Every brand has its branding guidelines collected into a visual style guide. For every brand, the objective is to be memorable. It implies integrity and consistency.
Big brands are recognizable at once. Visual style guide expresses the company’s entity. To be easily recognized, it is very important to create a brand identity style guide.
About visual style guide
It is a detailed document where a brand records the ways of its presentation. It is a reference for the team and third parties. It helps in performing marketing campaigns, customer service, sales, and design. Also, it communicates the identity of the company to the public (as well as to people within teams).
Basics of the visual style guide
There are four basics: logo, color palette, fonts, and visuals. Before starting, figure out what your brand is about and the impression it will leave. The vision of the brand, its audience, brand entity, company values, and objectives should be present
Creating a visual style guide
1. Do research
In our business tutorials, we have discussed how important research is for the creative process. Look through images and save some for references, expressing your values and character.
2. Find basics
The most difficult part about creating a visual style guide is defining basics. Here are some things that you can choose:
Brand story: This is your introduction to the realm of your brand.
Logo: It is important to establish exactly how your logo will be used for projects. This part will show others where the logo should be placed, is proportions and application.
Color palette: Your brand’s consistency rests on your color palette. Remember, different designers have their styles and use different programs. They need the reference point with exact specifications for your brand.
Choose four colors with some variations. The style guide should include swatches of your brand colors and include basics, as the Pantone name of the color, print color, digital color. Including the exact specifications will save you both time and money.
Typography: It is another major component. Good typography shows your professionalism. Here you should choose typefaces complying with your brand visions.
Generally, use a different font from your logo, so there is some contrast. Make sure the font is not a distracting element, include text alignment and spacing.
Images: The photographs you choose will be the most remarkable part of your campaigns. This is perhaps the hardest part because of the limited amount of pictures you can include.
Showcasing images will be very important here. These images create an idea of what use in social media, advertising materials, and printed production.
Voice: The writing style is very important. Your brand needs a certain look and a certain sound. A good way here is to focus on your target audience and express the values attracting to that.
3. Consider digital and print use
We covered the very basics and the essential elements that will make up your brand’s visual style guide. There are other things to keep in mind as you are creating one. If your brand is mainly digital, you might want to include a section on image layout in your guide. If you have physical products that also require branding, packaging guidelines are a good idea. If your brand is more focused on social media, then the imagery section will take up more space to showcase your visual style.
Add other necessary elements that you need to cover. For digital use, your website, social media accounts, and banners need to be integrated into the visual style guide. For print, consider brochures, packaging, signage, and stationery items. These fine details also deserve attention.
4. Creating a draft
Consider the general information you’d like to put in your visual style guide. Create some brand mockups for better brand positioning. Next, you need to consider how you’d like to present your guide: print, online, or PDF. This will be an important document for your company so it should be carefully planned.
5. Creating space for development
When combining the guide, remember that it is a process. Things within brands are constantly changing, and the job will continue. Leave some room to adjust the information.
We see first, and then we hear things. Take care about the stuff your teams and clients will see before they get acquainted with your company. You’re the person behind, helping everyone understand how to follow the brand style and aesthetics.
As long as you cover all the basics, you’re ready to share it with others. Decide early on whether this document will be internal or public.
Some style guides are extensive, while others are just a single page document. It doesn’t matter; you need a point of reference for future projects.