What is a Style Guide? And Why Don’t You Have One?

  |   Insights, Marketing   |   No comment

As a part of a comprehensive marketing plan, every organization should have a defined style guide dictating how documents and other material produced by the organization should look. Style guides create standards for consistent use of fonts, colors, and logo variations, so that regardless of the author or creator, an organization’s documents and marketing materials are consistent if the author adheres to the guide.

A basic style guide includes guidelines for logo usage, font selection, and a pre-selected color palate to be used in marketing and promotional documents. More in-depth style guides can include ground rules for grammar and punctuation and even lists of common spelling errors and misused words.

A style guide is the best way to ensure efforts surrounding branding and logo development are not forgotten. It acts as a constant reminder to members of the team to always keep the brand in mind. This is particularly important when an organization has departments that operate largely independent of one another, as is common in local government. An organization can spend a large amount of money on branding, but without the guide to ensure steady application, as time goes on, that initial investment can be squandered.

Style guides can extend far beyond print work. Signage, mission and values, presentation guidelines, website design and any other aspect of organization communication can be effectively defined through a style guide. The Boy Scouts of America Brand Identity Guide and the brand guidelines for WalMart are examples of thorough documents outlining everything from fonts to approved stationary.

Of course, for some organizations, less may be more, but the value of having a documented guide to organizational branding cannot be underestimated. Consistency and cohesion of brand will raise the level of sophistication associated with an organization and serve to enhance its image on all fronts.

If you feel your brand is in need of a touchup, the team at Tripepi Smith would love to help your organization. Tripepi Smith and Associates provides brand assessments, identity creation and other marketing services for many of our clients. We can also deliver a style guide to help your organization consistently execute to your brand, both now and in the future. Contact us for more information.

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