Why it’s worth your time
“Putting together a brand style guide can seem like a daunting and inscrutable task,” Mailchimp Associate Art Director Joe Montefusco says. “The thing is, though: it’s actually an incredibly useful tool.”
A style guide lays out how your brand should be presented to the world, thus ensuring that everyone on your team is on the same page from the get-go. It helps you ensure that all of your design elements and touchpoints are consistent and cohesive. It also lets you make sure that they’re uniquely representative of your brand. It can even help distinguish your brand from the competition. Just as a voice and tone guide helps keep your brand’s content on point, a brand style guide keeps your design uniform, inspired, and leading the pack.
“A great brand is the result of a ton of people working together with a shared mission,” Mailchimp Director of Brand Marketing Michael Mitchell says. “When the end user can feel that—from product to design, from comms to customer support and corporate citizenship—that unified, end-to-end experience evokes feelings that elevate one brand above another.”
The best brands use style guides to help their business run more smoothly. But that can be especially tricky if you’re working with freelancers or asynchronous teams in different locations. In that case, a brand style guide serves as a translator of sorts.
“It’s really great for making you sit down and put into words more organized thoughts on the different elements of your brand,” Joe says. “This becomes especially useful if you’re working with others to bring your brand to life as it codifies lots of nuance and detail that may have, until now, only lived inside your head.”