Styleguide 101 for Designer Onboarding

February 28, 2020

What better way for onboarding a new designer than by providing them with a powerful styleguide. Coming up with a styleguide will not only help with product development and marketing, but also improve your onboarding designer without overwhelming the process.

Why does your company need a styleguide?

A styleguide is a set of standards set by the company, consisting of essential information for any creative works. It aims to outline precisely the look of your brand and maintain the brand quality through clear rules on what other channels need to focus on when presenting your brand. Whether you are building a company website or launching advertising campaigns, your life will get much easier if you have an informative styleguide.

The idea of having a styleguide might seem worthless for startups and perhaps more suitable for big brands. But in fact, every business needs it to walk through branding challenges without losing consistency. A startup without styleguide is a boat without rudder, moving without having any clear notion of what its work might be. The primary role of styleguide is to provide a complete overview of your company’s identity and mission. No matter if you are a senior manager, an employee, a printing administrator or a packaging worker, you can gain a brand insight with styleguide’s assistance.

Regardless, your company’s growth depends on how customers recognise your brand, and styleguide provide the consistency to create recognition. It’s all about brand recognition that takes an extremely important place from the day you started your business. A styleguide that sets specific standards will keep your brand recognisable. With brand style guides, you can always ensure all components of the brand are designed, used properly, effectively and more professionally.

How To Create A Minimal Styleguide That Works

The styleguide that builds up a startup branding project can differ from business to business. These following steps will show you how to create an initial styleguide that suits any brand.

Mark Your Logo

Logo is highly crucial when it comes to building your brand. Your styleguide should include the elements of full colour/single colour designs and vertical/horizontal iteration. You also need to set standards for logo use cases. Your rules will clarify precisely how your logo should and should not be used.

Identify Color Palette

Colours can be transformed from designer to designer or from project to project. Your brand’s colours should be outlined in HEX code, RGB and CMYK. It is important to note that using HEX code, RGB or the CMYK codes for the web or printing. Mistake switching between the RGB and CMYK can lead to a waste of money on printing. It’s better to check yourself for any adjustment to ensure it saves your time and money.

Determine Your Fonts And Typography

Fonts play a significant role in indirectly marketing your product. Your fonts need to be in sync with your typographic to be professional. Depending on the purpose, you can have many different typefaces. Your styleguide should outline what type of font to use in your logo, marketing materials and websites.

Set Photographic/Imagery Style

Images can reflect your brand. Specific image styles will evoke a certain user reaction and in most cases, people easily identify the brand with only one image. While an image is a key for all brands, your style guide should have clear standards for photographers/designers you’ll work with. Examples should also be included as photographers tend to think with images.

Focus On Web Specifications

Online branding is an indispensable part of any brand. Your website must reflect your business and display your product. There are plenty of designs that can be used for printing and work for websites, but some can only be used for the web. Each subpage on your site needs to be consistent in terms of views.

Set Your Brand Voice

Your brand needs a unique written voice. Life will be perfect when you have someone who regularly writes every content the brand needs, but in fact, it’s not that simple. Your styleguide should set your brand voice. Brand voice is not only about the content, but also about how you organise it. The styleguide will help avoid cases of misleading content delivery. You can summarize specific words and paragraphs that frequently appear and which words to avoid.

Consistency and dissimilarity are everything that forms a good brand styleguide. Consistency, as you can’t expect your customers to stick around while you keep changing your style. Dissimilarity, as your brand needs to have a unique tone to stand out in the game and interact with your target customers. No matter what your brand goal heads to, a powerful styleguide should stay consistent, solid and dissimilar with the values your brand spreads to the marketplace.

Onboard Your Design With Styleguide

As a new business, your startup probably has to deal with a fair amount of things. Creating your own brand styleguide may take you a long time and a massive effort. But eventually, it pays off. Imagine how many times you have to explain the clear area around your logo or you have to check your old fonts and show them to your new designer. A styleguide will particularly save the time that you spend onboarding new designers yet make their works more consistent.

Another advantage of styleguide is that it keeps your new designer on track. Designers are broadly creative by their nature, so it’s important to set limits when working with them. Creativity needs to be aligned with brand values. Styleguide provides the filter, which passes through the creative process, pulls out what is usable and removes what is not. A detailed and well-arranged styleguide outlines visual examples of what to do and what not to do, making it easy for a new designer to understand and to help decrease any miscommunications.


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