Why do you need a Style Guide?
If you're an entrepreneur on a skinny-tight budget, there are a lot of things that are hard to do: advertising, hiring expert SEO support, doing fancy photoshoots, ordering branded swag, organizing splashy events... the list goes on.
Focusing on that list can be discouraging, which is why we like to focus on all the other things that are in your control, no matter your budget. One of those things? Consistency.
Why is consistency important?
Imagine if every time you bought a can of Coca Cola, the can had a different font. You'd think, "Whoa, are these all from the same manufacturer? Do they taste the same? What exactly am I buying...?"
Consistency makes people feel safe. It creates a trusted atmosphere where you can relax, where you know what to expect. A consistent brand identity:
- Builds trust between you and your customers
- Establishes your reputation
- Conveys your brand's unique perspective of the world
And frankly, as our world seems to become more and more unpredictable each day, a priceless gift you can offer your customers is a safe and stable space.
So what is a Style Guide?
A Style Guide is the basis for a brand's visual consistency. It is a document that tells you, and anyone else in your company, how to present your brand to the world's eyes. Sometimes a Style Guide is called (or included in) a Brand Book or Brand Bible.
I like to think of the Style Guide as the bricks of your visual kingdom. Why assemble new bricks from far and wide every time you begin a new project (a business card, a flyer, a social media image, etc.)? It's much easier to have a storehouse of bricks that you know will build the right structure for your brand.
We can help you build those bricks. Sunbird's Budget Style Guide includes:
- Logo Usage: How your logo can be adapted in different environments, or for different purposes
- Mood Board: The evocative world of your brand
- Color: The core palette that creates the look of your brand
- Fonts: The core typography that further establishes the feel of your brand
- Styling: Do's and don'ts
Wondering what the final product looks like? Here's an example.
Your branding homework
Think we're the only ones who believe in the importance of a Style Guide?
Read this blog post: 5 Rookie Branding Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Makes But Shouldn't. (Surprise, surprise: my favorite is #2!)
Then go to Pinterest and type in "brand style guide." Don't the results inspire you to join these businesses who clearly took the time to create a consistent foundation for their visual brand identity?
Finally, think about whether you have any questions about Style Guides. If you do, leave a comment below!