What is a style guide?

I love cooking. I love experimenting with new flavors and combinations and finding new ways to combine ingredients. The freedom I have when cooking is one of, if not my main, creative outlets. There are times however that call for me to return to cooking basics and to use seasonings that I know work well together. When it comes to marketing my business, getting creative with my brand is never something I want to do. I lean heavily on my brand style guide instead, confident that it exudes my exact brand strategy. We did all the creative fun up front in the brand design, and now we use that brand design over and over again in our marketing. My mood board and brand style guide make up my trusty “basic seasonings” that I turn to over and over again for my marketing. 

The brand style guide is a carefully thought-out set of visual styles that communicate and articulate a business’ defined marketing strategy. It covers things like typography, color palettes, icons, font styling, and more. When we work with a new business or help a business through a brand redesign, creating a brand style guide is always our first recommendation. The reason for this is twofold: first, when we set out to create a style guide, we invest ample time researching our client’s industry, competition, and business goals. We get to know the client in-depth to design  a custom brand that will be the most strategic for their company. Second, any and all branding we do after that point will all be based on the initial style guide. The hard work is done, and we have simply to apply the new branding to every aspect of our client’s business. The guide will influence the logo design, business cards, letterhead, and website design. 

A style guide will also set the brand style for images and any stock photography we need to use. Recently I was putting together an email newsletter for Full Scope Creative and wanted to use a second text color. Being as I’m not a designer by trade, choosing text color is not my strongest skill. Having a brand style guide, I was able to simply look and see what the recommended secondary color for fonts would be.

I keep the style guide for Full Scope Creative not only on my computer as a PDF in an easy to find location, but also printed off and right next to my desk. By having the guide so easy to access, I can quickly reference it and keep my company branding on point and consistent. 

When it comes to marketing, having a brand style guide and mood board is as essential as salt and pepper. All the creative guidelines are set when the brand is developed, with the intent to use those standards over and over again. While I love the freedom I have when cooking to experiment with new flavors and combinations, your company branding needs to stay consistent and on point. If you don’t have a style guide or mood board for your business, contact us today!