One of the most important things about running a blog or business is having a strong brand. Defining your brand is something that you should spend a lot of time on when you are first starting out, as it plays a huge role in all of the decisions you will make for your business.
There are lots of little details that go into brand creation — like Katelyn from The Crown Fox explains, branding is not just about your logo.
But although it’s not everything, the appearance of your business is crucial. It helps you make a first impression, and your audience should be able to instantly understand information about your brand just by glancing at your website.
Why You Need to Have a Style Guide
A style guide is a great tool that all bloggers and business owners should have and make use of. Basically, a style guide is a PDF that contains all of the information about the graphic design of your brand. It will have your logo(s), your fonts, your color scheme, and perhaps some of your commonly used patterns or images that you associate with your brand.
Because your brand is so important when it comes to making decisions about your business, having a style guide handy is a great way to keep your brand’s theme constantly in the back of your head. It also is something that is super useful to have if you are thinking about hiring a graphic designer, as they will be able to look at it and instantly know all of the most pertinent information about your brand.
How to Create Your Own Style Guide
So that you know exactly what I’m talking about, here’s an example of what the Miranda Nahmias style guide would look like (I actually just quickly whipped this up in Canva, it’s not my “real” style guide):
First, you need to choose a program to create your style guide in. I prefer to use Adobe programs, as that is what I use regularly as a graphic designer, but other options include: Canva, PicMonkey, or even Word.
Today, I’m going to show you how to do make a style guide like the one above using Canva.
Before we start designing your style guide, you have to gather all of the information that you will need about your brand. Important elements to have are:
- An image of your logo(s)
- Color codes for all of the colors in your color scheme
- Relevant patterns
- Images that remind you of your brand
Finding Images for Your Color Codes
You should have image files for all of the elements in the above list, except for your color codes (if you have images of those as well, awesome! You’re ahead of the game).
To get an image of a color, you will want to go to colorrrs.com. After the website loads, press the spacebar, then type your HEX code into the URL. For example, to get my blog’s main color, the URL looked like this: colorrrs.com/#F47889
Take a screenshot of the color that pops up, and boom! You have an image of your first color. Complete those steps for the rest of your color codes, and save them together in a folder on your computer with the rest of your brand images.
Designing Your Style Guide in Canva
Open up a blank “blog graphic” in Canva. Upload the image of your logo and place it at the top of your color guide.
Next, list your fonts. If Canva has your fonts built in, use those to type the names!
Import the square screenshots you took of your color codes, and line them up (or do something fancy and different! I went with a more traditional approach). Place the color code itself either on top of the color or somewhere next to it.
Next, upload your patterns and mood board-style images. Place those underneath, and you’re good to go!
As you can see, creating your own guide is really so easy, so there’s no excuse for you not to have one!