Why Your Brand Needs A Design Style Guide?

Consistency in the design of your brand’s marketing materials creates a sense of logic for your audience. People like consistency because they know what to expect. It helps aid their comprehension of your material. If your branded marketing pieces are distracting and confusing to scan, your audience won’t get your message. Inconsistency forces them to stop and process what the difference means, why it’s different, and if there is any reason to continue. Ease of interaction yields better experiences and, thus, the need for consistency.

This is where the value of a style guide becomes apparent. Style guides ensure consistency and save time as there is no need to stop and think about specific design usages along the way. Style guides create your brand’s specific preferences for almost any design treatment.

Your guide considers things such as:

star1aFont usage, size hierarchy, specs for different level headings, captions, notes, etc.

star1aColor palette, primary, secondary and tertiary – hexidecimal/RGB, CMYK and Pantone for print.

star1aLogo usage and clearances for placement.

star1aRules for using brand identifiers such as logos and images.

star2Signature brand image style. For example, maybe every photo includes one specific common color, or maybe each photo uses a particular photo filter.

star1aGrid standards for design/layout (print & web).

star1aBrand voice explanation and examples of how to set the tone.

Style guides should be somewhat flexible in that over time new scenarios will come up that need addressing. Updating and tweeking the style guide should be expected.

Creating a solid design plan and implementing it for consistency will ensure you are building a strong visual brand.