Marketing for Small Businesses

Writing A Branding And Style Guide: The Basics

What Is A Style Guide?

A style guide is a set of standards and rules that define your company’s branding. It tells you how that business presents itself to the world. Branding and style guides provide consistency when making posts or branding images. It ensures that every post, picture, or anything else that comes from a business feels and looks the same, regardless of who it comes from within the business.

Why Is One Needed?

Every company, big or small, needs a branding style guide. There are a few reasons you’ll want to have a style guide: inconsistency isn’t professional, explaining the ins and outs of your branding styles are not fun more than once, and it keeps things organized and recognizable. Now let’s talk about what you should include in your guide.

The Basics

Keep your style guide between four and five pages. Any longer and it will be too long to take in and understand. Short and sweet is best. Start off by writing an ‘About Us’ page and introducing your company.

Writing Section

This may seem trivial to some, but figuring out if you’d like to use the written out or numerical version of numbers and whether to use ‘&’ or ‘and’ are things your customers will notice. Here are some other things to figure out:

  • Will you use emojis or are they forbidden?
  • What tone of voice will you use? Examples: friendly, professional, relaxed, playful, serious.
  • What words should you stay away from?

Visuals Section

Color increases brand recognization. More customers will remember what colors a business is associated with than any other details. Here are some things you may want to think about when it comes to the visual aspect of your branding and style guide:

  • Colors. This is perhaps one of the most important parts. As I previously stated, color increases brand recognition. It’s best to include the hex code for each color so that there are absolutely no mistakes when making graphics.
  • Logo. Can you place your logo anywhere in a photo or must it be in a specific spot? Does the size of the logo impact its use?
  • Fonts. It’s in your best interest to keep using the same fonts throughout every aspect of your business. Don’t use random fonts. If you’re set on one font, use that and that only. It may look sloppy if you use different fonts all the time.

In Conclusion

Now that you know what a branding and style guide is and why it’s so important for businesses, go on and create your own! Make sure to share it with everyone in your business so that everyone is on the same page. This branding and style guide will save you many conversations about what font to use for a presentation or a graphic in the future. You’ll be glad you read this blog and learned how to create your own! We create one for each of our clients so the entire team and all the vendors know the expectations for each brand. This often saves everyone time and in the end saves money for the client.

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