Have you ever wondered if you need a style guide for your small business? Well, ask yourself this – do I have a brand that includes a logo or various versions? Do I consistently use certain colours for specific purposes? Are there words that I prefer to use and other words that are a no go zone? Chances are, you need a style guide.
A style guide is the blueprint to your business and what it represents. It is the one source of truth in your business when it comes to the treatment of your brand and all of the collateral which makes it up.
Your style guide is the one central place where all of your team members can reference if in doubt when creating ads, brochures, websites, TV commercials, flyers or booklets. In your style guide, you should include clear outlines of the following:
Brand colours (in Pantone, RGB and CMYK)
Brand logo treatment (include various versions such as vertical, horizontal, black and white)
Tone of voice
Brand products including when and where to use them
Internal presentation documents (including letter heads, email signatures, pitch documents and invoices).
No matter the size of your company, all businesses require a style guide to ensure consistency and professionalism in all of the work they deliver. By creating uniformity within your brand, you create a stronger framework for identifying what your business stands for and believes in. It is the place to bring all of your ideas together. To get you started, let’s take a look at five of the best brand style guides published by the likes of Skype, Heineken, Twitter and Adobe.
Skype’s style guide personifies the communications brand by simply outlining their tone of voice, colour options and typography in a clean and easy to read document. The brand lives up to it’s values and walks the walk by avoiding industry jargon, injecting humour and delivering consistency of visual elements and the correct places to use them.
Twitter’s style guide is for both employees and external users of the logo and brand. Twitter has made the brand assets and guidelines available on their website to allow others to correctly use the brand when referencing it. Twitter’s style guide is simple and straightforward, clearly identifying the dos and dont’s of brand use.
Adobe’s style guide is incredibly comprehensive and professional. Outlining details on every piece of business asset from tone of voice to stationary, Adobe has it all covered. There is very little room for error with a style guide like this and it allows for independent work as there is no confusion or question over which logo to use and where.
Heineken’s style guide has covered every touch point and how the typography is used in each medium. From print and editorial to digital platforms, Heineken has outlined exactly how their brand typeface should look across all mediums.
Your style guide can be as small or as big as needed, it’s up to you and your business requirements. Start simple and outline the critical elements of your brand first and take inspiration from the pages of these world renowned brands.
Need help designing your style guide? Simply, request a quote and our friendly team will be in touch.