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What to Put in Your Brand Style Guide

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What makes a brand easy to recognize? When a company always uses the same logo, colours, fonts, and shades for its content, it creates a brand something we call branding. Since branding includes several elements, it is recommended to have a brand style guide that includes all the artistic details about your business. With that said, here's what you should include in your brand style guide.

Why you should have a brand style guide

 Before you find out what you should have in your brand style guide, let's take a moment to stress the importance of having one. A brand style guide is much more than just having a logo. It used to be called a Standards Guide. Whether it's for a self-employed person or a large company, a brand style guide brings credibility, consistency and harmony to a brand. The elements of a brand are not chosen at random; they must represent the values of the company. Your brand style guide allows you to have all these details in one place to facilitate the creation of artistic content of your brand–be it a website, brochures, or social media pages.

As well, a brand style guide can be very useful if you work with collaborators. For example, a graphic designer will find it easier to create content for you if he knows which colours and fonts are associated with your company. Brand style guides can also be very helpful when you have partners. By indicating the specifics of your brand, your partner will be able to respect the rules of your brand if he needs to use your logo.

 What exactly to include in your brand style guide

Now that you know why it's important to have a brand style guide, let's see what it should contain.

 Your Logos

 Your logo is one of the most important elements of your brand. It should be used everywhere: on your website, on your social media pages, as a sign, on your advertisements, etc. It is essential to include your logo in your brand style guide, but also all its variations. Do you have a black and white version of your logo? Another in shades of gray or with different colours? Add all versions of your logo to your brand style guide, making sure to indicate which one is used for each situation. For example, indicate it is better to use the monochrome version on print, while the colour version is more appropriate for social media pages like Facebook or Instagram.

You can also add technical information about your logos to your brand style guide such as the dimensions of the different elements or the main inspirations or values. The more precise you are, the easier it will be to respect your brand image.

 Your Colours

 Everyone knows that colours have meaning, they send a message. It is therefore important to choose the colours of your brand so that they represent your company and its values. Once you've made your choice, it's time to write down the exact shades. There are dozens and dozens of different shades for each colour. Which means you need to know what the name or code of that colour is in order to create cohesion. For example, if you want to use red as the main colour of your brand, would you like to use a carmine red that is darker or an English red that is brighter? The HEX or Pantone codes will allow you to always have the right colour no matter what it is used on: t-shirt or newsletter.

 Also, if you use colour palettes, don't hesitate to include them in your brand style guide as well. A colour palette can contain up to five colours, some of which are darker and paler. There are often shades of black or white as they facilitate contrasts. We've discovered a great tool to help you easily create colour palettes: Coolors. We invite you to take a look if you are looking for inspiration for your brand.

 Fonts

 Let's move on to fonts. Do you know what fonts you used on your website or for your logo? It would be important to know this and add them to your brand style guide. As we have mentioned in many of our blog posts, you should use no more than three different fonts on your website so that the end result is harmonious. As is the case with colours, you have to choose the right font for your brand. There are thousands, some with serifs, some more refined or neutral. You can also have one font for your title or slogan and another for more general texts. Of course, it is essential that the chosen font be readable. Also be sure to indicate if you use the italic or bold form of the fonts and under what circumstances.

 

In conclusion, it is also helpful to add examples for each of the items listed above to your guide. The more accurate you are, the more the unified and credible your brand will be. Your brand style guide should be one of your marketing tools when you start your project. In addition to allowing you to group all the information about your brand in one place, this is a very comprehensive exercise to make sure you've thought of everything for your visuals!