When it comes to building a memorable brand, it's all about consistency.

When you're shopping for your favorite cereal or coffee at the grocery store, you want to be able to spot it from a mile away.

The best brands stick in our brains because their presence is defined by the repetition of the same logo, fonts, colors, and images. Once we see them enough, they become instantly recognizable, bringing us a clear sense of reliability and security.

Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable  branding.

Developing a consistent brand starts with creating a brand style guide. These branding rule books help graphic designers, marketers, web developers, community managers, and even product packaging departments all stay on the same page, and present a unified vision of the brand to the public.

We've compiled a list of some awesome brand style guides to use as inspiration for your next branding project or website redesign. Check them out below.

Picture the most recognizable brands you can think of. Chances are, you've learned to recognize them because of the consistency across the messaging -- written or visual -- these brands broadcast. The same brand colors are reflected across them. The language sounds familiar. It's all very organized and, while not rigid, it's cohesive.

Here are a few types of guidelines you'd find in a brand style guide and which parts of a brand they can influence.

Mission Statement

By reputation, you might think a mission statement is in its own category of importance to a business. And it is. But your business's mission statement is also compass for your brand style guide. A mission statement ensures every piece of content you create for your brand is working toward the same goal -- and, ideally, strives to solve the same problem for your customer.

Your mission statement can guide your:

  • Blog content.
  • Paid/sponsored content
  • Ad copy.
  • Visual media.
  • Slogan or tagline.

Buyer Persona

By definition, a buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It can include details related to your customer's age, gender, job title, and professional challenges. For this reason, your buyer persona should also appear in your brand style guide. Your buyer persona is your target audience, and therefore stipulates for whom your brand publishes content.

Your buyer persona can guide your:

  • Blog content.
  • Ad copy.
  • Visual media.

Color Palette

A color palette is a group of colors a company uses to design its brand, and it guides every piece of visual content the brand creates. Your color palette can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, so long as your brand doesn't deviate from the colors you choose to include.

Color palettes that feature multiple colors often dedicate specific colors to specific types of marketing content. While the first two colors of your color palette might govern your logo, for example, the next two colors might support your website and blog design. Another two or three colors might be the basis for all your printed branding material.

No matter what colors you use for your color palette, make sure you identify their HEX or RGB color codes. These codes consist of numbers and letters to help you recall the exact shade, brightness, contrast, and hue you want associated with your brand, so your colors don't gradually drift in appearance as you create new content. You can find color codes using most photo-editing or design software that comes standard on your computer. Learn more about finding and committing to color codes in this blog post.

Your color palette can guide your:

  • Logo.
  • Website design.
  • Printed advertisings.
  • Event collateral.

Editorial Style Guide

Nowadays, an editorial style guide is the bread and butter of an authoritative brand. This component of your brand style guide can have strong implications for your PR team, as well as the people who write articles, scripts, blog posts, and website copy for your company.

An editorial style guide's main job is to commit to an editorial stylebook (such as Associated Press or Chicago), how to phrase certain products, topics the brand can and cannot write about, and even other companies the brand can and cannot mention. However, a brand's editorial style guide can also go into much deeper detail about your buyer persona: what they like to read about, where they read it, their general reading level, etc.

Your editorial style guide can guide your:

  • Blog content.
  • Video scripts.
  • Website copy.
  • Landing page copy.
  • Public relations talking points.
  • A knowledge base supported by your customer service team.
  • Paid/sponsored content.

Typography

Typography is another visual element of your brand style guide, but it isn't just the font you use in your company logo. Typographic guidelines can support your blog design -- which font you publish articles in -- the links and copy on your website, and even a tagline to go with your company logo.

As you can see, the purpose of the brand style guide is to form and maintain all of the various elements of a company that, when combined, spell out the entire brand as it's recognized.

Intrigued? Check out 21 of the best ones we could find.

1. Medium

Medium emphasizes both typography and color in its brand style guide. Its guide also include details related to the company's "Purpose" and "Product Principles."

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide from Medium, featuring a white, black, and green color palette.

Source: Behance

2. Wolf Circus Jewelry

Wolf Circus Jewelry's product is all about appearance. Naturally, the company's style guide is too. The brand's style guide includes the company's mission statement, product details, typeface, logo variations, a color palette, and a separate set of guidelines just for advertisements.

See the full brand guide here.

Logo variations for Wolf Circus Jewelry
Color palette for Wolf Circus Jewelry with three different shades of purple.

Source: Issuu

3. Ollo

Ollo is so into color and typography, it turned its style guide into a game. Click the link below to see how much you can manipulate the brand. It's the perfect way to show content creators how creative they can get but also still adhere to Ollo's specific typeface and color codes.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide by Ollo with color palette including four color codes

Source: Bibliothèque Design

4. Skype

Everyone's favorite video chat platform also has a squeaky-clean style guide for its brand. Skype, now owned by Microsoft, focuses primarily on its product phrasing and logo placement.

See the full brand guide here.

skype-brand-guidelines

Source: Microsoft

5. Barre & Soul

Barre & Soul's brand style guide includes variations of its logo, logo spacing, secondary logos, supporting imagery, and a five-color color palette.

See the full brand guide here.

Color palette for Barre & Soul whose brand inspiration includes Retro, Energetic, and Edgy

Source: Issuu

6. Spotify

Spotify's style guide might appear simple and green, but there's more to the brand than just a lime green circle. Spotify's color palette includes three color codes, while the rest of the company's branding guidelines focus heavily on logo variation and album artwork. The style guide even allows you to download an icon version of its logo, making it easier to represent the company without manually recreating it.

See the full brand guide here.

spotify-brand-guidelines

Source: Spotify

7. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has an extremely thorough brand style guide, covering logo placement across all of its kitchenware products. The company also includes a large color palette with each color sorted by the product it should be shown on.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Jamie Oliver with red tiled images showing photography restrictions
Typography guidelines for Jamie Oliver

Source: Issuu

8. Herban Kitchen

Herban Kitchen has both a color and texture palette in its style guide. These guidelines help to show not just how the brand's logo will appear, but how the company's various storefronts will look from the outside to potential customers.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Herban Kitchen with eight logo variations and six color code tiles

Source: Issuu

9. Urban Outfitters

Photography, color, and even tone of voice appear in Urban Outfitters' California-inspired brand guidelines. However, the company isn't shy to include information about its ideal consumer and what the brand believes in, as well.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Urban Outfitters with black and white logo variations

Source: Issuu

10. Love to Ride

Love to Ride, a cycling company, is all about color variety in its visually pleasing style guide. The company's brand guidelines include nine color codes and tons of detail about its secondary logos and imagery.

See the full brand guide here.

Color palette for Love to Ride with nine cool colors in circular icons
Infographic guidelines for Love to Ride

Source: Issuu

11. Barbican

Barbican, an art and learning center in the United Kingdom, sports a loud yet simple style guide focusing heavily on its logo and supporting typefaces.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Barbican with black and white logo in circle and gridlines
Typography guidelines in the style guide of Barbican art and learning centre

Source: Issuu

12. I Love New York

Despite its famously simple t-shirts, I Love New York has a brand style guide. The company begins its guidelines with a thorough explanation of its mission, vision, story, target audience, and tone of voice. Only then does the style guide delve into its logo positioning on various merchandise.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for I Love New York with logo and gridlines

Source: Issuu

13. Cisco

Cisco's style guide isn't just a guide -- it's an interactive brand book. The company takes website visitors page by page through its brand's vision, mission, strategy, and even its promise before showing users their logo and allowing them to actually type using their proprietary typeface, "CiscoSans." Where's Cisco's color palette, you ask? The business has a separate webpage for just that.

See the full brand guide here.

cisco-brand-book
cisco-sans-typography

Source: Cisco

14. University of the Arts Helsinki

The style guide of the University of the Arts Helsinki is more of a creative branding album than a traditional marketing guide. It shows you dozens of contexts in which you'd see this school's provocative logo, including animations.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide of the University of the Arts Helsinki with black background and white sans typeface and X logo

Source: Behance

15. NJORD

NJORD's minimalist style guide gives you everything you'd need to know to design using the brand's logo and color palette for both web and print.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for NJORD with black and white logo and color palette

Source: Behance

16. Espacio Cultural

This cultural center in Argentina has a color palette that's as elaborate as the artistic workshops it hosts. Nonetheless, the brand does a fantastic job of breaking down every last color code and logo placement you can find -- from the building itself to the advertisements promoting it.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Espacio Cultural with four typefaces and vibrant color palette

Source: Behance

17. Alienware

Video gamers know Alienware from its game-friendly computers, but the rest of the world knows it by the brand's sleek aesthetic. The company organizes its brand style guide into four basic parts: voice, design, photography, and partner. The latter describes (and shows) how the brand interacts with partner brands, such as Star Wars.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide and color palette for Alienware

Source: Issuu

18. Netflix

As far as its public brand assets are concerned, Netflix is focused primarily on the treatment of its logo. The company offers a simple set of rules governing the size, spacing, and placement of its famous capitalized typeface, as well as a single color code for its classic red logo.

See the full brand guide here.

netflix-brand-assets-style-guide

Source: Netflix

19. Scrimshaw Coffee

Featuring a five-code color palette, this "laid back," "friendly," and "modern" brand has a number of secondary logos it embraces in various situations.

See the full brand guide here.

Source: Issuu

20. NASA

NASA's "Graphics Standards Manual" is as official and complex as you think it is. At 220 pages, the guide describes countless logo placements, color uses, and supporting designs. And yes, NASA's space shuttles have their own branding rules.

See the full brand guide here.

The NASA Graphics Standards Manual white cover sheet

Red color palette of the NASA brand style guide

Black NASA logo variations from large to small

Source: Standards Manual

21. New York City Transit Authority

Like NASA, the NYCTA has its own Graphics Standards Manual, and it includes some fascinating typography rules for the numbers, arrows, and public transit symbols the average commuter takes for granted every day.

See the full brand guide here.

nycta-typography

nycta-brand-guidelines

Source: Standards Manual

Want more? Read How to Create a Writing Style Guide Built for the Web [Free Template].

How to build a brand

Build a Brand 2018

Originally published Sep 17, 2018 11:54:00 PM, updated September 18 2018