How To Create A Style Guide For Your Brand


Logo & Variations


Rarely will one logo design suit every purpose of your business. For this reason a designer will often create variations of your logo, so that it looks perfect in any setting! Logos can vary in colour, for example you might include a mono (black & white) versions and a full-colour version in your styled guide. Variations in shape are also popular to accomodate the wide range of uses your logo will be needed for, for example you may have a landscape logo for your website and business cards and a circle or square variety for social media profiles.

Be sure to include sizes, dimensions, required 'white space' around the logo and what the uses for each logo are for, if you plan to share your style guide with other designers or collaborators.


Select your Colours


If you're creating your logo yourself, you can utilise colour selectors such as Piktochart to help select colours that go well together. If you're lacking inspiration, check out inspiration board on Pinterest or sites like design seeds.

For your style guide, include the variants for web, print and digital as well as if there are colours that should be used more predominantly than others (we call these the 'primary' colours).


Pick your fonts


There are so many beautiful fonts to choose from, I could literally waste hours searching for and downloading fonts! 

Some of my favourite places to find fonts are:

Myfonts.com

Behance 

Creative Market

There are a bunch load of free font websites also, but the reason I've listed these sites are that you'll find something a little more unique, as well as something that has been professionally designed.

When picking your fonts, be sure to keep in mind how they'll look in your different formats. For example, if you're planning on using a handwritten script font, be sure to consider how this will look and be implemented on your website.

If you're looking for some further information on how to pair fonts together, there's an excellent resource over on the Canva blog here.


Patterns


Not all brands will have patterns included with them, but it is a good thing to consider when creating a style guide for your brand. 

For example, perhaps your brand utilises some gold elements or funky grunge-style zig-zags.

Be sure to include these patterns and where they can/can't be used in your brand, so that any one that comes on board has a clear guide to how they should be featured.

If you're looking for some patterns to add to your brand, check out the range of stunning patterns available here on Creative Market.


Templates


Creating templates for your brand is an absolute must, and an important element to include on your style guide.

Templates can be created for any (or all) of the following:

  • Product Images for your online store
  • Blog Post images
  • Pinnable Pinterest Images
  • Facebook Posts
  • Instagram 'quotables' or short snippets of info
  • Business Letterhead & stationery

Not only does templating these items mean you'll save time creating them each time you have new content to share, it will also give you a cohesive look across all platforms.


Imagery


Imagery is often a forgotten element of the style guide, more often than not because we're snapping with our phones in the moment, not really thinking about the style guide of our brand.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for the spontaneous snaps! But try and use these snaps at a later stage, after you've compared them against your brands style guide.

Things you might like to consider about your brand imagery can include:

  1. Colours - How are your brand colours represented in the images?
  2. Objects - Do your images mostly contain people, objects of something relevant to your business or maybe their landscape shots. 
  3. Surroundings & 'white space' - Do your images need to have area on them that isn't full of people/objects, but is just background filler. These shots are usually used if you intend to add writing to your images at a later stage.
  4. Feelings - What is the mood of the images? What feelings are you trying to convey visually. Share these on your style guide.

If you're not usually sharing your own photos, make sure you include some examples of stock photos that are relevant to your brand's style guide.

 

Do you have a brand style guide? If not, how do you think having a brand style guide will help you?