Branding success with style maps and brand guides
When a brand is born, it's easy to overlook the importance of creating a style map and brand guide. These necessary tools help ensure that branding decisions are informed, consistent, and effective over time. Here we'll take a look at why these documents are so important and how they can help you build a successful brand.
What is a style map?
A style map is an agile document that outlines key design elements used to create your brand identity. This includes things like logos, visual devices, typefaces, images, grids, and more. Style maps provide designers with direction when creating materials for your brand. They also help them make sure all designs adhere to your brand standards.
The benefits of having a style map
Having a style map in place helps maintain consistency across all marketing materials created by your team or external partners. It also makes it easier to quickly create new materials because all the key design elements have already been established. Furthermore, having a style map cuts down on time spent on revisions due to design inconsistencies or mistakes - allowing you to focus more on creative problem solving instead of nitpicking details.
What about a brand guide?
A brand guide is essentially an extension of your style map that provides more detailed information about how certain elements should be used when designing marketing materials for your brand. It might include guidelines for font sizes, spacing between elements, alignments (left-aligned vs centered text), etc. The goal of this document is to ensure that any material created for the brand looks professional and consistent no matter who created it, or where it's seen.
One step at a time
An effective branding strategy requires both style maps and brand style manuals in order to remain consistent over time while still allowing room for creativity within the parameters set by the documents themselves. By taking the time upfront to create these documents, you'll save yourself countless hours down the road while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing all branding decisions are informed by solid data points collected from experience over time. With these tools in hand you'll be well on your way towards building an iconic brand!
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