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Brand Style Guides: What They Are & What You Need

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brand guide
As a business, your brand is everything. The way you represent yourself to customers is crucial, as giving off the wrong impression – even one time – can do costly damage. Consistency is key, as customers and clients want to know they are working with the same company each time they place an order or take some other action. Don’t give them any reason to doubt your professionalism or authenticity.

One of the steps you can take to improve the consistency of your brand is to develop a brand style guide. Let’s take a closer look at this idea and what it takes to bring your guide together.

What is a Brand Style Guide?

The concept here is very simple. This guide is going to be a reference point for anyone working on design or marketing projects within the organization. You are aiming for consistency, but consistency can be hard to achieve when so many different people are involved in these projects. By having a guide that everyone can refer to when in doubt, you should wind up with marketing materials that are perfectly consistent across the board.

Isn’t a Logo Enough?

Not really. Having a high-quality logo design that represents your brand in a unique and memorable way is a great start. But that can’t be the end of the road. What about when you need to prepare marketing materials that require more than just a logo? Or what happens when your standard logo doesn’t fit in a given space? You’ll need to have many more options available to your marketing team, which is where the brand style guide comes into the picture.

Start with Color

The color you choose to represent your brand is going to be a huge part of your public image. Think about some of the stores you shop at frequently – you can think of their main color right off the top of your head, can’t you? Stores commonly become associated with colors, and it is the same for many other types of businesses. Within the brand style guide should be detailed instructions as to what colors can be used. This way, you don’t wind up with marketing materials that are mismatched, even if only slightly – everything throughout the organization will line up just right.

Continue the Consistency Theme

Color is really just the starting point when it comes to assembling a brand style guide. From there, you are going to need to establish standards in many other areas, such as fonts, photography, icons, and more. Basically, any type of element which may be used by the marketing department should be standardized in advance. Not only is this going to make consistency a natural outcome, but it should also save time and frustration along the way.
For any company which is serious about branding, a brand style guide is a no-brainer. It may take some time and effort upfront to assemble this resource, but that effort will hopefully continue to pay off for years to come.

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