The perfect style guide will be a complete embodiment of your company’s messaging and design. In order to prevent misuse of your branding, a clean and clear guide will help you define the details that make your company unique.
It is important that your style guide covers the bare minimum of company messaging, logos, fonts and colors. However, the more detail you include the greater chance your company will have a cohesive brand identity.
Include a small section about your company. What does your company do? Where are you located? What services do you offer? What is your company passionate about?
Read our “About Us” section below to see how we answered thequestions above.
In The Lights “About Us” Section: In The Lights is a boutique New York based public relations firm that puts companies in the arts, culture, and fitness industries on center stage and in the spotlight. We focus on developing creative and strategic PR, social media, and influencer marketing campaigns that increase exposure and impact, empowering clients to transform their vision into a sustainable brand. The In The Lights team is passionate about its clients, and committed to bringing best practices for effective, efficient, and meaningful branding campaigns that resonate with audiences.
Vision & Mission
A vision statement outlines the meaning and purpose, the why, of your business, and the long-term goal of your company. What do you want to be known for? What do you hope to change in the world?
A mission statement describes the what and how of your business, a vision statement describes your company’s long-term goals. Based in the present, mission statements and designed to convey why the business exists to both members of the company and the external community.
Check out our blog post on how to write vision and mission statements.
In The Lights Vision Statement: To be the most sought-after communications resource for arts, culture, and fitness organizations and individuals ready to transform their legacy into a fresh, sustainable business model.
In The Lights Mission Statement: To create thoughtful and comprehensive communications strategies that increase our clients’ public support and organizational confidence, and to act as thought leaders and change agents to develop meaningful and ongoing dialog.
Additional Brand Messaging
To strengthen your messaging section your company may want to include additional branding statements. Brand statements, or key messaging statements, can help guide your company in both internal and external communications. These statements present your company as a trustworthy and legitimate business in your industry. Include accomplishments and other notable information and statistics about your business that strengthen your company’s standing.
If your business has a manifesto, motto, taglines, guiding principles, or other similar statements these should also be in your style guide so that employees can utilize across all aspects of marketing and external communications.
It can be helpful for copywriters if your style guide includes commonly used phrases or words within your company, as well as the brand’s overall tone. This will create a cohesive brand voice, even when using many different writers.
It is crucial for your style guide to include a logo and the appropriate ways it is used in branding items. There are a few things about the logo that you need to show in order for others to successfully use it.
Let’s start with logo components. Identify the different parts of your logo, like the icon, words, monogram and anything else that makes up your logo. Clarify if these elements can be used separately in designs and how to split them up when needed.
The next thing that you could show is preferred and forbidden variations of the logo. If your icon cannot be used separately from your brand name or your logo cannot be shown on certain colors then specify it here. By demonstrating the variations your brand allows, your team will know how to appropriately utilize and showcase your logo.
Every brand has its own specific set of colors that it uses for branding. Identifying them in their own section is a good idea with its name, if the company has named that specific color.
For example, In The Lights’ main company color is blue, which we call “ITL Blue.” Your colors should also be identified by their hex code or rgb values. This makes it easy for designers to use your exact colors in the items they are developing for your company.
Additionally, you should include color combinations that are preferred and ones that are not. By simply providing the allowed various combos you will eliminate a lot of mismatched documents and strengthen your brand identity.
There are a few obvious things you need to state: which typefaces are allowed for use by the brand and when/where they are used. Identify which font or fonts are used as headings, sub-headings and body text. It would also be helpful if you defined bold, emphasized and highlighted styles as well.
Beyond the basics, you could also determine the different colors that the typography can be and if there are any instances where they should not be used.
Additional Items to Add
The more detail your style guide includes, the greater your brand identity will become. To strengthen your style guide you could include: imagery guidelines, commonly used words, tone of voice, and social media branding.
Imagery guidelines will help designers choose photos that best compliment your brand and know how to edit those photos for a consistent look and feel.
Social media branding can cover anything from your hashtags and primary social platforms to design templates and campaigns your team utilizes. Any information provided here will create a concrete style for your social media content employee to follow that will enhance your brand’s overall style and voice.
Remember, the more detail you include in your style guide the better your company can define and replicate the look and feel of your brand.
Now that you know the anatomy of a successful style guide, you can strengthen your brand’s identity and voice. You can also download our worksheet below to help start your style guide! Style Guide Checklist
For additional help and information book a Spark Session with us today! We will audit your style guide and highlight ways you can improve your guide for better results.