Resplendence, a blog from Radiant Resolution about graphic design

How to Create a Style Guide for Your Brand


So you have your beautiful new logo, and now it's time to complete your identity branding. It's extremely beneficial to have a style guide to refer to for all of your design and marketing decisions.

What should be included in a style guide? A style guide should have answers to any possible question you may have about how to present your logo and style across your branding. This can include everything from print material to social media, and can be as detailed as indicating the proper amount and color of the space surrounding your logo.

Here are some essentials to include for your identity branding style guide to ensure your brand is always represented in the best way possible.

Color Palette

At the very least, your style guide should include the proper color palette included in your logo. It's important to have palettes for CMYK (print colors), RGB (screen colors), and PMS (Pantone Matching System), but there should also be alternate palettes for situations where your logo may need to appear in black and white, one- or two-color scenarios, and on a dark background. And additionally, you'll need color choices selected for promotional material, backgrounds, and more. If there is to be text next to your logo, what should the primary color choice be? What about the secondary? Every possible situation should be predicted up front so the solution is ready to go in the Style Guide!

Fonts

Not only should you have the fonts documented from within your logo, but any fonts that should be associated with your marketing material. What font appears on your business cards? Large bodies of text? Taglines? Be sure to make clear the font name, size, color, and even the leading or kerning (space between lines and letters, respectively), or space allowed between text and edges.

Spacing

Speaking of spacing between text, it's important to document the minimum space required around your logo when it appears on marketing material. For instance, NASA Has a one inch rule requirement on all sides of it's famous blue logo (often referred to as the "meatball"). Any official NASA document will follow these guidelines to create consistency and professionalism across their brand.

Backgrounds

Be sure to decide what kind of backgrounds your logo can be shown on. Does a busy background distract or clash with your logo? Do you require a plain background? Does it need to be white? Think about every place your logo could appear and any rules to follow.

No Nos

It's crucial to showcase any incorrect uses of the logo in various forms. For instance, restrictions should be made on compressing the logo (adjusting the size without scaling proportionally), adding effects not already in the logo like drop shadows, or swapping colors in the logo. If they aren't pointed out, they can be considered OK to do.

Style guides can be extensive, and even include your brand's "voice" and writing style, target audience and more. These are just a few to be included!

Radiant Resolution offers style guides in addition to logos, or we let you develop your own style guide. Contact us today for a free quote on a logo and style guide, or just the logo!

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About Brittany Klein

Brittany Klein is a freelance graphic designer from Maryland. She established her company, Radiant Resolution, in 2008 after receiving her Master of Arts degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design. She has since written blogs, e-books, and articles centered around graphic design and fine art for many organizations across the country.

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