“Great design is not democratic; it comes from great designers. If the standard is lousy, then develop another standard.” – Edward Tufte
What is a Brand Style Guide, otherwise know as a CI (corporate identity)? A CI consists of all the primary visuals of a company’s branding. It is a document that defines and shows examples of what the brand would look like in various media, such as digital and print. The style guide can reference design, grammar and tone.
An effective style guide should clearly define the rules of any representation of the brand, for example on websites, mobile, ads, blogs, social media channels and email.
Why are style guides so important? They ensure brand consistency throughout the variety of media used to communicate the brand’s messaging.
Branding Style Guides – Some Basics to Include:
Logo size and placement
The logo is a very important part of any brand, and it should be reflected consistently along the way. A style guide should clearly define exactly where logos are to be used as well as any variations. It is also important to show what not to do with the logo.
Pick your colour palette
Specify what colour palette is primary and what secondary colour pallet constitutes a brand’s colours. It is important to show the RGB colour values for web use and as well the CMYK values for printed media.
Choose a font family
It is essential to be consistent with the brand typography throughout. Often you’ll have different typefaces and each will be relevant to a different medium. The guide should also include sizing, kerning (spacing between letters and words), and leading (the distance between lines of text).
Layout and grids
By setting up templates and guidelines for grids, you encourage best practices and promote consistency.