A brand identity style guide outlines a set of rules and guidelines to follow to ensure that you make the best use of your brand identity items and ensure that your branding remains consistent. I like to think of it as your ‘branding toolbox’ or your ‘branding training manual’. It is essentially a list of instructions to follow. If your brand was a cake, your brand identity items would be the ingredients and your brand identity style guide would be the recipe.
Brand identity style guides can range in size from just one page up to hundreds of pages, depending on how comprehensive they are. As a minimum they should outline logos and secondary/sub logos, fonts, and colour scheme. I include a one page style guide (commonly called a stylesheet) with all of my logo designs as standard as I feel this is the bare minimum that you need to have.
What are the benefits of a brand identity style guide?
The most important benefit of establishing a style guide is to ensure consistency and continuity for your brand.
If you have an in-house creative or marketing team, or you outsource to external agencies, without a style guide the designers have very little to go on. They can pick colours from the logo and attempt to match fonts, but without a style guide they have no idea how to correctly use your logo, or what the correct fonts are, or know how and where to use other identity items or other brand colours. Over time this will result in multiple pieces of visual communication which all look different. This dilutes the strength of your brand, looks unprofessional and is confusing to your customers.
But how much will it cost?
A style guide is an investment and the cost of a quality brand identity style guide is likely to pay for itself in the long run. When a designer is able to refer to a style guide, they are able complete jobs faster and with fewer revisions, which not only saves you money but also saves your time. Consistent branding will also strengthen your brand, which is likely to translate into sales.
The cost of a brand identity style guide will vary depending how detailed the guide is, and whether the content needs to be produced from scratch or consolidated into the guide. At an estimate, the cost of a brand identity style guide can range from around $500-$1,000.
If you think that you could benefit from a brand identity style guide and would like to discuss your requirements, please contact me, and I’d be happy to have a chat with you about it and answer any of your questions.