Graphic Design Intro 2: Brand Style Guide
After learning the basics of color, images, typography, and composition, you may wonder where you can find templates and examples of each of these things to use in your branding. The good news is that you can achieve all of this easily with a brand style guide.
A style guide is a document that provides guidelines on how your brand appears on different media, such as websites, social media, etc. Whether you’re adding an image to your website, a social media post, or anything visual, using a style guide means you don’t have to guess colors, images, or fonts they’re all available with an excess of examples in your style guide.
The great thing about having a brand style guide is that it puts everyone on the same page, presenting a unified view of your business, whether your designs come from marketing, customer service, sales, or web design.
But what if you don’t have a style guide, for example, you are an early stage company? At some point, you’ll need to create one to ensure consistency across your brand. Until you have one, you can ensure consistency simply by making sure your design is consistent with your other primary digital assets, like your website or product images.
Let’s look at the main things you’ll need to take from the style guide when you’re putting together a graphic. These include:
These things should be easy to understand and reproduce, so you can know how and when to use them.
Creating your brand style guide
Here is a list of things to consider when putting together your brand’s style guide:
Determining your color palette
You’ll find a description of the colors and maybe even why they represent the specific company brand. In addition to the sample sketches of the various colors, you will also find RGB and HEX values, which indicate the exact color codes so that you can reproduce each of them in whatever editor you use.
The RGB code or the red, green, and blue values are simply three numbers that indicate the amount of each primary color used to create the desired color. For example, a “Salmon” color can use the following RGB: 250, 128, 114.
You can also find the HEX code for a particular color. This is a 6-digit hexadecimal number that indicates the intensity of red, green, and blue in the color. For example, a “salmon” color can use the following HEX: FA8072.
Determining your fonts
What about the typography or fonts you use? This part of your style guide will ensure you are consistent in looking professional. You may find a number of different fonts and sizes listed, each for a different purpose. The style guide determines which one to go where and will usually show the spacing between letters and paragraphs as well.
Determining your imagery
Obviously, when you put the graphics together, you will want to know which photos or images are suitable for your brand. The image section of the style guide should give you plenty of examples so you don’t need to get approval for each one you use.
Clearly your logo is a very obvious part of your branding, and here is an example showing proper use of the Urban Arts logo above and examples of unacceptable use of the Urban Arts below. Ideally, your style guide should show you how NOT to use your logo, so that you and others in your business can prevent misuse.
Determining acceptable use of logos
Clearly your logo is a very obvious part of your branding, and here is an example showing proper use of the Urban Arts logo above and examples of unacceptable use of the Urban Arts logo below. Ideally, your style guide should show you how NOT to use your logo, so that you and others in your business can prevent misuse.
And that’s it! An introduction to creating your brand’s style guide and understanding how to determine your brand’s design goals.
If You want more ideas for creating a fantastic brand style? We Love to hear from you, reach us at Urban Arts.