What Is a Brand Style Guide & How To Create One + Templates
A business is as powerful as the brand it represents. And the brand style guide is an important document that helps businesses maintain their brand consistently.
It’s the power of the brand that allows Nike to price a pair of sneakers at $200. You could probably buy a similar pair of sneakers for $25 from a regular shop but people still buy the expensive shoes. Why? Because they want to show off the Swoosh logo.
Not many businesses have a brand as successful as Nike or Apple or Gucci. Mainly because they fail to maintain a consistent look for their brand in everything they create. That’s why you should always make a brand style guide from the day you come up with the branding for the business.
So how exactly do you create a brand style guide? What should you include in this brand manual? Let’s find out.
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What Is a Brand Style Guide?
A brand style guide, also known as brand guidelines, is a document or a manual businesses use to offer a detailed look into their brand and how it represents the business.
A brand style guide usually includes everything there is to know about a brand from the fonts used in the logo design to the exact color hex codes used in icon designs. It offers the precise measurements, rules, and instructions on how to represent the brand to the world.
Why Create Brand Style Guides?
Consistency is key for maintaining the authority of a brand. Nike’s Swoosh logo uses the same colors in every product they make worldwide. If it somehow gets printed in the wrong shade of color, then it becomes a duplicate knockoff product.
Needless to say, maintaining brand style is important and the style guide is the manual that helps to keep it that way.
Style guides are not just for big brands either. Even if you have a small business, you should keep a style guide for your brand. For example, it will come in handy when you hire an agency to run promotional campaigns or want a freelancer to design a packaging design for a product.
Best Brand Style Guide Examples
If you’re not sure what a brand style guide looks like, here are a few great examples of brand style guides from popular brands.
Slack offers detailed information about its brand in the style guide about how it presents the brand and the design decisions behind it. You can download the entire PDF to learn more about it.
Micah Daigle, who worked on Asana’s rebranding design showcases the process that went into the branding design in this case study. You can learn a lot from this style guide.
Audi takes pride in its iconic “rings” logo. It’s how anyone recognizes the brand no matter where they see it. This brand style guide shows how much detail goes into designing that iconic logo.
Style guides are crucial when presenting a brand through marketing campaigns. This case study of Uber shows what goes into the process of creating a campaign that speaks to multiple cultures around the world.
This is a highly detailed brand style guide Nike used to design its website back in 2012. It’s an old document and the website has been revamped since with a new design. But this document offers a look into what goes in a brand style guide.
What to Include in a Brand Style Guide
What you include in a brand style guide depends on its purpose.
For example, you can create style guides for many different projects and campaigns. You could have one style guide for your website design and another for a marketing campaign.
But, for creating a general style guide to showcase your brand, you can start with the basics. Here are some of the basic things to include in a style guide:
- Logo guidelines: Including the colors, size, shapes, geometry
- Color guidelines: Everything about the color choices, color codes, and why they matter
- Typography guidelines: Fonts, sizes, and weights used in typography
- Visual guidelines: Instructions on how to use images, illustrations, and photos
- Brand story and voice: Explanation about your mission and how you communicate it to the world
How to Create a Brand Style Guide
The easiest way to create a brand style guide is to use a pre-made template. With a template, you can create a style guide by yourself. All you need is basic knowledge of Adobe InDesign.
You can start with these brand style guide templates.
Modern Brand Guidelines Template
This template gives you 20 beautiful page layouts to create a complete brand guidelines document for your business. It features a modern design with all the necessary pages for showcasing every detail of the brand design. You can edit it using Adobe InDesign.
Brand Style Guide Template for InDesign
This brand style guide template features a clean and smooth page design that allows you to make brand guidelines documents for all kinds of brands and businesses. It’s available in A4 and US Letter sizes as well.
Cd Linex – Brand Guidelines Template
The landscape layout is a commonly used format for creating brand style guides. This template also features a similar page layout with a modern design. There are 16 different page layouts in this template. You can customize them easily to make brand guidelines for various projects.
Brand Manual & Style Guide Template
You can create a modern and professional brand manual for your business using this style guide template. It comes with 20 beautiful page layouts with bold colors and content formatting. The template is compatible with InDesign CS4 and higher.
Creative Brand Style Guide Template
This brand style guide template is perfect for fashion and lifestyle brands as it has a stylish design across all of its pages. The template has multiple page layouts for you to showcase all parts of your brand design and story.
Minimal Brand Guidelines Template
With this InDesign template, you can create a bold style guidelines brochure with a dark design. It includes 24 different page layouts in A4 and US Letter sizes. You can customize it in InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator as well.
InDesign Brand Guidelines Template
This brand guidelines template features a visual-centric page design. This makes it most suitable for brands in the design, marketing, and photography industries. There are 22 page layouts in this template.
Brand Guidelines Business Template
If you prefer to use a simple and minimal layout to create your brand style guide, then this template is for you. It features 20 page layouts with clean formatting and fewer colors. Perfect for modern startups and agencies.
Logo Brand Style Guide Template
This is a brand guidelines template that’s been made for creating style guides for logo designs. You can use it to create a complete style guide for your brand logo using 40 page layouts. The template comes in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator formats.
Latvia – Brand Style Guide & Guidelines Template
Another stylish brand guidelines template features a colorful design. This template is ideal for making style guides for feminine brands, including brands in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. The template includes 40 page layouts with 2 cover designs.
How To Edit InDesign Templates
Using InDesign templates is very easy. Simply download a template and double-click on the file to open it in InDesign. Then you can freely customize it however you like.
If you’re new to InDesign, we recommend checking out this video guide to learn how to open and edit templates in InDesign.
As we mentioned before, brand style guides can be used in many different ways. They allow you to communicate with designers and agencies in a simpler way to achieve the same goals.
Keeping both digital and print versions of style guides is also important. And remember, brands evolve. Your brand design will change from time to time. Make sure to update your style guide accordingly.