So, maybe you’ve been tasked with creating a new corporate style guide. Or maybe you’ve been given the responsibility of updating an existing one. Either way, it can be an intimidating project! This blog post is all about some tips from https://yournameherenow.com/ for making sure your corporate style guide is as professional as possible.
1) Make sure your digital templates are on point
A corporate design always starts with its templates. Whether this means having a strong theme across all digital materials or designing custom templates for specific purposes (online store vs social media banners), they should always be elegant and avoid looking cluttered or unprofessional. It’s a good idea to look at other successful style guides and see what they have going on behind their digital templates. Is there a strong graphic direction, a consistent color palette, a defined typographic style? If not, you may want to consider working with a designer who can help you pull everything together.
2) Create clear visual hierarchy
It can be easy to get lost in the weeds when creating your corporate style guide, but it’s just as easy to lose sight of the big picture. Try not to overthink this. Stick with dominant colors and shapes that feel normal and intuitive to your target audience. Also, remember that the main thing to consider is how your brand’s visual identity translates into actual objects/images/instances. For example, business cards could have a layout that’s different from stationary or packaging or posters could use a different color scheme than web banners.
3) Include the elements of professional typography
It should go without saying, but if your brand is going to follow typographic standards, you need to know what those standards are and how best to apply them. A great place to start is by looking through your favorite style guides and seeing what typefaces they recommend for use. As a general rule of thumb, making sure letter-spacing is on point and ensuring that all text is on a single line is a good place to start.
4) Keep it simple
While you may have a lot of information to include in your corporate style guide, make sure there’s not too much clutter (or too many ideas!). A clean format with a strong visual hierarchy will help guide the eye without becoming overwhelming. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of other places online where people can find additional information about corporate design (like this blog post).
5) Be consistent
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a really important part of a corporate style guide. While every business is unique and has its own identity, it’s also true that they all share some basic fundamentals (like having unique background colors that complement the logo). Also, try to avoid using too many different shades of the same color in your palette.
6) Include design notes / guidelines
It’s important to let people know where you got your inspiration for items like logos or typefaces or required font sizes (for example, make sure to note what Google recommends). This will make it easier to create a consistent brand by understanding how you originally got to a specific place.
7) Include a mixture of fonts
This is an area where many brands miss the mark. If there’s one thing you can learn from other corporate style guides, it’s that just because one font family works doesn’t mean every font you use should be from that same family. In reality, mixing different fonts can be fun and interesting as long as they have similar characteristics that feel related. Also, try to avoid bolding or italicizing all your text.
8) Include color values
It’s important to know that while RGB color values are the best way to get your brand colors just right, you don’t want to leave anyone out. If you include RGB values in your style guide but also provide CMYK values for people who don’t have access to RGB monitors, you can ensure your colors will be readable on any device. Remember that different color models may interpret colors differently depending on the monitor or printer they use. Also, remember that the CMYK model is partially based on subtractive primaries (think about mixing paint with white), while RGB is based on additive primaries (think about mixing light).
9) Include a glossary of terms
While you may know what the word “hue” means when talking about pigments and color theory, you can’t assume everyone else does. Make sure you include a dictionary in your style guide so people understand what certain terms mean and how they apply to your brand. This will help ensure that your brand identity is consistent rather than confusing. Also, keep in mind that the world is changing and brands need to be adaptive to new terminology (for example, maybe someone needs to learn what the word “diversity” means today).
Like any other marketing strategy, if you don’t have your personal brand down pat then you could end up wasting time and money without achieving your desired result.