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Graphic Design Introduction 2: Brand Style Guide

When you create a guide style of your brand, you will know what your graphics design represents and what you want to achieve.

First things first – Learn about Design Fundamentals and figure out what kind of colors, images and typography you need for your brand.

Second, you have to think what kind of visual performance you want to present. You might have been wondering where you can find all the templates and examples. Here is some help. Have you heard about Brand Style Guide?

What is Style Guide?

Brand Style Guide is a document that can help you create your visuals, images, web-site and other, in the most suitable way. It provides guidelines for the way that you want to express your brand.

Every brand should have their own Style Guide. If you need some images to add on your web-site or social media, Style Guide will help you. You do not need to think and guess colors or font types again and again anymore. You can find a plenty of them in your Style Guide with many examples available as well.

What if you don’t have a Brand Style Guide?

What if you are just at the beginning? For instance, you are an early-stage company.

For the first time, you need to maintain using same style and appearance managing it by yourself. The goal is to ensure constancy in style so your public can visually link all your digital assets such as website, social media etc.

Well, at some point you will need to create Style Guide to ensure uniformity and uniqueness.

What you will need from Style Guide?

Things you need to consider from your Style Guide when it comes up to creating graphics and visuals are: Colors, typography, imagery and logos. You need to define when and how to use them.

1. Determine your color palette

Here you will define all the colors and their shades that are associated with your brand. RGB and HEKS values ​​are accurate color codes that will help keep them the same no matter which device you use.

Red, blue and green are the basic colors and simple, and the RGB code shows how much you need to use a simple color to get some other desired color. For instance, to create the color “Salmon”, it is necessary to combine RGB: 250, 128, and 114.

There is also a HEKS code for the exact color you want. HEKS is a six-digit code that indicates the intensity of the primary colors. Respectively the intensity of red, blue and green. For example, the color “salmon” can use the following HEKS: FA8072.

2. Determine your fonts

Another very important thing is the fonts you use and what you want them to achieve. Your guide will help you to be consistent and gain the trust of your audience through uniformity.

Different fonts serve different purposes. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve when you use a particular font.

A style guide will help you with that. It dictates what font goes in which situations and where. It will also help you define the space between words and paragraphs.

3. Determine your images

Of course you want to know which images to use when making graphics. You are interested in which images you should use and what exactly suits your brand. For that reason, there is a section in the style guide with a lot of examples of pictures that you can follow.

4. Identify specific uses of the logo

Your logo is a very important part of your brand. That is why he needs special attention to this. For this reason, your guide should have clear instructions on how the logo should and should not be used.

All information related to your brand should be found in your brand style guide. To make it easier for you and other employees, use a number of quality examples from practice.

Your specific audience

Your style guide has generally defined your meaning and appearance for the general market. However, what needs to be done next is your specialization for a specific market, that is, the audience you are addressing.

Questions such as – Who is your target audience and where it spends most of the time online? Do these people prefer to read long articles or short texts? Do they like content on platforms like Instagram? Are you contacting existing users or do you want to gain new ones?

Understanding the context

This is very important to know in which context to use graphics. Context greatly affects the shape and appearance. For example, if you create content for LinkedIn, your content will be professional and formal. On the other hand, funny and frivolous graphics will be shared on Twitter and Facebook.

Media and graphics format

You need to think about how your audience likes to consume content. Is it a website or a newsletter? Tweet, Instagram story or status on Facebook? Depending on where you address them, the graphics formats will also differ.

Stock images

Keep 3 things in mind: the time it takes to make the graphics, the money, and the deadline by which you need to finish.

To make your work easier and faster, you can use existing stock of images. Some of them are free, and for some you have to pay. There are several free sites where you can look for graphics. Look: Negative Space, Death to Stock, Pixels, and HubSpot.

Tend to adapt the images you choose to your visual identity. Be aware that other people use shortcuts like this as well. Try to be different from them as much as it is possible.

Let’s summarize…

The more precise your style guide, the clearer your message. Remember that you are communicating with your target audience through your visual identity. That is more than a good reason to do your best!

Next we will discuss about changed purpose of graphics.

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