Graphic Design: Your Guide to Creating a Brand Style Guide

Graphic Design: Your Guide to Creating a Brand Style Guide

Jul 29, 2024

Graphic design

So, you’ve nailed the basics of color, images, typography, and composition. But now you’re wondering, “Where can I find templates and examples to use for my own brand?” The answer is a brand style guide.

A style guide is like your brand’s visual bible. It’s a document that outlines how your brand should look across different media—websites, social media, you name it. Every brand needs one. Whether you’re adding an image to your website or posting on Instagram, a style guide ensures you don’t have to guess at the colors, images, or fonts to use—they’re all laid out for you with examples.

Having a brand style guide is a game-changer. It keeps everyone on the same page, presenting a unified vision of your business. This is crucial whether your designs come from marketing, customer service, sales, or web design.

But what if you don’t have a style guide yet, especially if you’re a startup? You’ll need to create one eventually to ensure brand consistency. In the meantime, you can maintain consistency by aligning your designs with your main digital assets, like your website or product visuals.

Key Elements of a Style Guide

Here’s what you’ll need from your style guide when creating graphics:

  1. Colors

  2. Typography

  3. Imagery

  4. Logos

These elements should be easy to understand and reproduce, so you know how and when to use them.

Creating Your Brand Style Guide

Let’s break down what to consider when putting together your brand’s style guide:

1. Determining Your Color Palette

Your style guide will describe the colors that represent your brand, often including why they were chosen. It will provide RGB and HEX values for each color, so you can easily reproduce them. For example, a “Salmon” color might have an RGB code of 250, 128, 114 and a HEX code of FA8072.

2. Determining Your Fonts

This section ensures you use consistent typography, making your brand look professional. You’ll find different fonts and sizes listed for various purposes, along with guidelines on letter and paragraph spacing.

3. Determining Your Imagery

The imagery section should provide examples of photos or images that fit your brand. This way, you don’t need approval for every image you use.

4. Determining Acceptable Use of Logos

Your style guide should show the correct and incorrect ways to use your logo. This helps everyone at your company avoid misusing it.

Understanding Your Design Goals

Before creating a graphic, you need to establish a few things:

  • Who is your target audience? Where do they hang out online? Do they prefer long articles with graphics or bite-sized content on platforms like Instagram?

  • Who will see the graphic? Existing customers, prospective customers, or both?

  • What’s the context? LinkedIn requires a professional tone, while Twitter or Facebook might be more casual.

  • What’s the medium? Website, email newsletter, tweet, Facebook post, blog, etc.

  • How does your audience consume content? Are they mostly on mobile or desktop?

  • What’s the function of the graphic? For example, is it supporting a blog post to increase subscribers?

Also, consider your budget and deadline. Even with limited resources, you can achieve a lot by reusing existing assets or modifying stock images. If you frequently use stock images, factor in the cost and time for acquiring the right ones and any necessary licenses. Some recommended free stock image sites are Negative Space, Death to Stock, Pexels, and HubSpot.

Final Thoughts

Creating a brand style guide and understanding your design goals ensures a consistent experience for your audience, no matter where they engage with you. Want more inspiration for fantastic brand styles? Check out these 32 website designs. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a cohesive and compelling brand presence.

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Get in touch, and let's create the future together!

Schedule a free 30 min needs analysis and problem identification call worth 1000$

Or help us get in touch with you!

Copyright by MAKREATE IT Services Co LLC 2024