Your business likely has a large number of important documents to manage, from employee contracts to non-disclosure agreements. But, there is one document that not every business or brand has, and that is a visual style guide. It can help to ensure that there is consistency throughout your communications with clients and internally.
You should invest in a visual style guide in order to retain your content consistency, no matter who in your business has created it. These guides contain all of the information needed for content creation, whether it is for printed flyers and posters or for social media platforms. It helps to maintain your visual identity, which is important to modern consumers today.
Now, this might sound like something that could take hours to decide on and design, but the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. Below we take a more in-depth look at why your brand needs a visual style guide.
What Goes Into A Visual Style Guide?
For those who are new to branding for their business, you might be wondering what goes into a visual style guide. It should include all of the important components needed to maintain your brand’s identity and voice, as we outline below.
- Logo And Any Derivatives: You will need to include your brand’s logo and any other derivatives, such as designs that might have been changed or altered to fit on social media platforms or as part of printed media. You should also include all of the colours in your logo as well as their codes so that designers can use these for any content that might be created.
- Typefaces Or Fonts: Another important element that must be included in your visual style guide is the typeface you use and any other fonts that you might use in your branding communication and content. Be sure to include their weights and all web-safe alternatives, as well as which fonts are used for titles and which are used for the body of your content.
- Colour Palette: Your colour palette is vital to include in your guide. This is to help both graphic and website designers keep all content and design cohesive. The hex codes for all of your brand colours should be included, as well as the CMYK values and Pantone colours for items that will be printed.
- Image Guideline: A visual style guide also relates to the types of images you use for your content, including any images used on social media, for articles, blogs, and even in press releases. For example, you might prefer to only use cartoon or vector images for your website content to maintain your brand aesthetic. If you use photography for your brand, be sure to include guidelines about the composition, hues, lights, and filters.
- Email Signatures: If your brand uses custom email signature imagery, be sure to include this in your visual style guide. Your logo and any corresponding colours might be used in your email signature, which is important for any graphic designers or email marketers to know. You should also include any and all links that can and should be used when designing these signatures, as well as all banners relating to holidays and special offers.
This list will help you to create the perfect visual style guide for your brand. All content that is created should follow these rules in order to maintain your brand’s style and aesthetic.
Why Is A Style Guide So Important?
Now that you know a little bit more about what should be put into your visual style guide, you are likely wondering why it is so important for your brand. Not only does it help to define the visual aspects of your brand, it will also help anyone who is involved with your brand communications and content creation.
One of the leading benefits of having a carefully created visual style guide is that it will help to save time on the creative process. Creative decisions can be made without too much hassle, such as what your newsletters will look like, which images to use for your social media marketing campaigns, what elements of your logo to use in printed media, and so forth.
Set Standards Easily
Using the visual style guide will help you to easily set standards for your brand, allowing everyone to be on the same page when it comes to both graphic and website design choices. Following these rules will ensure that every piece of content that your brand sends out into the world will be consistent.
Better Brand Recognition
Consumers today crave consistency – it is also what helps your brand to be instantly recognisable by your consumers. If you always follow your visual style guide, your consumers will see you as trustworthy and reliable, and they will recognise your content which will encourage them to share it, leading to a better online presence.
If you need a visual style guide or if your brand needs a refresh, speak to NetMechanic today to find out what we can do for you.