How to Compile an Effective Brand Style Guide

Imagine scrolling through Pinterest. You're pinning, reading articles and following new accounts. You come across a brand style guide. 

It probably has a few colors, fonts and logo variations. It might even have an inspiration board. That's it. Something is lacking, you just don't know what. 

Today I'm going to tell you how to compile an effective brand style guide. One that highlight your brand, shares your story and attracts your audience.

Let's jump in!

How to Compile an Effective Brand Style Guide | A brand style guide goes far beyond color palettes, font pairings and logo design. In this blog post I share my secret sauce for creating an effective brand style guide.


Gather the essentials

Let's start at the beginning. Gathering up all your must-haves.

When designing your brand, your style guide is the very last step. Depending on how extensive your brand design is, it should include: primary and secondary logo, favicon, color palette with hex codes and font pairings. If your brand goes beyond the basics, it might include: icon designs, patterns, mock-ups of branding collateral and documents.

No matter how extensive your brand is, you'll want to gather up your essentials to ensure you have a complete brand style guide.


Remember your original inspiration

One thing that is often forgotten when creating the style guide is the inspiration board.

The purpose of your brand style guides is to keep all collateral "on brand'.

A good way to include this inspiration is to break down the inspiration board and place a few of your brand images directly into the style guide. I like to overlay logo design or font pairings on images from the inspiration board. It keeps the inspiration running throughout the entire style guide.

Related: How to Create an Inspiration Board


Sprinkle in rules, reasonings and mission statement tidbits

This is the secret sauce that I include in my clients brand style guides. 

When I create a brand style guide I'm using it as a guide for my clients to know when and how to use their logo. For example, if we decide that the secondary logo will only be used for social media graphics, I include that rule in the style guide. This ensures that after our time is up they are able to create brand collateral that matches the work we've already created. 

I also like to include the reasoning behind the choices that we've made, just to validate the decisions for my clients after we are finished. Lastly, I sprinkle in tidbits of the information we gathered during the questionnaire to keep my client goals front and center.

What would you include in a style guide? Let me know in the comments section!