Strong brands are built on consistency! The more consistent your content and style is, the stronger your brand will be. One way to ensure your brand stays on track is to create a style guide for your business. A style guide is a central and key reference for your whole company. Any messaging or visuals that are created should adhere to your brand and the guidelines you set.

According to Forbes, your brand is the “most important asset because it is your business personified. The way your organisation looks, sounds and acts directly impact how current and prospective customers perceive your business.” Having a company style guide or brand guidelines in place will help your business have clarity, focus and direction, as well as maintaining consistency across your brand.

How to create a style guide for your business

A style guide is so much more than a list of “dos & don’ts.” A style guide is a chance for your business to clearly state your brand and mission, as well as the correct way of expressing your brand visually. Here is what you should include in your style guide for your business:

Brand Mission Statement and Core Values

The most important thing to include in your style guide is your mission statement and core values as this is the driving force behind your brand. This should include why your company exists and the vision for your company’s future. Your mission statement is the foundation for everything that follows in your style guide.

Define your Target Customer Profile

Devote a section to your target customer or audience. Describe your customers, detail the problems they have and how your product or service solves them. If you’d like to get really specific, include any market research you’ve undertaken. You can even create a single persona profile with a generic name like, “Jean” or “Mark.”

Brand Personality

Your brand personality will influence your messaging, design and interactions. You might need to do a bit of brainstorming. It might help if you make a list of adjectives to describe your brands to others and should encompass the feelings that your brand inspires. Are you classic and traditional? Is your brand fun? Is it upscale?

Brand Voice and Tone

This section will cover the voice and tone of your brand across client communications. Whether it’s in an email campaign, marketing collateral, a blog post or social media your brand’s messaging should be consistent. Specify which words you want to use or avoid, include grammar or spelling nuances too. Do you want to take a less formal tone with your customers? Clarify that in this section. It’d be helpful to have some “dos and don’ts” to indicate what’s acceptable. Also consider adding a few examples of ideal messaging, just to be clear on your expectations.

Logo Guidelines

It seems pretty straightforward to include your logo in your company’s style guide. Yet there’s so much more to consider. Firstly, if there’s a story behind your logo, include it here. Maybe it’s an inverted symbol that has significance. It’s important to let others know as it builds a connection, especially if it’s not obvious. You’ll also want to ensure your logo size and any spacing around it is established. There’s nothing worse than seeing your logo resized slightly and it being squashed or tilted in an awkward position.

Colour Palette

Including your colour palette is important, especially if you want to use your colours consistently in print and digital media. Adding colour swatches will be helpful in seeing these colours clearly, especially if you have multiple colours in your brand palette. Remember to include any permissible colour variations and add the RGB values, hex codes and CMYK colour codes too. Consistency is key!

Typography & Fonts

Font and typography communicate so much about your brand. Specify what fonts can be used (usually no more than 2) and whether they should be italicised or bold. Including examples is helpful too. Make sure to add them in your style guide for both digital and print versions.

Once your style guide is finalised, determine the format. Will it be printed and given to employees? Or will a simple PDF do? Regardless, your style guide should be shareable and accessible to your employees. You’ll also want to revisit your brand guidelines and update them if necessary. At Zool, we’re brand specialists! If you need help creating a style guide, let us know. Or if you need help building your brand from scratch, drop us a line at hello@zool.agency.

How to Create a Style Guide for Your Business

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Strong brands are built on consistency! The more consistent your content and style is, the stronger your brand will be. One way to ensure your brand stays on track is to create a style guide for your business. A style guide is a central and key reference for your whole company. Any messaging or visuals that are created should adhere to your brand and the guidelines you set.

According to Forbes, your brand is the “most important asset because it is your business personified. The way your organisation looks, sounds and acts directly impact how current and prospective customers perceive your business.” Having a company style guide or brand guidelines in place will help your business have clarity, focus and direction, as well as maintaining consistency across your brand.

How to create a style guide for your business

A style guide is so much more than a list of “dos & don’ts.” A style guide is a chance for your business to clearly state your brand and mission, as well as the correct way of expressing your brand visually. Here is what you should include in your style guide for your business:

Brand Mission Statement and Core Values

The most important thing to include in your style guide is your mission statement and core values as this is the driving force behind your brand. This should include why your company exists and the vision for your company’s future. Your mission statement is the foundation for everything that follows in your style guide.

Define your Target Customer Profile

Devote a section to your target customer or audience. Describe your customers, detail the problems they have and how your product or service solves them. If you’d like to get really specific, include any market research you’ve undertaken. You can even create a single persona profile with a generic name like, “Jean” or “Mark.”

Brand Personality

Your brand personality will influence your messaging, design and interactions. You might need to do a bit of brainstorming. It might help if you make a list of adjectives to describe your brands to others and should encompass the feelings that your brand inspires. Are you classic and traditional? Is your brand fun? Is it upscale?

Brand Voice and Tone

This section will cover the voice and tone of your brand across client communications. Whether it’s in an email campaign, marketing collateral, a blog post or social media your brand’s messaging should be consistent. Specify which words you want to use or avoid, include grammar or spelling nuances too. Do you want to take a less formal tone with your customers? Clarify that in this section. It’d be helpful to have some “dos and don’ts” to indicate what’s acceptable. Also consider adding a few examples of ideal messaging, just to be clear on your expectations.

Logo Guidelines

It seems pretty straightforward to include your logo in your company’s style guide. Yet there’s so much more to consider. Firstly, if there’s a story behind your logo, include it here. Maybe it’s an inverted symbol that has significance. It’s important to let others know as it builds a connection, especially if it’s not obvious. You’ll also want to ensure your logo size and any spacing around it is established. There’s nothing worse than seeing your logo resized slightly and it being squashed or tilted in an awkward position.

Colour Palette

Including your colour palette is important, especially if you want to use your colours consistently in print and digital media. Adding colour swatches will be helpful in seeing these colours clearly, especially if you have multiple colours in your brand palette. Remember to include any permissible colour variations and add the RGB values, hex codes and CMYK colour codes too. Consistency is key!

Typography & Fonts

Font and typography communicate so much about your brand. Specify what fonts can be used (usually no more than 2) and whether they should be italicised or bold. Including examples is helpful too. Make sure to add them in your style guide for both digital and print versions.

Once your style guide is finalised, determine the format. Will it be printed and given to employees? Or will a simple PDF do? Regardless, your style guide should be shareable and accessible to your employees. You’ll also want to revisit your brand guidelines and update them if necessary. At Zool, we’re brand specialists! If you need help creating a style guide, let us know. Or if you need help building your brand from scratch, drop us a line at hello@zool.agency.