Brand Style Guide
A brand style guide establishes the visual building blocks of your brand. It provides clear instructions and parameters for how your brand should appear across a range of mediums, from the web to print to broadcast.
The guide might also reference tone, word use, grammar and point-of-view, but its primary purpose to outline the rules for visual display of your brand and logo across all platforms.
Cleveland brand style guide experts at Go Media know the creation of a unifying style guide is essential to ensure branding is always consistent and correct. Without it, you risk sending customers and followers mixed messages that can undermine your message and valuation.
You have worked hard to establish your business. Your brand is the face of that dedication. It projects your corporate identity and influences how the company is viewed by clients, customers, partners and the industry. The last thing you want to do is dilute your message with inconsistent branding.
Brand style guides should be not only created but kept timely and in the hands of all departments and outside sources that may be helping to build the brand. For example, if you outsource content writing or social media marketing, you'll want to make sure they have access to your latest brand style guide.
The guide will specify for all marketing and content material the use of:
- Logo. Define and give clear examples. There may be more than one acceptable version. You'll want to specify which are appropriate for certain mediums. For example, if you may indicate the pared-down version of the original for mobile applications, or a more elaborate variation a print advertisement. You'll also want to indicate how it should be used in full color, versus how it will look in black-and-white or a larger placement versus a tiny one. There should also be specifications for when a tagline is used and what it's placement, size, color and relationship to the logo should be.
- Color. It's not as simple as indicating, "red and blue." There are 58 varieties of red and 65 different options for blue. (Is it Scarlet or more of a Ruby?) The best way to simplify this is to identify the RGB and HEX color values in the pallet. The brand style guide will identify which colors should be primary and secondary and which can be used as accents.
- Typography. This is an essential aspect of any brand - and it must be consistent. Two variations of an ad could use the exact same language but with different typefaces - and the result would be two contrasting messages. In addition to font families, it's critical to spell out acceptable sizing, line spacing, kerning and variations of color for different content types. You'll also want to identify the header text, the sub-heads, the block quotes, the labels, the citations and any other specifications about formatted text.
- Layout. The design of your website, advertisement, banner or mobile app was an investment of time and money. We help preserve that. Our brand style guide experts specify how and where all elements are positioned on a page or other medium and how they are going to relate to each other. Considerations of grid patterns, margins, padding and gutters are all going to be important, and examples in the style guide should clearly show how it's all going to look from platform to platform.
- Icons and Graphics. If you use icons or graphics, you may need to indicate the size, dimensions and styles that are important. Graphic designers may even create custom icons or graphics for your page.
- Links - You can specify the style and color for all buttons and links to be used on your web page.
- Visual Hierarchy. Define what your headers, images, titles, paragraphs and other elements will be and provide examples. It can also be helpful to offer an explanation for why the designated hierarchy matters on the site.
- Photography/ Imagery. Images are among the most prominent features of your branding. Unfortunately, too many people cheapen the look and feel of their brand with stock art that is uninspired, inconsistent or outright bad. The art director can help you decide on the specifics. For example, you may want to make sure your photos and imagery reflect a diverse client demographic. You may want images to be in sharp focus. You may want all real people or only stock images. These are all decisions with which our Go Media Art Director can help.
Every entity that touches your brand should have that style guide in order to ensure your message stays clear, concise and consistent.
To learn more about our Cleveland brand style guide services, call Go Media at 216.939.0000 or contact us online.