A brand style guide is what brings together your basic brand elements, keeping it consistent in order to help you grow your reach. Typically, a brand guide shows your logos in all forms, your color palette with hex codes, typography selections, and image inspiration.
Having a style guide is invaluable as your business is growing! No matter how many hands touch your brand (virtual assistant, designer, social media manager, etc.), your brand can remain 100% consistent.
Your brand guide can be used as a reference point for each and every piece of content that’s created, making it easy for everyone on your team to execute your design beautifully.
A brand style guide is going to prevent lots of future headaches as you scale your business. Let’s walk through how you can create your brand guidelines in just a few hours!
Choose a Location
First things first, choose where you want your brand guidelines to be held. There are lots of different ways you can organize your brand guidelines, whether it’s on a Google document, a card or task in your project management system, or even a Pinterest board shared with your team. Crafting a mood board allows you to get creative and think outside of the box, and figure out the fun personality that you envision for your brand.
Take a look at the Canva branding templates inside our Beautiful Biz Lounge membership for some inspiration! These customizable templates make it even easier for you to create a gorgeous logo design and brand style guide for your website or blog.
Related post: How to Visually Grow Your Brand Past Your Logo
What to Include
The goal of your guide is to create a practical tool that helps your team understand how your brand looks and sounds. Of course, it includes things like colors and fonts, but you can’t forget to also capture the overall mission and heart behind your business.
1 | Brand Heart
This is the bird’s eye view of your brand’s core principles, which drives everything you do. From how you speak to customers, to the visual design of your site and products, the heart behind your business is at the core. Think about the values, purpose, vision, and mission behind why you exist. Ask yourself, what future do you want to help create? What are you here to do? What principles drive your actions and decision-making?
2 | Brand Voice
Your brand’s voice encompasses how you speak about your company and products and how you communicate with your customers. A strong brand voice will grab your audience’s attention and create engagement with your brand.
It helps you to create an emotional connection with your potential customers, showcasing who you really are. You want to sound like an expert in your industry, but not so formal and stuffy that people can’t relate to you. The simplest way to evaluate if your website sounds like you is to read it out loud!
3 | Brand Positioning
Outlining your brand’s content pillars will help you stay consistent in your messaging and content. What are the topics or pieces of content that you want to hone in on with your audience? What information is your ideal customer looking and searching for?
Think about the taglines and value propositions you want to share with your audience on a regular basis. A great tagline captures your company’s brand essence, personality, and positioning in a short phrase. Focus on a tagline that is memorable, likable, and relates to your brand – Apple, for example, uses the tagline “Think different.”
4 | Visual Elements
Visual communication is the best way to build your community and customer base. In mere seconds, someone can decide how they feel about your brand! If they don’t immediately fall in love with their eyes, it’s going to be a challenge to win them over as a customer or client.
Start with 4-6 colors and a few palettes, as this will truly capture the mood of your brand. Patterns and textures add depth to your brand and enhance its visual appeal. Create visual consistency so your brand is easily recognizable by anyone who lands on your site or interacts with your brand online.
The most obvious piece of visual elements is your logo! You need one that is strong and will last as trends come and go. It should be something that can evolve as your business grows, and you can revisit your brand goals to ensure your logo continues to serve your brand properly.
Related post: 4 Tips to Create Visual Consistency in Your Brand
Keep it Handy
Make sure everyone on your team knows to refer back to this guide — contractors, team members, etc. It needs to be easily accessible for reference as you and your team create content, develop new products, send emails, design social media graphics, and more.
If you have people asking you where your brand guidelines are located, it’s probably in the wrong place! The more accessible it is, the more eyes you’ll get on it, and the easier it is for your team to stay up-to-date with updates to your brand.
Remember to keep your guidelines simple. No one wants to refer to a 50-page PDF document that’s overly complex. Focus on clarity with simplicity, breaking down each section so it’s easy to read and understand. We love the acronym KISS – “Keep it simple, sweety.”Create your brand guidelines in just a few hours! No headaches required.Click To Tweet
Your brand guidelines are the cornerstone of everything you create and share with your audience. By developing a brand style guide, your brand will remain on point as it’s used as a reference point for each and every piece of content that’s created.
Here at Bluchic, we love how easy Canva makes design for “non-designers!” We created customizable templates inside our Beautiful Biz Lounge membership to make it even easier for you to create a gorgeous logo design and a brand style guide for your website/blog.
With 25 sets of ready-to-use Logo templates and 25 sets of Brand Style Guides with color palettes, fonts, and logo variation, you’ll have a head start crafting your brand guidelines in just a few hours’ time.