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Brand Style Guide

A Cheat Sheet To Creating A Powerful Brand Style Guide

blog, Branding

Every business needs a brand style guide.

It is an essential compass for how your brand will be represented visually, and will serve as the cornerstone of all your branding efforts and decisions moving forward.

But what actually goes into a Style Guide?

This cheat sheet to creating a style guide will ensure you understand all of the elements of this crucial branding component.

Extra Tip: Before you get started, I recommend brainstorming each piece of your Style Guide in Evernote or a Journal for ultimate creative exploration.


1. Multiple Versions Of Your Logo

A logo is one of the first items on the agenda when it comes to branding, but there’s more to it than you might think.

Make sure you work with your graphic designer/branding expert to create several versions of your logo. (Most will do this without asking, but make sure you’re getting what you need.) I love having a black and white version of a client’s logo, as well as color and sometimes even inverted color. You’ll also want a logo saved with a transparent background so that it can be layered over other photos or backgrounds.

Square, banner, horizontal and vertical versions are all useful for different online platforms as well.

And finally, in addition to different sizes and colors, you’ll also need different file formats. I recommend keeping ai, png and jpeg versions handy.

2. Consistent Typography and Fonts

Choose two or three fonts that represent your brand, and use them consistently across all of your online platforms. Typically your primary font is featured in your logo. This may seem obvious, but time and time again I see online business using 5+ fonts across their website and social media platforms. Make it simple and stick to it.

Also consider font sizes, font thicknesses, and any additional font variations.

A few fantastic places to purchase fonts are:


Purchase the proper licensing for whatever font set you choose. Then you & your team can download the fonts and use them consistently across all platforms. You’ll leave a lasting imprint, and your audience will easily recognize you when they come back for more.

3. A Clear Color Palette

The colors of your brand can play a huge role in how you make your audience feel. For your style guide, choose primary site colors and secondary site colors. This includes all shades, filters and accents. Your color palette will usually consist of one or two main colors and one accent color. It is important to know the HTML color codes (e.g. #RRGGBB) so again you can stay consistent.

4. Incorporated Icons

Icons refer to signature imagery included in your logos and branding. For instance, the compass I use for Trailblazers is my icon for that particular program of The Big Factor. But icons can refer to any picto-icons within your logo or other related product branding.

5. Text and Tone

Finally, don’t feel like you need to stick purely to the visual aspect of your brand in your style guide. The tone and energy your brand conveys is also incredibly important. How do you want to be perceived by your target audience? Are you fun? Serious? Adventurous? Include that in your brand style guide. Also think about specific words you like—and words you don’t like. This will ensure your team can best embody your brand across every platform.


If you’re looking for additional inspiration, this CreativeBloq article highlights 12 brands with swoon-worthy style guides. Your style guide doesn’t need to be nearly as complicated as some of these examples, but I do recommend perusing what other companies are doing right to gain your own inspiration and motivation.

Create a standard for your branding and you will always have the structure you need to maintain an impactful and powerful brand!

Do you have a brand style guide? What other companies have rockstar style guides that you use for inspiration?


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Lynan Saperstein

2 responses to “A Cheat Sheet To Creating A Powerful Brand Style Guide”

  1. […] back to your Brand Style Guide. We’ve talked extensively about the importance of a rockstar Style Guide. Now, you just need to use it! Before making any branding decision, always come back to your style […]

  2. […] entertaining content. Always choose quality over quantity for what you post and share. Go back to your style guide and ensure that your voice on social media is in alignment with you and your brand. Consistency is […]

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