Digital Strategy

Why Your Brand Needs a Style Guide and How to Create One

— You could be wasting valuable time without a style guide. Here's how to make one.

Posted: June 05, 2014

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Style guides can save you time, money, and tons of frustration down the road, making your marketing materials easier to maintain and create. Consider it like an extension of well-commented markup; it gives you instructions for exactly how things should be done, and sometimes even insight into why.

If you’re not convinced you need one for pretty much every brand or company you work with, or if you’re not sure how to create one, read on…

Why every Brand should have a Style Guide

A style guide might seem unnecessary for a small company, or when there’s only one designer. But really, every brand out there should have a style and branding guide to make sure that every visual element they produce is consistent.

Let’s take the one designer idea first. So you’re the lone designer on a project for your company. You design their logo, website, business cards, and every other bit of marketing material they need. You know all of the elements by heart.

Now, a year later the company has tripled in size, and suddenly they need to hire a second designer to handle some of your workload. You get the fun of teaching this new person all of the guidelines for the brand from memory. Including a lot of things you haven’t even thought of in the past year.

And of course if something important doesn’t get conveyed, they’ll blame you for not properly training the new employee.

It would be infinitely easier if you could simply hand over a style guide that contains everything they need to know: colors, logo sizes and placement, fonts used, etc.

Or lets say you’re a freelancer working with multiple clients. A style guide makes it easy for you to return to work you’ve done months or years down the road, without having to comb through your old files to figure out which exact font you used or exactly what the hex values were for certain colors. Instead, you can pull up a single file and see everything you need to know in a matter of seconds.

Read the original article.