You’ve licensed your company. You’ve worked with your first clients. You’ve got your name out to friends and family. Now what? Now, it’s time for a style guide. Style guides are utilized by organizations that want to keep a consistent brand and portray a consistent image to the public. Style guides incorporate branding information like fonts, colors, and image size and placement requirements, but they also include tone that should be used in copy, regulatory information and basically anything else than an employee or branding agency should know in order to replicate the brand.
Your style guide should be easily referenced in case graphic designers or team members are replaced. Someone should be able to pick up your style guide and be able to recreate your brand exactly how it was envisioned. Let’s get into the top six reasons your organization needs a style guide today.
The number one reason for any organization to create and utilize a style guide is to cultivate consistency in a brand. Because everything is listed right there in the style guide and, ideally, it is available to everyone that will be promoting the brand to an audience, there’s no reason for colors or fonts to be misused. The style guide outlines the exact way the brand should be used, which ensures consistency from everyone that is creating promotional content.
2. Save time and money.
Keeping a style guide means that your company can save time. It means new employees won’t have to constantly ask someone if the Oxford comma is used, what color blue is in the logo, and how the font should be aligned. With an easy to reference guide that answers most questions I new hire will have about the brand, the style guide almost serves as a training manual. If your company is copy heavy and you have a style guide that outlines all controversial writing rules (like when to use a dash and how to use commas) it can save on the time an editor will have to spend on the information on the second round. If you’re saving on the editor’s time, you are in turn saving money. It’s a win-win situation!
3. Answer questions before people can ask them.
Similar to saving both new and older employees’ time, a style guide also answers questions before someone even has a chance to ask them. When employees have a resource document to refer to, it means asking fewer questions and wasting fewer people’s time. A style guide should also anticipate most people’s questions, so having one available means telling employees to refer to it before taking the question up the chain of command.
4. Aids in your professionalism.
It might seem silly, but having a style guide takes your organization from one level to another. It might take some time to set up, but once you have it, it will serve your organization for many years to come.
5. Makes it easy for consumers to recognize your organization.
In line with creating consistency for your brand, a style guide makes it easier for consumers to recognize you. If your brand looks the same everywhere it appears, consumers are more likely to recognize it no matter if it’s on the side of a building or on a business card in their hands. Consumers will also be able to recognize key fonts your organization uses as belonging to you if they really stand out (think Coca-Cola, Nike, and Lego).
6. Makes transitions/new hires easier.
When you can hand a document over to a new designer rather than sit down for days on end answering questions, it makes personnel changes easier. While no company ever wants to deal with high-turnover, having a style guide makes it just a little bit easier to undergo personnel changes.
If you’re wanting to create a style but don’t have a good idea of where to start, reach out to Cabedge today. We have experience in creating and managing brand standards, and we’re more than happy to help you start your style guide!