Why create a style guide?

Written on the 5 October 2012 by Snap Marketing

If you have several employees involved in communicating externally, or a third party developing your website or marketing your business, then you need a style guide. It will save you time and money in the long run.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a document outlining the standards you want to apply to all your business communication including emails, logos, business cards, promotional materials and website. Using a style guide makes your material coherent and consistent.

Why should you use one?

  • It will make your life easier: The less time you spend thinking about tiny details on an ongoing basis, the more time youll have to land new clients.
  • It makes content maintenance easier: Every time a new person needs to work on communication for your business, they can read your style guide and immediately know what is required.
  • It looks professional: If youre chatty on a flyer but formal on your website, it could send mixed messages to potential clients.
  • Its transferable: Once youve created a style guide, you can use it across any means of communication like newsletters, brochures and advertisements.

Who will use it?

Anyone involved in preparing communication material for your business, such as copywriters, graphic designers, web developers and marketing consultants.

What is in a style guide?

Style guides can be broken down into visual and written guides:

Visual style guide

  • Font styles and typography
  • Company colours
  • Layout
  • Colour, size and font of headings
  • Size of images and borders
  • Logos and branding images

Written style guide

  • Tone (casual, formal, conversational etc.)
  • Preferred length of sentences
  • Preferred length of headline
  • Accepted words and phrases
  • Particular grammar stipulations (e.g. always capitalise Manager)
  • Use of lists
  • Paragraph length and spacing
  • Content structure
  • Trademark usage and abbreviations

A little effort upfront in the form of a style guide will reduce costly redesigns and rewrites later. It will also make you look professional.  The first step could be a review of your brand identity.

Contact Snap today to find out how we can help your business with a Brand Identity workshop.


Author:Snap Marketing
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