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Branding Guide: How to Create Consistency with a Brand Style Guide

Branding Guide: How to Create Consistency with a Brand Style Guide | Wondering what to include in the perfect brand style guide? Click through for a peek at how I design my own branding clients' style guides! #branding #marketing #graphicdesign #smallbusiness

Okay, you get it—consistency is KEY when it comes to building a solid, recognizable, and successful visual branding system. But how are you supposed to maintain that oh-so-important consistency? Well, once you’ve got your fabulous new logo, brand colors, fonts (and so on and so forth) you need a set of rules and guidelines to help you use your new brand assets effectively and consistently—hello, branding guide!

In my latest video, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my branding process, and the brand style guides that I create for my own clients!

Branding Guide: Creating Consistency for YOUR Brand

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Consistency is Key for Successful Branding

In case you still don’t believe me, let’s touch on this idea of consistency again: The whole point of your visual branding is to build trust and recognition with your audience. When your visuals are consistent you subconsciously communicate to your audience that you are trustworthy.

They become familiar with your brand aesthetic. They start to know what to expect and that makes them feel comfortable with you.

If your brand visuals are inconsistent—even in one seemingly insignificant way—it can feel really off, and start to deteriorate that hard earned trust you’ve worked to build with your clients and your audience.

But don’t worry! I’m going to share my secret weapon for ensuring consistency across my clients’ visual branding systems—branding guides!

The Branding Guide: What It Is, Why You Need One, And How To Create Your Own!

One of the last steps in my Branding Experience is to create a custom Brand Style Guide for each one of my clients. A Brand Style Guide is exactly what it sounds like—it’s a document that provides guidelines for how to properly execute their new branding system and visuals. Everything from logo usage to fonts and colors are covered.

When you have this document you can always refer back to it to make sure you’re staying “on-brand.” And as your business grows you can share the document with virtual assistants, employees and other contractors to make sure they’re all staying on brand as well!

Elements of the Perfect Brand Style Guide

Logo Usage

One of the first things I go over in my clients’ brand style guides is proper logo usage. This includes:

  • Sizing: It’s important to have rules and standards for the sizing of your various logos. For example, what’s the minimum size a logo can be before it becomes illegible?
  • Buffer Space: This is the breathing space your logo needs. When I first started my business I’d just hand off logo files to clients without giving them a style guide or going over these guidelines. And I’d see them cram their logo files in to tight spaces or crowd them with other graphics or images. It’s really important that you give your logo space to breathe when you’re using it. When it’s crowded your logo loses significance.
  • Logo Preference: In the previous video I talked about the importance of having a logo system (not just a logo) for your brand. In my clients’ brand style guides I provide an overview of their new logo systems and which logo is preferred when—so they’re always using the best one for the situation.

Brand Colors

Earlier in this video series on visual branding, I shared my process for choosing brand colors (and why they’re so important). In my clients’ branding guides I list all of the brand colors and provide the color values for the various color modes they’ll need (for my clients this typically includes RGB, CMYK, and Hexadecimal colors).

This way, my clients are sure to always use their exact brand colors. Again, it all comes down to consistency!

Brand Typography

Another important topic I cover in my clients’ brand style guides is their brand typography. During their Branding Experience I select their brand fonts, and how those fonts should be used across all brand communications.

[Learn More: How To Use Fonts In Your Brand]

Create Your Own Branding Guide

Maintain consistency with your visual branding and you’ll build trust with your audience! To stay consistent create your own Brand Style Guide which includes rules for:

  • Logo Usage
  • Brand Colors
  • Brand Typography

And if you’re ready to trade in your DIY-branding and hire a pro—let’s chat!

A head-to-toe transformation for your brand — specially created for creative female entrepreneurs, including photographers, coaches, writers and artists. Logo and branding, brand photography, custom Showit 5 website design, and brand strategy coaching. Click here to learn more!

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i'm moriah

I’m your visual branding BFF, an award-winning graphic designer and I’m legitimately obsessed with your success. Check out these links for more ways I can help you elevate your brand!

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