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?
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.
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.
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