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what is a style guide?


We often talk about your brand and offer marketing tips here at The Print Group Australia. Why? Because we are not just a print company. We want to assist you and your business to be the best you can be. Having a strong brand magnifies your marketing efforts and instills a professional aura around your business. Today we will take a closer look at style guides and how they help enforce brand consistency.

A style guide, essentially, is created and used to keep communication and branding consistent across all of your media channels – design, print, and web. It needs to be clear and concise and is an essential document for any business to ensure brand consistency.

Every brand needs a style guide. The key is not to overcomplicate it. Some corporations have 200 page style guides, others only have a simple 4 page style guide. It’s important to be clear and concise when setting your style guide. Here are some points for you to consider:

Your logo is the face of your business. It’s important to highlight how you would like your logo to present online and in print. You should state how your logo is to be used, from placement to acceptable alterations.

Your colour palette – Pantone, CMYK, RGB, Web-safe HEX
It’s important to highlight your selected colours for web and print. Pantone, CMYK, RGB… this keeps your colours consistent and limits variations. Not only specify each colour but also how it should be used. This includes not only logo colours but secondary colours to be used in other design elements.

Set a font for your business. List which typefaces are acceptable, how each is used, and guidelines for additional styling, size and use of colour. Fonts are essential in creating consistency and making your typography look professional.

If images and photography are a large part of your brand, it may be a good idea to state your photography style in your style guide. How your images are collected, edited, used. What type of images are acceptable?

Language styles
Here we are referring to tone, spelling and punctuation, numbers, capitalisation, lists and so on. What are you saying, how you are saying it and is it consistent? This applies to everything from advertisement headlines, the tone of your press release, to the way your marketing and web material is structured. Think about words you want your brand to be connected to – professional, trustworthy, integrity, honesty – this can help create the foundation for your language styles.

We’ve only touched on a few basic concepts here today, so why not have a think about how you want your brand to present and write it down?

Style guides are particularly helpful if you are working with a new designer or print company for the first time. Most of the information contained in the style guide is must have information for a graphic designer working on a design piece for your business.

Take the time to set down the basics in a style guide as it can make a big difference to your business, your brand and how you are perceived in the marketplace.