Your Business Speaks for Itself: Importance of Style Guides
Designers, developers and copywriters should know how to represent their client’s companies interests through their websites. Although there are times where there is a miscommunication when it comes to measurements or even colors of the brand. Successful businesses convince their viewers that they offer unique products that stand out among the competition. This is called “self-branding”. The success of this strategy is typically determined by the companies’ standards, which is usually plotted in a document called “style guides”.
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Just like a user manual of your DVD player, mobile or any consumer product, style guides have different visual points to consider when promoting a certain business, something as simple as the color of a logo, the spacing around it, or how it should look like in a colored background. It’s important to keep the style guides consistent all throughout the company; especially for online businesses that are scattered to different workplaces. Most importantly pass it on to the designers that will visually communicate your brand identity, that way you’re sure everything will come out exactly the way you want it.
So what is it that makes a good and complete style guide? Here are the basics:
Logo/Graphics. Be specific about how your logo should look online and offline. Specify colors, positioning and measurements of how your brand should look like. Give examples of how your branding should and should not look so that everything is clear.
Brand. Emphasize the nature of your business.
Character. This shows the “personality” or emotional side of a business, including its core values. A company might present itself as a “great place to work in”, or as a business that “does everything right – the first time”.
Tone of voice. For press releases and external correspondence, the tone of voice reflects the way a business deals with its clients, whether current or potential.
Style guides provide clarity to any business – whether online or offline – and give direction to its branding techniques. As with any kind of strategy, style guides also need to be clear to ensure that they are followed at all levels of the organization.