What makes a killer Brand Style Guide?
Depending upon your brand, you can design something very specific and include a 20 page guide on how to best represent your brand; or you can have a quick reference sheet available for those everyday glances. There are many different styles of brand guides out there and there really isn’t a “right way” to go when creating the guide. However, there are some really helpful elements you can include within your Brand Style Guide to guide anyone (inside or outside of the brand) on how to best use and represent your brand logo and design elements.
A strong brand style guide will showcase all approved versions of the logo for a quick reference. You should be including these versions if applicable to the brand: full color, all black, black and white, all white, flat, stacked and horizontal versions. Most Brand Guidelines will show the approved spacing around the logo, as well. Another important element to the logo would be the Mark itself. Cover all specific aspects of this to ensure that it does not get misused, as well.
A Color Palette
Include any approved color themes within the style guide to avoid any clashing of the brand within a design. Keep in mind, you are not the only person who will be using this guide. Be sure to be specific, including HEX values, RGB, CMYK and Pantone specific shades and tints if needed.
Fonts & Typography
Any and all brand specific fonts that are necessary to complete a cohesive feel across any branding. List them here, show example use cases and provide any additional specific information on the fonts and their usage. If you can only use one font for the H1 or Print headlines – be sure to mention it here.
Shapes & Decorative Elements
If your brand is relying on a specific unique design style then you may want to think about also including approved shapes or decorative elements to help encourage consistency within any design piece.
Most brands will develop a style guide that includes several different pattern options to use as a strong but simple branding element. Showcasing a small sample piece of each pattern is equally important for the esthetics of the brand.
Imagery & Photos
Some guides even include sample imagery and photos to show appropriate usage. This could be important if you are relying heavily on a customized photography selection.
To most designers, this is one of the most important elements within a style or brand guide. Showcase the ways not to use your brand’s design elements and logo. This is critical for ensuring that who ever is using your brand – they do so in an appropriate manner to your brand vision.
Below are 10 beautifully crafted style and brand guides for your inspiration.