August 8, 2022
 in 
Branding

Brand Guide vs. Style Guide: What's the Difference?

Developing a strong brand is essential for any business, whether it’s a startup or an established company. A well-defined brand helps to create a consistent and recognizable experience for customers, making it easier for them to connect with your business. It can also help to differentiate your company from its competitors, which can be especially important in crowded markets.

Eric Phung
Founder & Owner

Developing a strong brand is essential for any business, whether it’s a startup or an established company. A well-defined brand helps to create a consistent and recognizable experience for customers, making it easier for them to connect with your business. It can also help to differentiate your company from its competitors, which can be especially important in crowded markets.

When it comes to maintaining a consistent visual identity across all of your marketing materials, having a style guide and brand guide is essential. While the two documents serve different purposes, they work together to create a unified representation of your company. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the purpose of each type of guides and provide examples of how they can be used to strengthen your branding strategy.

1. What is a Style Guide?

A website style guide documents the look and feel of a website. This document describes things like typography, colors, layout, and how to use images on the website. It can also include specific instructions for different types of pages on the site (such as the homepage, landing pages, or product pages). Having a style guide ensures that all pages on the website have a consistent look and feel, which makes the website appear more professional and polished.

2. What is a Brand Guide?

A brand guide is a key document that can help you to develop and manage your brand. It typically contains information on your company’s logo. A well-defined and consistent brand can help you attract new customers, improve communication with your existing customer base, and differentiate your company from the competition. Creating a brand guide can help make sure that all your marketing materials are on-brand and consistent, from your website to your social media posts to your sales collateral.

3. The purpose of Style Guide vs Brand Guide

The purpose of a Style Guide

A style guide is a document that outlines the specific rules and guidelines for how a company should present their content in a particular format. It typically includes the company logo, typography, photography, images, iconography and color palette. They are often used by designers, developers, content writers, and marketers. The goal of the style guide is to provide a set of guidelines that can be followed by everyone on the team in order to create content with a consistent design.

Depending on the type of company you work for, your style guide will be different from one another. If you are working in an agency or digital marketing agency then your style guide will be more about design and graphic design principles. If you work in an eCommerce or retail store then your style guide will be more focused on coding HTML and CSS.

It is recommended to have a style guide, so that you can effectively change how your entire website look by just changing the formatting on the style guide.

For example:

  • Heading 1: Helvetica Bold, 72px, Black
  • Heading 2: Helvetica Bold, 32px, Grey
  • Body: Helvetica Regular, 16px, Grey
  • Primary Color: Black, #272419
  • Accent Color: Yellow, #fcc201
  • Button Call to Action: Book a Strategy Call
  • Image: Rounded corner, 10px, white smoke

The purpose of Brand Guide

The brand guidelines template is a document that helps brands to establish their visual identity. It includes the company logo, color palette, fonts and more.

A brand guide is a document that explains the values and characteristics of a brand. It provides an overview of the company’s goals, mission, target audience and more.

A brand guide can be used for many purposes. For example, it can be used as a marketing tool to help people understand your company’s values and how they are applied in your product or service. Or it can also be used as a reference for employees when they need to know about your company’s history or culture.

Brand books are also known as visual brand guidelines or corporate brand guides. They contain information on how an organization should present itself in terms of design and content.

For example:

  • Logo type: primary, secondary, black & white, usage (should/should not do)
  • Typography: primary typeface, secondary typeface
  • Color palette: branded color (primary, secondary, accent)
  • Image usage: photography, illustration, characteristic
  • Brand statements: tagline, trueline, mission, vision, values, tone, ideal target audience
  • Applications: business cards, product mockups, etc

Conclusion

The style guide is a collection of rules that all copywriters are expected to follow. It is an important part of the copywriting process because it helps you to deliver content in a way that is consistent with your brand. The brand guide, on the other hand, provides information about what type of content you should produce and what your customer wants from you.

For every website that we build, we always ask our clients for a brand guide. The brand guide helps us understand their businesses and goals. Based on the provided brand guideline, we can prepare a strategy suitable for your business prior to any web design and development conversation. With the brand guideline, we can create a style guide to assist our web development process. We always have a style guide on every Webflow project that we develop to keep the branding consistent throughout the website. The bigger the website, you will appreciate the existence of a style guide as it will be the most effective time-saver.