Brand Style Guidelines – Why Every Business Needs Them

Creating brand guidelines is essential for establishing and maintaining your brands identity, but many business owners and executives overlook this important step. By forgoing the style guide, you risk creating an unclear and inconsistent message, resulting in poor user experiences and lower engagement rates.

Let's dive deeper into why your brand needs guidelines.

Top 3 Reasons to Create Brand Style Guidelines

  1. Create a cohesive brand narrative across multiple platforms

    "90% of consumers expect that their experience with a brand will be similar across all platforms and devices." Source

    Brand guidelines provide your designers, developers and content creators with the rules and resources necessary to communicate a cohesive and authentic story – insuring that the visual design and voice of your brand remains consistent throughout all of the user experiences.

  2. Brand recognition

    The more that users experience a consistent look and feel of your brand, the easier it will become for them to recognize and remember it. As your brand becomes more familiar, people become more likely to engage and connect with it.

  3. Connect multiple products and services to a single brand

    Brand guidelines ensure that each of your products and services can be easily identified and connected to your brand.

The type and amount of content included in brand style guidelines varies depending on the scale and goals of each business. For a small brands, with few products and user experience platforms, a simple two or three page document might be enough. On the other hand, a brand with many products and platforms will require a more extensive documentation of styles and rules, and might be well over a hundred pages long.

However, there are a few essentials that all brand guidelines should include.

Essential Content


Your Story; Mission, Vision, and Values

Simply put, this is a story of who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Adding your mission, vision and values statements into your brand guidelines gives your content creators and designers a better understanding of how to create authentic content that speaks to your audience.

Logo Design

Every brand guideline should include the final version(s) of your logo and visual examples of how it should AND should NOT be used.

Color Palette

"Color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent." Source

Staying consistent with your brand colors is one of the most important aspects to creating brand recognition. Even a slight change in hue or shade can create a disconnect from your brand. Also, colors have the ability to set tones and evoke moods, so picking the right colors for your brand and sticking to those colors is essential to creating an effective and consistent brand experience.

A color palette should include all of the colors you plan to use for your business as well as an explanation or examples of how the colors should and should not be used. The Hex, Pantone, RGB, and CMYK color codes should be provided for each color. Adding those values into the guide takes the guesswork out of it for designers and printers, and insurers that your color palette stays the same across all digital and print applications.


Staying consistent with your fonts and text styles is another way to set a tone and create brand recognition. The typography section should include the font names, styles and examples of how each font should be used.

Additional Content (As Needed)

I won’t go into detail much on these since the amount of content will vary depending on business size, products and goals, but this should give you a general idea.


Examples of brand appropriate images and how they should and should not be used within a design.

Editorial Styles

Examples of writings that are used to establish a tone of voice and writing style.


Visual examples of icon styles and the do’s and don’ts of implementing them into designs.


Button styles (CSS) for online applications as well as visual examples of do’s and don’ts.


Forms styles (CSS) for online applications including visual examples.


Visual examples of templates used for your site and web applications,  including CSS styles.


Depending on the amount of products you have and the differences in their packaging, this might be better suited as a separate Packaging Guideline document. The goal of this section (or document) is to show the designs of the packaging, how the product should be displayed on the shelf, display design examples, where to access the files and much more.

If your head is spinning and this seems like too much to process, don’t worry, I can help you!

Set up a strategy session with me and I will guide you through the process, answer all of your questions, and give you some great tools and resources to get you started.

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