Why You Definitely Need A Brand Style Guide
Anyone who’s ever started an online business is probably familiar with this scenario: you finally launch your beautifully designed new website, complete with a stylish logo, appealing colors and imagery, and just the right fonts to suit your brand. People just can’t keep away from your website, that’s how good it looks! As the weeks go on, you start adding new content. Things start to look, well, not quite so great. The site is looking a little mix-and-match. It’s getting muddled and it’s not as satisfying to browse through it.
What’s the problem?
You don’t have a style guide, and it’s starting to show.
What Is A Style Guide?
Simply put, it is the guidelines that govern how your site should look. It covers your fonts, what your headings look like and the colours you use on your site – from the color of your links and buttons right through to the images you use to illustrate your website. It gives an air of consistency and professionalism to your website, and makes it attractive for your customers to use.
For this very website I have a simple, one page, brand style guide - you can take a look below. As you can see, it’s not a huge intimidating document - just an easy to understand walk through the various elements that make up the EmmaEnglishby.com “look”.
Your Logo Alone Isn’t Enough
By having your logo designed, you have, albeit inadvertently, already started your style guide.
You decided to have a logo so that you can bring together the disparate parts of your business and make it obvious that all those parts tie together - you use your logo on your social media accounts, and on your headed letter paper, and of course on your website, to make the look of these things consistent.
That’s exactly what a style guide does too.
You Can’t Remember Everything
Maybe you feel that you don’t need a written style guide because you can just remember which heading types you use, and what colors you use on your website. But it is easy to slip over a period of time – you may not notice that “not quite right” shade of blue, or slightly larger than usual font immediately, but trust me, all those little inconsistencies combine quickly to form a pretty messy looking website. A simple, written guide means that your site’s style will remain consistent even years in the future if you need it to be.
From One-Man Bands To Amazon: Everyone Needs A Style Guide
A brand style guide is just as important for a small company as it is for a huge multinational - although it might not need to be as complicated. You probably don’t need to define your exact logo dimensions, or specify just how round the corners of your buttons are going to be, like some of these big brands do in their style guides.
But simply having a clear list of colors, fonts, icons, and any other brand elements you use, means you always have a handy reference when you’re working on your next social media banner, or when you begin to create things like custom email templates for your newsletter. Having a clear style guide also means that any work you outsource to designers for your website will also conform to the same template, so you don’t need to worry if you need to pass on work to others.
Need help defining your style guide? Choosing colors and fonts that work well together is one of my favorite tasks in any design project, so why not let me create one for you too?