The Ultimate Style Guide for Design

The Ultimate Style Guide for Design

Many designers and creative heads ignore the need for a style guide which gives a clear set of rules for all the marketing materials. Style guides can save a hell lot of time, money, and efforts, making your marketing materials easier to maintain and create.

Why you should create a style guide?
A style guide usually doesn’t seem necessary for a small company that has a single working designer. But if you’ll look at the bigger picture, you’ll realize its importance. Suppose there is only one designer, working on a project, in a company. All the tasks like designing logo, website, business cards, and other marketing material are assigned to him.

Now, a year later the company grows in size, and they feel a need to hire a second designer. The current designer will be required to all of the guidelines for the brand like colors, logo specifications, font, etc. to the new designer. This conveying of information should be accurate and any left out can create a problem.
With style guide, at your hand, you can simply hand over the details without any hassle.

Basic elements of style guide
The exact elements in a style guide depend on the size of brand and type of marketing materials being used. Although, the common elements are listed below:

There is a consistent set of fonts for every brand irrespective of their marketing materials. Representing these fonts, with proper examples and character sets, is very important. There are many things that need to be mentioned in this section including font type and size, or any particular style or weight for a font family.

The colors should be spelled out with accurate details. This includes enlisting hex codes for web use, CMYK and Pantone color values for printing purpose. To accurately transfer color between web and print, exactly listing your preferences is a good option.

Logo size and placement details are also important. Many logos lose their effect when displayed too small. In such cases, you can specify the minimum size to display the logo or an alternate logo to be used for small sized display.

Specifying the amount of empty space around the logo is also important so that the logo doesn’t lose its effect. Many other details can be included like alternate color scales for logo, the acceptable backgrounds (transparent or colored background), any type of box or border that can be used to encase the logo.

Icons or images
If there are any specific icons or images that are used commonly, then they should be included in the guide. Including a direct link to the icon set is a good option; it will avoid confusion due to icon names.
Specifying whether any particular style of images should be used or not, is always recommended. For instance, you need to apply a vintage filter to the image, or only black and white versions can be used.

Other web elements
Keeping things like button style, hierarchy and form elements consistent across multiple pages is quite challenging. With a defined set of rules in style guide, it becomes a lot easier. Design layouts and grid standards are also worth mentioning.

So, it is quite evident that creating a style guide for designing purpose is really beneficial and every company or designer should look up for it.