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A unique, informative look at style guide templates

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 20, 2019

3 min. read
An example style template.

A style guide template is a lot more important than companies might know. In fact, without the right type of template, a style guide might fail to get the right idea across to users trying to represent the brand. Luckily, it’s easy to correct this potential issues by following a few principles. Here’s a breakdown including some tips to align your template correctly.

What is a style guide template?

A style guide is like a rulebook for anyone working for a specific company. It sets precedents concerning grammar, visuals, tone, tense, colors and more. It ensures that any created works are compatible with all other brand content.

A style guide template is the arrangement or pattern used to create the layout and overall visual appearance of the style guide. Companies select this based on how they want their brand to portray itself to all who use it. If they want specific tone and colors, their template and layout should follow suit to represent this to all team members and externals who see it.

A group of different newsletters and company logos.
A style guide sets the rules for all future company projects.

Why is the template important to the style guide?

The template chosen will represent your brand in its full visual aesthetic. If the template itself doesn’t fit the brand, it will throw off anyone who reads it. This is because the style guide dictates how team members and outside agencies are to use your brand.

Here’s an example of why the template is so important to the style guide. If there were a warning sign posted by an extremely dangerous part of nature, it would make sense for the sign to coincide with visuals representing caution – red font, serious typography, etc. If, however, the sign were made up of happy colors and goofy fonts, the message would be lost. The same is true for choosing a template when creating a style guide.

A group of workers creating a layout on a computer.
The template sets the tone for the entire style guide.

5 different tips to make an amazing style guide template

You want the company style guide to really stand out and draw team members in to the culture. Therefore, it’s important to create an exciting layout. Here are five unique tips to help you do so:

1. Be unique with your brand colors

Sure, it’s important to fill your style guide using company colors. However, it’s just as important to avoid overdoing it or being cliche. Mix up your color schemes and keep the layout fresh. It will encourage teams to do the same in their projects.

2. Include a logo on every page

Similar to having page numbers to guide readers, a logo on every page maintains professionalism and solidarity throughout the style guide. Make sure you choose a reasonable size – something noticeable but not overwhelming to the material.

3. Name your brand colors

It’s a lot easier to refer to specific names of brand colors than it is to numbers of a color chart. For example, ‘Dark Ruby Red’ makes things easier than ‘#FF0000’. It also distinguishes between plain green and a unique type of green.

A color book.
Give your brand colors specific labels.

4. Create an intriguing title and supplement it with a beautiful title page

Just because it’s a style guide and not a novel doesn’t mean the title has to be boring. Make it pop with a twist but keep it professional and on-point. Further, the title page should be intriguing visually. Give the readers the idea that your brand is professional through and through.

5. Give your template layout enough room for images

Finally, make sure your guide is laid out in a manner that gives plenty of room for images. The most likely use of images in the style guide is the company product. It’s very informative to explain a product or tool and then show a picture of it.

Remember that the template you use for a style guide represents your brand just as much as the content of the guide. Make sure it measures up to the standards your company wants to represent.