Hero image what is a style guide and why do you need one

What is a Style Guide and Why Do You Need One?

When your team creates print and online content, does the imagery look cohesive and is the messaging and tone consistent? If not, it may be time for a style guide.

A style guide (also known as a “brand book”) is an instruction manual that defines your brand’s identity and helps communicate consistent messaging both internally and externally. Think of it as a tool that your internal team members and external agency partners will use to create brand content such as social media posts, blogs, email content, flyers, mailers and ads – all things digital and print.

A style guide can be simple or robust. It can contain just the visual elements or your brand’s entire platform. At the very least, your style guide should contain the following sections. All these elements should have purpose and represent your brand correctly:

  • Brand or Company Logo (including appropriate usage)
  • Brand Architecture
  • Typography
  • Color Palette
  • Imagery
  • Iconography and Graphic Elements
  • Positioning Statement and Key Messages
  • Tone of Voice
  • Registration Marks

To guide creation of consistent and “on-brand” content and communications for California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program, the team at NST developed a comprehensive style guide, including direction for logo use, typography, illustrations, icons and more.

Style guide example

Style guides should be revisited semiannually and revised to keep up with current industry trends.

Our capable team at NST can help you build and define your style guide. Remember, when it comes to building or maintaining a memorable brand, consistency is key.