How To Create A Style Guide For Your Brand


Recently, I was feeling really stumped and realized I was wasting a lot of time. I was creating blog posts, social media content, and other graphics for my brand without any direction. Although I did have a basic idea of my brand’s colors and fonts, there wasn’t anything on paper that tied things together.



I design other’s people’s brands for a living, but here I was with no plan for my own brand. One Sunday afternoon I sat down and started planning everything out. I’ll tell you first hand planning for your brand feels like such a tedious task. You will second guess yourself on your colors, logos, and even compare yourself to other brands .. eeek!

The goal of a brand style guide is to help you stay clear and consistent with the visual elements of your brand. It helps you keep things cohesive with your online and offline presence. A defined brand style helps your audience easily recognize you.

Why you need a brand style guide?

You’re marketing to your audience but sometimes you use Helvetica Fonts and Pink graphics or you use Times New Roman and Green graphics. Are you starting to see how this can be confusing to your audience? Your style guide doesn’t have to be anything spectacular or look a certain way. At minimum it should include your logo and all of it’s variations, brand colors, fonts, and any custom patterns or textures.

That way when you partner with a designer you have a complete guide for how you want and need your brand to look. Not to mention this makes your designer life so much easier! If you have an existing brand that’s already defined, you still want to consider having a style guide for future rebrands. These style guides aren’t optional, they’re completely necessary!



Sign up for my FREE Email Marketing Guide to learn about creating Lead Magnets, Email List, and Automation with ConvertKit.

Get Inspired

If you’re not on Pinterest then I suggest you get an account ASAP. This is where you will create a visual representation of the experience you want to create for your audience. Start with creating a secret board that only you can see. You can refer back to this board for inspiration when creating other visual aspects of your brand. I love and use this method when working with clients before any design work begins. The inspiration board ensures I’m on track for creating brand assets my clients will love.

Choose Your Color Palette

You have a general idea of what emotions and feelings you want to invoke on your audience from the inspiration board. Now it’s time to pull out the reoccurring themes from the inspiration board to create your color palette. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and go outside the norm with your colors.

I recommend choosing 4 to 6 colors for your brand. You will notice that having a color scheme will limit your options (which is a good thing) and make your brand more recognizable. If you need additional color inspiration head on over to Color Hex Color Code.

Choose Your Typography

I chose typography to come after the visual experience and colors, because I believe your font plays off your brand look. Your fonts become easier to choose since when your colors in place. Colors can guide you to a font style such as a light and airy font for bright colors.

I recommend two fonts to keep things simple, you can go for 3 but I hardly recommend it. My personal preference is a calligraphy based font like Playfair Script and simple font such as Monsterrant or Raleway for long text. For font ideas you can visit

Create Your Logo and Variations

When I design for clients I start with a main logo and 2 logo variations. These variations are the alternative logo and submark logo. Your alternative logo is usually a condensed version of your primary logo. The submark logo is an even smaller version of your logo and is typically used for profile photos and favicons.

Final thoughts

You will be amazed how much this simple document can help you get your brand on track. Are you currently using a brand style guide? If so, is it helping you create a cohesive brand identity?

Karmen Kendrick

Karmen Kendrick

Brand Designer + Strategist


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sign up for my FREE Email Marketing Guide to learn about creating Lead Magnets, Email List, and Automation with ConvertKit.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This