What The Heck Is A Brand Style Guide And Why Do I Need One?

May 13, 2016

It’s the last thing any business wants to worry about - the dreaded, brand style guide. Every business has been there; that moment you contemplate whether or not creating a brand style guide will be beneficial. The answer is yes, with the most important being that a brand style guide ensures a brand’s lasting integrity.

What exactly is a brand style guide?

A brand style guide is a compilation of rules or guidelines that outline exactly how a company or organization’s brand should be expressed.

What Should I Include?

It depends on how specific you want to get and how complicated the brand itself is. The more precise you are in depicting the rules, the less likely someone will carry it out in the wrong manner. However, some important factors that should be included in every brand style guide are:

Primary logo

• Placement - where the logo will be placed

• Minimum Size - in relation to placement and other surrounding elements

• Spacing - spacing of logo and surrounding area

• Acceptable and unacceptable uses of the logo



• Name of Typeface(s) -  used in logo across all marketing materials/collateral, complete with examples.

• Name of Typeface(s) - used in content copy across all marketing materials/collateral, complete with examples.

• Acceptable and Unacceptable Weights - complete with examples.



• Specific Pantone colors - to be used across all marketing materials/collateral

• Specific CMYK values - to be used across all marketing materials/collateral

• Specific HEX values - to be used across all marketing materials/collateral

• Specific RGB values - to be used across all marketing materials/collateral



• Look and feel - full color, black and white, duotone

• Specific tone

• Specific subject matter


Why do I need a brand style guide?

You have worked tirelessly to create a unique and distinct brand for your client. You’ve gone back and forth multiple times on color, what fonts are to be used, as well as what kind of imagery. You and your team have finally come up with a creative solution that perfectly expresses your client’s vision as well as who they are.

But what happens when, in say several months, your company starts to grow. To communicate the brand consistently to new designers, freelancers, and outside vendors, a style guide does come in handy.

With a brand style guide, anyone involved can simply skim through and quickly get a feel for exactly how the brand should be carried out. One of the most important factors that determines the success or failure of a brand, is consistency carried across a variety of marketing facets. A brand style guide effectively keeps everyone involved on the same page and reduces the chance of the brand from falling apart.

Brand style guides also help cut down on time and cost. You do not have to waste time figuring out how to spell names if something should be capitalized, or what specific color blue to use. Everything you need to know will be laid out for easy and quick access.

Overall, brand style guides are an essential part of the branding process. When multiple designers are working on a brand, it ensures the brand remains universal, no matter what kind of marketing medium it is being applied to. Some excellent examples of brand style guides to check out are Skype, Argento, and United Way.

Place your brand in the right hands and contact fatrabbit CREATIVE today!

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