Brand Style Guide – Maintaining Your Company’s Image

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A brand style guide manages the output of your company’s image into things like advertising and articles. It also informs employees of what is expected of them. So how can you optimize yours and make it appeal to all relevant parties? Here are some ways you can boost the effectiveness of your guide.

What Is a Brand Style Guide?

A brand style guide is a document that explains an organization’s ideal brand guidelines. It ensures acceptable use of themes, logos and tone. It informs company employees how to conform to organizational standards of media when working on projects.

Here’s an example of a brand style guide use-case: X company wants to advertise a new product. They hire a creative marketing company to make the ad for them. Company X needs to ensure that the creative marketing company knows what type of style and tone the advertisement should use. Therefore, Company X sends them something to reference so that they can build a perfect ad.

A sea of colors.
The correct colors and styles in the right place are crucial.

What Is the Purpose of a Brand Style Guide?

A brand style guide helps companies maintain brand consistency throughout all campaigns, projects and advertisements that communicate with their target audience. It presents the correct tone of your company to its target market, while informing and reminding team members of brand standards.

A style guide ensures that numerous creators make projects and campaigns that maintain and show the corporate style. It also upholds brand consistency through all types of design, writing and other project elements. Furthermore, it gives externals a better chance at understanding what’s expected of them during any campaigns they work on.

A screenshot of a digital style guide.
A brand style guide maintains brand consistency.

Ways to Improve Your Brand Style Guide

In the past, companies sent out a PDF document file to employees and externals. This outdated, inefficient practice has been replaced by systems that send out one simple link. This link then acts as a permanent brand style guide it’s never sent out again and it automatically updates. This is just one example of a new methodology you can adhere to in order to bolster your own specific material.

Another thing to keep in mind is that analysis of content and results is vital to branding. Therefore, if the data review returns less than favorable results, it might be time to update or change your guide. Keep a structured schedule to regularly check the overall quality of everything important.

A businessman reviewing data and graphs.
Data review is an often overlooked part of the process.

Key Details to Remember When Creating a Guide

Every style guide is different but there are still some crucial elements to include if you want a successful guide. The first component to consider is the logo. The style guide should be like an answer key for all questions and concerns about the company logo – how big it should be, what color it should be and where should it be placed. Consider that for each project, logo placement and other variables could be different. Make sure your guide informs team members what to do so they’re ready each time.

The next thing to consider is the type of font to be used for different projects. The different levels of font are extremely complex and can’t be explained briefly. Instead, use details beyond just a font name or size. This includes things like changeable differences like bold words, italicized and underlined letters. Also be sure to clarify which type of font is used when switching from titles to headers to content text.

A screenshot of a digital brand style guide options screen.
A digital brand style guide evolves with your company.

How to Stay Relevant

A brand style guide needs to keep up with the evolution of your company. As your brand progresses, keep everything updated to match the new standards being set. As a result, employees will need periodic advisory and education. Set a concrete schedule into place.

A private digital system keeps employees aware of new changes to the guide. It also ensures they use the correct brand colors, logos and messaging of your brand. These systems help everyone work in unison and stay on brand. Make sure your company is taking advantage of a public or digital style guide on its systems.

Follow a structured routine in regards to updating and changing your brand style guide. This will ensure maximum effectiveness of the guide and maintenance of your brand.

Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey is a content management and branding expert who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.