What are style guides in graphic design

Graphic design: how do I create a style guide?

A style guide, also known as a corporate design manual, is a manual that contains the design guidelines relating to the external appearance of a company.

It contains all the different characteristics of a company's appearance such as the logo, the corporate fonts, the corporate colors and their application. Such a manual supports the creation of any means of communication. It is an indispensable document in the context of a graphic design project and indispensable for all internal employees as well as for all external service providers.

The following points show you in more detail what a good style guide should contain:

1. Provide an overview of the brand / company in the style guide

It is good to introduce the style guide with a short summary of the company to give a small overview of what the company is all about:

- Why does the company exist and what does the company want to achieve in the future? (What's the idea behind the company?)

- What is the target group of this company and how can the company help the target group with the product or service?

- What is this company / brand like? (What are the company's values ​​and norms?)

2. Show the different logo variants

The logo is THE central point of a corporate design. It is therefore examined in more detail and explained in detail in a style guide.

- What elements does the logo consist of?

- What do these mean and how can I use them to have a common thread in all my work?

- Which sections of the logo can be changed and to what extent?

- What is the heart of the logo and must not be changed?

- What font did you use in the logo?

- Have you used one at all or is it just a figurative mark?

- State all the different variants of the logo: once in color, once inverted (colors reversed) and once in black and white

- Describe which logo should be used when and how. Show different sizes (so that there is no distortion)

- If the logo requires a certain white space (such as the Apple from Apple), this must also be shown and explained here

These are all points to keep in mind when creating a style guide. Go through them one by one and work your way through from front to back

3. The colors

- Enter the different colors of the logo / brand / company as a sample and the associated CMYK, RGB and WEB color values ​​in order to have the exact color codes if you want to design new flyers, for example

- In the best case scenario, do not use more than four different main colors, one light for backgrounds, one dark for text and two more

- Explain the meaning of the colors. Why did you choose this one exactly?

4. The typography (writing)

- All fonts that are used in the logo or in the company should be shown here and it should be indicated which fonts are involved

- in the best case no more than two different ones

5. Slogans used

Do you have one or more slogans that complement your logo on certain occasions?

- Indicate the distance from the logo to your slogans

- Should the slogan be next to, below or above the logo?

6. Templates

Do you have ready-made templates for emails, Powerpoint presentations or something else? You should definitely add these to your style guide - this is the only way to ensure a uniform design.

7. Letterheads

These should not be missing in your style guide either. The more precise your manual, the better the compliance with your design guidelines.

- Show: What works and what isn't? How do you like it best?

- It is best to give two different variants (but mark your favorites)

8. The pictures

- If you have thought of something special for the display of images, specify this in your style guide.

A beautiful, matching design works best for a business when it is used front to back. That creates recognition value. So make sure you stick to your style guide anytime, anywhere. This will also save you a lot of time and work in the future.