Why a brand style guide is essential for your brand ?

You know what is said about first impressions…What is the first impression you want to leave on your customers and future co-workers? Have you ever wondered why a brand style guide is essential for building a brand image?

Building a graphic charter is an integral part of the development of your brand image insofar as it reflects the values of your company. It is through a coherent brand style guide that you will be able to work on your corporate image. The brand style guide is therefore a key factor to be taken into account in your communication strategy, whatever your profile: self-employed, company or association.

Brand style guide designed by Elodie Atanley for an online media on permaculture thema.

What is a brand style guide ?

A strong basis for your communication strategy

A brand style guide provides a powerful tool for the communication of your project, services and products. It brings together the elements that define your identity and by adopting a coherent visual style, your partners will see you as a professional.

A visual guide for the components of a brand

A brand style guide is a visual representation of a brand’s components. It serves as a guide providing a framework for the proper use of the logo, font, color palette and other elements used to represent a company.

It offers a guidance for the use of these visual elements on all communication media presenting a brand, an association or a service provider.

What is the purpose of a brand style guide?

Consistency and reliability

Earn credibility and stand out from your competitors by taking care of your visual design. Build a strong identity based on your values. This is the best way to instill confidence by showing the consistency and professionalism of your approach.

Confidence and visual presence

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: when you need a service or purchase a product, you choose the provider that inspires you the most confidence, don’t you? What criteria do you rely on to quickly recognize and identify a product or service? How important is the visual presentation of your products or services to your customers? Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback! It will help you grow and enhance your services or products.

Usage rules and brand image

Once your personality and your style are defined, the brand style guide will define the rules of use of your various distinctive signs in order to ensure the quality of your brand image is preserved. It will be used as a guideline in the development of your visual identity on all your web and print communication media. Through your graphic charter you will standardize your visual appearance on the different media:

  • website
  • posts
  • social network banners
  • e-mail signature
  • booklets
  • leaflets
  • business cards
  • packaging

To whom is the brand style guide essential?

The key players who will need to refer to your brand style guide are:

  • your staff for the production of documents distributed internally;
  • your external service providers as part of partnerships as in any document intended to be publicly distributed.

So, your brand style guide will be a support ensuring the coherence of your internal and external communication.

What should a brand style guide include?

Although the presentation and content of a brand style guide may differ depending on the sector of activity and the size of the structure, it generally includes the following elements:

  • a presentation and a variation of the logo on a dark or light background, as well as indications regarding the placement of the logo (margins to be respected for example);
  • color codes (CMYK for printing, HEX for the web);
  • fonts and font sizes for typography;
  • Layout recommendations (business card, website);
A brand style guide is essential to represent a city and its municipality communities for example. This illustration shows the logo and the variations of the logos of Saint-Lô and its municipality communities.
Example taken from the brand style guide of Saint-Lô and its municipality communities displaying the variations of its logo

The most important thing is to ensure that the elements indicated are relevant to your brand image. Besides, a brand style guide is not intended to be an exhaustive document; it is rather a visual guide that should be extended as the company evolves over time.

Finally, your brand style guide can also present a summary of your brand’s values and mindset in order to improve its perception by your staff members who will use it in their communication to the public.

What is the best format for a brand style guide ?

According to the needs and the size of your organization, your brand style guide can adopt different formats (printable booklet, pdf or accessible online). The key is to ensure that this reference document is useful, easily accessible and easy to share. This is why the digital format is often preferred today.

Now you have all the keys in hand to understand why a brand style guide is essential to your business to establish the corporate image you want to convey.

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