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Brand Style Guidelines

How To Create Brand Style Guidelines and Why It’s Important

In today’s competitive marketplace, establishing a strong brand identity is crucial for businesses of all sizes. One effective way to maintain consistency and coherence across all aspects of your brand is by creating brand style guidelines. These guidelines serve as a blueprint for how your brand should look, sound, and feel across various platforms and touchpoints. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the importance of brand style guidelines and provide you with actionable steps to create your own.

Understanding Brand Style Guidelines

Brand style guidelines, also known as brand identity guidelines or brand standards, are a set of rules and standards that dictate how a brand presents itself to the world. They encompass visual elements, such as logos, colors, typography, imagery, and design principles, as well as verbal elements, including tone of voice, messaging, and brand values.

Visual Identity

Visual identity encompasses elements such as:


  • Primary Logo: The main representation of the brand.
  • Secondary Logos: Variations or alternative versions of the primary logo for different use cases.
  • Clear Space and Minimum Size: Guidelines on how much space should surround the logo and the smallest size it can be displayed without compromising legibility.
  • Color Variations: Versions of the logo in different color schemes for various backgrounds or applications.
  • Incorrect Usage: Examples of what not to do with the logo to maintain brand integrity.


  • Primary Palette: A set of primary colors that represent the brand.
  • Secondary Palette: Additional colors used to complement the primary palette.
  • Color Codes: Specifications for digital and print color reproduction (e.g., RGB, CMYK, HEX codes).
  • Color Usage: Guidelines on when and how to use each color in design assets.


  • Font Families: Specify primary and secondary font families for headlines, body text, and other design elements.
  • Font Styles: Guidelines on font weights, sizes, and styles for different types of content.
  • Typography Hierarchy: Establish a hierarchy of text styles for consistency in design layouts.


  • Photography Style: Define the types of images that align with the brand’s aesthetic and messaging.
  • Illustration Guidelines: If applicable, provide guidelines for custom illustrations or graphics.
  • Iconography: Specify icon styles and usage guidelines for consistency across platforms.

Design Principles:

  • Layout Guidelines: Provide direction on layout grids, margins, and alignment for visual consistency.
  • Visual Elements: Guidelines for using shapes, patterns, or textures to enhance brand visuals.
  • White Space: Emphasize the importance of white space for readability and visual balance.

Verbal Identity

Verbal identity includes elements such as:

Tone of Voice:

  • Brand Personality: Define the overall personality traits of the brand (e.g., friendly, professional, authoritative).
  • Tone Spectrum: Provide examples of tone ranging from formal to informal and when each should be used.
  • Language Preferences: Specify preferred language style, including vocabulary, grammar, and cultural considerations.


  • Brand Story: Outline the narrative that encapsulates the brand’s history, values, and vision.
  • Key Messages: Identify core messages that communicate the brand’s unique selling points and value proposition.
  • Voice Guidelines: Offer guidance on how to communicate with the target audience in a way that resonates with brand values.

Brand Values:

  • Ethical Guidelines: Communicate the brand’s commitment to ethical business practices, sustainability, diversity, or other values.
  • Brand Promise: Articulate what customers can expect from the brand and how it delivers on its promises.
  • Positioning Statement: Define where the brand stands relative to competitors and its unique position in the market.

The Importance of Brand Style Guidelines

1. Consistency

Consistency is key to building brand recognition and trust among your audience. By adhering to a set of guidelines, you ensure that your brand maintains a cohesive and uniform identity across all marketing channels and communication touchpoints.

2. Professionalism

Consistent branding signals professionalism and attention to detail. When your brand appears polished and coherent, it instills confidence in your audience and sets you apart as a credible and reliable entity in your industry.

3. Differentiation

In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is essential for standing out from the competition. Brand style guidelines help define what makes your brand unique and distinguishable, allowing you to carve out a distinct identity that resonates with your target audience.

4. Streamlined Workflow

Having clear guidelines in place streamlines the design and marketing process. Designers, marketers, and other stakeholders can refer to the guidelines for direction, reducing ambiguity and ensuring that everyone is aligned with the brand vision and objectives.

5. Brand Protection

Brand style guidelines serve as a safeguard against misrepresentation or misuse of your brand assets. By clearly outlining how your brand should be presented, you minimize the risk of unauthorized alterations or deviations that could dilute your brand’s impact or integrity.

How to Create Brand Style Guidelines

1. Define Your Brand Identity

Begin by defining your brand’s mission, values, personality, and target audience. This foundational understanding will inform all aspects of your brand style guidelines.

2. Develop Visual Elements

Create or refine visual elements such as logos, color palettes, typography, imagery guidelines, and design principles. Ensure that these elements reflect your brand’s identity and resonate with your target audience.

3. Establish Verbal Guidelines

Define your brand’s tone of voice, messaging pillars, key brand messages, and preferred language style. Consider the emotions and perceptions you want to evoke in your audience through your written communication.

4. Document Guidelines

Compile all brand style guidelines into a comprehensive document that is easily accessible to all stakeholders. Include visual examples, usage instructions, and any relevant specifications to ensure clarity and consistency in implementation.

5. Educate and Train

Educate your team members, partners, and vendors about the brand style guidelines. Provide training sessions or resources to ensure that everyone understands the importance of adhering to the guidelines in their respective roles.


Creating brand style guidelines is not just a formality; it’s a strategic imperative for building a strong and enduring brand presence. By establishing clear and comprehensive guidelines for visual and verbal identity, you empower your brand to communicate effectively, consistently, and authentically with your audience. Invest the time and effort to develop robust brand style guidelines, and you’ll reap the rewards of a cohesive and compelling brand identity that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.

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