How to create a style guide for your branding to stay consistent
To develop a consistent brand, this week I will help you creating your personal brand’s style guide. What does a style guide consist of?
Why a style guide?
I invite you to create your personal brand’s style guide using a magazine template/ media kit in Canva.com the idea is for you to have a reference guide and be able to distribute it to your staff or any creative partners you’re working with. It will give them a quick view of your brand, they can use it as a reference for any content they create for you and make sure everything is on brand.
Where to start?
Create a folder with everything relevant to your brand:
What you do
Who you are serving
What sets you apart
Type of photography
Visual content themes
Start your reference guide with your mission statement, on your first page develop the story about why your brand exists, the mission behind it and who you’re serving. This is like setting the scene for anyone who is not familiar with your brand; tell them all about it, you can add more details about your audience like age, revenues, etc. if you also want to develop a media kit on top of your styling guide. The more information, the better, you won’t have to fish this information from elsewhere again it’s all in one place.
Your brand voice
Give details about the tone of voice that you want to use in your brand copy, formal or familiar and stick to it, if you have a personal brand you want to keep speak your own voice, being you is what makes you stand out from the crowd so use that unique crafting tool! People love authenticity and will love your unique voice.
Details about the styling
On the next page add information on the styling, the fonts, the colours, gives details about the fonts, add a link where the font can be downloaded or purchased from, note the Pantone reference and hex codes for your colours. Give details about how the fonts are used, font one = H1, font 2= H2 etc.… same for the colours classify them as primary, secondary etc.
Dedicate a page to your logo
Show all the variations of your logo with relative sizes and details how to use it, i.e. the logo should always be in black, square logo on Facebook, and Instagram etc.…Your logo is a symbol of recognition of your brand so make sure it stands out and is easily recognisable across all touch points.
Define your website elements
What fonts and colours should be used for buttons, links, lines, opt-in forms, all these elements should match your branding. The devil is always in the details so don’t forget about these!
Your visual content themes
Are there any recurrent themes that are important to show in your visual content? i.e.
Behind the scenes
Products / Product development
Your visual content style
What is the style of your images, more lifestyle, on locations images, outdoor, vibrant, moving with emotion or much more focused shot in a studio, with clean lines? Write it down this is your images creative direction and it will be helpful for any creative developing content for you.
Create a one page quick reference
Once you’ve created your guide, create a one page quick-reference guide like this one: