Previously on the PressReady blog, we discussed in-depth about building your brand's identity with the PressReady Brand Identity and Storytelling Workbook. The workbook presents a series of detailed questions to help you to pinpoint the "why?" of your business and how to effectively tell your brand's story in a way that resonates with people. With those thoughts and questions still in mind, it's time to move on to the next step of establishing your brand identity -- creating an official style guide for your business.
Presenting and owning a clear brand identity begins with a style guide. Without one, there is no uniformity in how your brand is presented to the rest of the world. A style guide should include many aspects -- your brand's colors, logos, slogans, typefaces, and, if necessary, a writing style guide, similar to the AP Style Guide, which most journalists abide by.
Now, you may be wondering why it is necessary to create a style guide. For starters, let's say you decide to hire a freelance graphic designer to complete a series of projects for your business. Most likely, your graphic designer will request a document listing your brand's CMYKs. If you are unsure of what this is, it is basically the series of numbers that are the exact color hues used in your designs. Something like this should be explicitly mapped out in your style guide. On the other hand, if your business is a publication, a freelance writer may request a copy of your style guide to make sure they are abiding by your brand’s writing standards.
To put it simply, your style guide is a blueprint of how your business constructs the things that it puts out into the world. Without one, your business looks directionless, ununified, and, quite frankly, a bit sloppy.
You can’t create a media kit without a style guide. You can’t hire freelancers and expect them to deliver showstopping content without a style guide. And mostly, you won’t see your business grow without a style guide.
Style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak. Make building your style guide a priority when starting your business. A great place to start is here.