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Brand style-guide for your design process

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 by Servage

brand-style-guideThere are pros and cons of a brand style guide and controversies over making it public or keeping it internal. It fulfills the purpose of simplifying and generalizing your web design processes to provide the same recognizable look and feel across your products on all devices.

Branding in the mobile era has become a more intricate process, and the complexities for designers in branding are likely to increase even further with the technological advancements in media. Therefore the involvement of more than one designer in branding is a common scenario. Expectations of collaborative environments, organization and management of entire branding processes become the need of the moment in many design and marketing companies.

If you are a freelance designer for branding on web and mobile it is quite tough to manage multiple projects and their documents over the course of time. Our brain has some natural limitations for keeping things in mind and in focus. Therefore considerate designers in small companies and freelancers benefit from documenting the definitions. Such branding history, evolution and styling guidelines are a valuable asset for future work on the same project.

Advantages of a style guide

Building and maintaining a brand guide has certain advantages for designers and the company itself.

  • Eases the work and rework of the brand down the road because a designer or a branding team can access everything from A to Z of the branding from a single document.
  • Eases sharing, thus helping in the creation of a conductive and collaborative environment for the rest of the teams in the company over branding matters.
  • We know branding is not just logo creation, but it should reflect everywhere such as in print materials, in other advertising and marketing campaigns. Therefore a brand manager or designer always wishes to have consistency across all the activities and efforts of branding. Thus a brand guide can pave a clear path of consistent branding.
  • If you keep your brand guide in the cloud you have the advantage of easy access for all relevant persons.

Components of a style guide

The following components are recommended to be included in a brand style guide:

  • Fonts: An important element of logo, brand message, and display impressions. Defining font styles in various materials and contexts aids consistency.
  • Colors: A crucial element of branding is color in overall branding messages and materials. Defining their use in web, mobile, and print can help to overcome many discrepancies.
  • Logo sizing: The logo alone is not effective until it is displayed in an appropriate size for a given scenario.
  • Logo placement: Web, mobile, and print media need different approaches for logo placements, this should be carefully considered for every case.
  • Icons: This element in digital and print media creates some smart branding experiences when it comes to supporting texts, buttons and other elements. In order to keep consistency you have to define icon types upfront for all media. Otherwise it gets confusing and the icons get a reverse impact by making everything more confusing.
  • Images: Defining image style, background, surroundings and optimization guidelines is important.
  • Textual content: Apart from fonts, also line styles and paragraph styles for text are deciding factors in achieving recognizable and consistent design.
  • Web components: There are an increasing amount of UI elements which need to be adapted to various scenarios in responsive design. Making sure they resemble each other clearly acrross various sizes is strengthening the brand over multiple devices.

The elements above are concrete settings which can have specific values or real examples. There are also some softer paramters in the branding process, which also benefit from being specific and remembered over time:

  • Basic information like history, vision, and personality of the brand. This helps keeping track of the brands direction during its development over time, and helps developers and designers stay on track with the intended general path.
  • SEO and SMO optimization rules that marketers should adhere to when exposing the brand and its message. This is important to make sure consumers accross many different advertising markets receive the intended experience when exposed to the brand.

References & more reading

 

Brand style-guide for your design process, 3.5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
Categories: Business

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