Branding Identity/Style Guide

Photo by Tori Cortes

In the professional branding world, you’ll often come across something called a branding identity (also known as a style guide) spread. In order to create this, you’ll need to sit down with your team and look at the different elements and color palates that your team and your brand represent. We’ve put together a few tips and a step-by-step breakdown of how to create your identity guide for your brand. This post will cover everything from color to logos and imagery, in order to keep everything cohesive.

1: Look through your brand’s social media and website, and choose the selective fonts that you want to encompass in your brand. At the same time, if you haven’t already, take this time to choose fonts and get them all together once you agree.

2: Go on a website such as Canva and open a fresh blank template to create your style guide/identity guide. Type the fonts out in the appropriate corresponding font and size, that way you have this to reference when you go back to choose your fonts. Make sure you put the actual name of the font when you’re typing using the font, as well as All the possible fonts you will use. Try to keep them all within the same theme, that way everything is consistent.

3: Now repeat the process, but using colors. You might want to go onto a color hex picker online which will tell you the color code for that specific color. This will help you get a well-branded pallet, and raise your branding success due to the professional appearance. Make all your colors fit into each other, meaning if you’re using neutrals, don’t throw in anything too bright. At the same time, do the same thing as you did with the fonts, and include all the possible colors you would use. Add this onto your style guide along with the fonts, this time using the actual color in a shape such as a circle, that way you get a visual for the aesthetic.

4: Another thing you would want to include would be elements. Revisit your site and your social media to see which elements you commonly use. For example, MPS uses a lot of abstract shapes and circles on our socials and website, so you would put those abstract shapes on your style guide. Include all the elements (and if you’re using Canva these will be in the element section) and make sure all the elements fit together the same way we did previously.

5: If there’s anything else you use that contributes to your branding, make sure you add it here. Feel free to customize it according to your team preferences, and this will help you keep consistent and cohesive branding because the design is key to success. It’s important to consider your target audience, as they will be the ones doing your branding the most. If you have a young audience keep your elements and your fonts in your colors targeted to hold them, or if you are working for a professional business keep everything professional looking and minimal. Make sure that your branding is not all over the place since that can actually draw your audience away instead of towards you.

6: Match your branding to what you are representing. It isn’t always so much about what your preferences are, about your aesthetic, but more about what you are advertising. If you are advertising the arts, use color. If you were advertising for buying and selling companies, keep it neutral. Every industry stands for something else, so make sure you are branding yourself to fit that.

7: Use the style guide/identity guide in everything that relates to your brand. If you host events for your advertising purposes, make sure that everything is branded. The dress attire, the decorations, the setup— if this is an event featuring you, have it feature you all the way. The same thing applies to your Instagram feed, your website banners, your ads, everything works together. All of this is more important than you may think! Focus on your content but also prioritize your branding as no one will read your content, if your branding isn’t on point.

8: Have fun with it! What’s going to stand out the most is if you do something unique that doesn’t always fit into the standard requirements that you would expect of any good company or business. Do something creative and think outside the box, because that’s going to reward you the most. A lot of audiences will want to see something big and different than something that you would expect from any other brand. Convince them that you are not like any other brand, and they will return to your platform.

Overall, branding will help you a lot with everything--it holds everything together and highlights you in the best way possible.

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