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21 Brand Style Guide Examples for Visual Inspiration

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When it comes to building a memorable brand, it’s all about consistency. Like when you’re shopping for your favourite cereal or coffee at the grocery store, you want to be able to spot it from a mile away.

The best brands stick in our brains because their presence is defined by the repetition of the same logo, fonts, colours, and images. Once we see them enough, they become instantly recognisable, bringing us a clear sense of reliability and security.

Developing a consistent brand starts with creating a brand style guide. These branding rule books help graphic designers, marketers, web developers, community managers, and even product packaging departments all stay on the same page, and present a unified vision of the brand to the public.

In this article, we’ll go over what brand guidelines are, elements of a style guide, and some amazing examples of them in action to use as inspiration for your next branding project or website redesign.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines, also known as a brand style guide, govern the composition, design, and general look-and-feel of a company’s branding. Brand guidelines can dictate the content of a logo, blog, website, advertisement, and similar marketing collateral.

Picture the most recognisable brands you can think of. Chances are, you’ve learned to recognise them because of the consistency across the messaging — written or visual — these brands broadcast. The same brand colours are reflected across them. The language sounds familiar. It’s all very organised and, while not rigid, it’s cohesive.

Here are a few types of guidelines you’d find in a brand style guide and which parts of a brand they can influence.

Download our free resource on how to create your own style guide with brand guidelines templates to follow. Creating a consistent style guide isn’t easy, but with these tools you can build an unforgettable one with ease.

The Elements of a Brand Style Guide

A brand style guide encompasses much more than just a logo. It visually encompasses everything your brand is about — down to your business’ purpose. Here are some key elements that make or break a brand style guide.

  • Mission Statement: Your mission statement is the compass of your brand style guide. It ensures that all your content is working toward the same goal. This statement can guide your blog and paid content, ad copy, visual media and slogan.
  • Buyer Persona: A buyer persona is the fictional representation of your ideal customer. It includes details on your customer’s job title, age, gender and professional challenges — therefore stipulating for whom your brand publishes content. Your buyer persona guides you blog content, ad copy, and visual media.
  • Colour Palette: Your colour palette is a group of colours your company uses to design its brand, guiding every piece of visual content created. These colour combinations often follow HEX or RGB colour codes, and govern your logo, web design, printed ads and event collateral.
  • Editorial Style Guide: The job of an editorial style guide is to commit an editorial stylebook on how to phrase certain products, list topics the brand can and cannot write about, and other companies it can mention. Your editorial style guide can guide your blog content, video scripts, website and landing page copy, PR talking points and knowledge base articles.
  • Typography: Typography is a visual element of your brand style guide that goes beyond the font you use in your company logo. It supports your blog design down to the links and copy on your website — even your tagline.

As you can see, the purpose of the brand style guide is to form and maintain all of the various elements of a company that, when combined, spell out the entire brand as it’s recognised.

Intrigued? Check out 21 of the best ones we could find.

 

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