What is a Brand Style Guide
A Brand Style Guide is a document that helps you and your stakeholders to understand how your brand assets should be used.
You can create a simple Brand Style Guide in any format (Google Presentation, Google Doc, Google Sheet, Web page) or a more extensive Style Guide. For this, we recommend using a format that allows you to truly showcase your brand.
We advise not to create a Brand Style Guide in a static format like a PDF, Microsoft Word, etc.
You don’t want to send out your Style Guide to your stakeholders and have them download it on their devices. If this happens, you can no longer ensure that people are using the latest version of the guideline. Mistakes will be made.
Publish your Guidelines where you can adjust accordingly and make sure that you have one single source of truth.
The free Brand Style Guide we provide in this article is created in Google Sheets.
It lives within the Growth Storytelling Framework which helps you reach your goals faster.
The benefit of having it in this sheet is that you can share the link with your stakeholders and it does not matter how often you change it, everyone will have the latest version when they access it via your link.
The secondary benefit is that it’s always at your fingertips since you’ll be using the other tabs in the Growth Storytelling Framework for your Content Distribution, Strategy, etc.
You can access our Brand Style Guide Template here for free.
No email signup is needed.
Below, we explain how to use the template.
Importance of a Brand Style Guide
First, let’s go over the importance of a Brand Style Guide.
The template we provide is just that. A template.
It’s up to you what you want to use, delete or add. So understanding the importance of a Style Guide is important to really make it your own.
Branding overall is important to evoke an emotion. To showcase what you stand for and for your audience to recognize you.
A Brand Style Guide helps you to document the look and feel of your brand so you and your stakeholders can be consistent when creating new assets. It is an essential part of your Inbound Marketing Strategy and overall marketing strategy.
How to use our Brand Style Guide Template
1. Introduce your brand
Write a short summary about what makes your brand unique and what you should always remember when creating new assets. It’s not about the color codes, typography, etc. those come later. What feeling do you always want to bring across? What do you stand for? Do that in a story form.
2. Important keywords that describe your brand
Let’s now bring it back to a couple of keywords that describes your brand. Is it playful, colorful, corporate, what is it?
3. Proper use of logo and link
What is the proper use of your logo? Do you always use padding? A specific background? How should people NOT use your logo?
Also link to your official logo.
Do you have a tagline? Do you have multiple taglines? Can they be used together? Can they be used in combination with your logo or not?
5. Color palette
Which colors do you use? Be specific. Write down your color codes. What are the combinations that can be used together?
What is your typography? Where can people download it? Do you use just one or multiple? When can each one be used?
7. Proper use of images
This ties a little bit back to #1. Which emotions do you want to evoke? For instance, most Nonprofits choose to only use positive imagery and stay away from negative emotions. They choose to empower rather than spread fear. Which emotions do you want to evoke and which ones do you want to stay away from?
8. Use of shapes and corners
Is your brand using shapes? How can they be used? How about sharp versus more organic shapes, corners, boxes? For consistency, it would be great to stick with one of the two.
Get our Brand Style Guide Template
You can access it here for free.
No email signup is needed.