Set Up Your Brand Style Guidelines in 2024 [Free Template]

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, and here are some Brand Style Guide Examples to Inspire you.

Growth Storytelling Framework by StoryLabAI

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. 

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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.

4. Tagline(s)

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? 

6. Typography

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.

FAQ

What are Brand Style Guidelines?
Brand Style Guidelines are a set of standards that outline how a brand should be presented visually and verbally, including logo usage, color palettes, typography, imagery, and tone of voice.

Why are Brand Style Guidelines important?
They ensure consistency in how a brand is represented across various platforms and mediums, which helps in building brand recognition and trust with the audience.

What elements are typically included in Brand Style Guidelines?
Common elements include logo specifications, color schemes, typography, imagery style, brand voice and tone, and guidelines for brand application on different materials and digital platforms.

How do Brand Style Guidelines impact marketing and communication?
They provide a cohesive framework for all marketing and communication materials, ensuring that all content aligns with the brand’s identity and messaging.

Can Brand Style Guidelines evolve over time?
Yes, they can and should evolve as the brand grows and market trends change, but this evolution should be managed carefully to maintain brand identity and consistency.

How detailed should Brand Style Guidelines be?
The level of detail depends on the brand’s needs. Larger organizations often require more comprehensive guidelines, while smaller brands may need something more basic.

Who should use the Brand Style Guidelines?
Everyone who creates content for the brand, including internal teams like marketing and communications and external partners like agencies and freelancers, should adhere to these guidelines.

How do Brand Style Guidelines differ between companies?
They vary based on the company’s industry, target audience, brand personality, and marketing strategies, reflecting each brand’s unique identity and values.

What is the role of typography in Brand Style Guidelines?
Typography guidelines help maintain a consistent look and feel in all textual content, contributing to brand recognition and the overall aesthetic appeal.

How are Brand Style Guidelines communicated and enforced?
They are usually compiled into a comprehensive document or digital resource and shared with all relevant stakeholders, with brand managers or marketing teams ensuring compliance.

How can Brand Style Guidelines enhance a company’s online presence?
By ensuring consistent visual and verbal branding across all online platforms, these guidelines enhance brand recognition and coherence, making the brand more memorable and professional to online audiences.

What is the impact of Brand Style Guidelines on customer perception?
Consistent application of these guidelines positively impacts customer perception by reinforcing brand reliability, professionalism, and cohesiveness.

How do Brand Style Guidelines contribute to a brand’s storytelling?
They provide a framework for consistent messaging and aesthetics, which are crucial for coherent and effective storytelling that aligns with the brand’s identity and values.

Can small businesses benefit from having Brand Style Guidelines?
Absolutely, even small businesses can benefit significantly, as these guidelines help in establishing a strong, recognizable brand from the start, regardless of the company’s size.

What’s the difference between Brand Style Guidelines and a Brand Manual?
Brand Style Guidelines focus mainly on the visual and verbal aspects, while a Brand Manual may include broader company operations, philosophy, and values in addition to style guidelines.

How often should Brand Style Guidelines be reviewed and updated?
They should be reviewed regularly, at least annually, and updated as needed to ensure they remain relevant and effective in aligning with evolving marketing strategies and market trends.

What role do colors play in Brand Style Guidelines?
Color schemes in Brand Style Guidelines are crucial for establishing a brand’s visual identity as they evoke specific emotions and associations, contributing to brand recognition.

How should new employees be introduced to Brand Style Guidelines?
New employees should be given a thorough introduction to the guidelines as part of their onboarding process, ensuring they understand the importance and application of the brand’s visual and verbal identity.

Can Brand Style Guidelines influence product design?
Yes, they often influence product design by ensuring that the products align with the brand’s aesthetic and messaging, contributing to a cohesive brand experience.

How do Brand Style Guidelines intersect with content marketing strategies?
These guidelines provide a foundation for content creation, ensuring that all marketing materials, whether digital or print, consistently reflect the brand’s identity and messaging strategy.

Author bio:

Raul TiruRaul Tiru: Raul loves to build companies and help startups and scale-ups grow. Raul started his first website when he was 17 years old, has held several growth marketing positions in fast-growing companies, and has helped companies via his Freelance Marketing services. You can find Raul on his community GlobalOwls where he helps Nonprofits and Startups to do better marketing.

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