BRAND DESIGN – How to Create A Brand Style Guide for Your Design Business
Discovering Your Brand Style
Tips to Avoiding Brand Confusion
Finding your brand style is tough for a lot of designers because so many designs styles appeal to us. I can easily switch from loving floral and feminine to clean and modern. High contrast or muted monochromatic color palettes, brash and bold to clean and elegant, I love it all.
After working for over 15 years helping clients develop their brand style I have grown to understand that designers have a hard time nailing down their own unique style guide. That said, even within a lot of competing interests, there is always a thread that lies within, an aesthetic that can be plucked out and developed.
The Mistake Many New Designers Make
We recently were hired by a company whose brand was the epitome of confusion. Just by looking at their website I could see how they were influenced by the latest fads in fonts and colors.
I have always advised my designers to be careful when choosing fonts because they are as fashionable as clothing.
New font styles come into fashion, and every young impressionable designer embraces them. We see them on everything, and then before you know it, the fonts look dated and out of style. I can look at certain fonts and know exactly what year the piece was developed if the designer used a trendy font.
This is where many brands go off the rails if a new designer is on the account. A new ad, new website campaign – whatever the case may be, not having to, or sticking to a brand style guide will ultimately lead a brand style to utter confusion.
The purpose of creating a brand style guide is to keep brands on point with their brand aesthetic – because it’s so easy to get distracted by the next new shiny font or design fad.
Creating Your Fabulous Brand Style Guide
Embracing the Creative Process
Being able to clearly define and articulate your brand style is the first step in establishing your brand. As designers, we understand that our first impression is based on how something looks. We quickly categorize the visual message and place it into a box somewhere deep in the recesses of our brains.
The first impression of your brand should be absolutely on point. If you want to be seen as a leader in your category, your branding should be authentic to your design aesthetic and the types of clients you want to work with.