Build your Brand Style Guide: Basic Tutorial

Alright listen up, if you are a small business or startup and have never compiled your official brand style guide then this blog is for you.  If you are already an established brand with a comprehensive style guide you probably already know the basics we'll cover here but please feel free to read along you may be inspired to freshen up your brand and please let us know your best tips or suggestions for others that are just starting out.  

First, let's really get down to the basics.  A brand style guide is a compilation of the images, fonts, colors and details that collectively make up your brand.  Yes, it is important to use the same shade of blue from your logo on your website, business card, and ads, etc.  Integrity of your brand is maintained by first establishing then following your brand style guide.  It's not written in stone, a brand refresh may happen every few years but this isn't something you want to be switching around frequently. Often a customer/client will remember the color or shape of your company logo before the actual name so consistency is key here and dramatic changes should be thoughtfully considered.  

Checklist for what should be included in a basic brand style guide: 

  • Logo - Full logo, image only, single color options
  • Fonts (Name & Size)
  • Brand Colors
  • Photography Rules
  • Brand Hashtag

SAMPLE TEMPLATE

Brand style guide template

EXAMPLE

Wolf Hound Brand Style Guide

Resources:

As you put this together, you may find you need some help filling out the details.  

  1. If you need help with color, I love to visit the Pantone Website to see the seasonal trending colors or research complimentary colors.  
  2. When you find a great Pantone color and need to look up the hex, cmyk or rgb value visit this Color Look Up page. 
  3. Choose complimentary fonts for your brand, a handy resource that pairs fonts for you is available over at Font Pair.

I suggest putting your brand style guide together and save it as a pdf, this will be your guide moving forward as your create your website, your email campaigns, your business cards, etc.  

Integrity of your brand begins with you, make the commitment and establish the guidelines now for you and your team.