand style guide is an instructional piece of information which tells anyone who uses your brand or works with your brand how you want it to look. It covers everything from the colours of your brand to the words you will use when speaking about your brand. But why is it important? A brand style guide is critical for your brand because it ensures that you are consistent. If you don’t have a brand guide, your brand might look different on various platforms which could cause confusion and misunderstandings with your market. Therefore, it is important to have a brand guide so that you can build consistency around your brand and thereby build trust for your brand.

Hopefully, we have convinced you of the importance of a brand style guide, let’s look at what goes into a brand style guide.

There are six elements which must be present in every brand style guide:

Your brand story

How did your brand come about? What are your core values? It is important to write down your business’ mission and core values so that that the people who are using your brand style guide will know what your brand is about.

Your logo

The next important element for your guide is the logo. What is the size of the logo? How do you display your logo? Must it always be on a white background? Can it be distorted? What does it look like on different colours including black and white? It is also important to mention what the space around the logo should be.

Your colours

It is important to indicate which colours are important for your brand. Most brands use a maximum of four colours. A light colour for backgrounds, one colour that pops, a dark colour for text and then a neutral hue. You can use these apps to look at colours that might appeal to you for your brand. You should put the colour values for your brand down. You need the Pantone colour name and number, CMYK value for printing, and the RGB and HEX value for digital. Each value will be used for the different mediums where your brand may appear and will ensure that the colour does not alternate too drastically.

Your typography

What font will you use to represent your brand? Which font will be used for headings? Which font will be used for body text? You should also say how your text should be aligned. You need to include the kerning and tracking ratios for when your font is used at different sizes.

Your imagery

We live in a very visual environment and your visuals must be consistent on all the mediums you use. It is important to create a mood board to show which images you want to be used to display your brand. How do you want your images to be laid out to display your brand? Another element of visuals is the iconography that is used within your brand. What will the bullets look like that you use with your brand? What will the social media logos look like?

Your voice

What words do you use to talk about your brand? It is important to write down adjectives which are used to describe the voice you write in for your brand. Write a list of words you like and words you don’t like. By having this written down, it will ensure that those who write for you will write in the voice of your brand and not in their writer’s voice.

By identifying these six elements of your brand you will be well on your way to gaining trust from your market through consistency in your brand.

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