Keep Your Logo Consistent With A Style Guide

Style Guide Cover Image5 tips for creating a Style Guide to manage the look of your logo.prescription eyewear oakley

As your business grows, so will your logo’s exposure to different mediums and audiences. It’s important that your logo design has the same look and communicates the same message wherever it is seen. You’ll be sending it out to different printers and designers, so there is a chance someone not closely associated with your business might make a mistake and alter your identity. An easy way to keep things streamlined is with a Style Guide.

A Style Guide is simply a set of standards for a specific organization. Typically in PDF format, simple ones are quick one-page documents, more complex ones become booklets. Using a style guide provides uniformity within a brand, and for our purposes, your logo. I’ve created a brief list of what to include for a one-page style guide for your logo.nike air jordan iii retro

1. Mission Statement
The first thing you want to include is your Mission Statement. Anyone reading this should be aware of your companies goals and vision right away. This will start them on the same page as you. A mission statement is defined as “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.” Think of it as a quick Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How about your business. Some are able to do this with one sentence, I wouldn’t go over three to four sentences. There are many great resources online about helping to craft an efficient Mission Statement.

Mission Statement Graphic

Something else to include would be who your target audience is. What type of people are you trying to reach? Who needs to hear your message? Keeping this in mind at the beginning will maintain focus for who you logo is for.

2. The Logo
Now that you’ve stated what your business is about, it’s time to show what represents your business. Include an image of your logo along with any variations you may have. How does your logo look on a light background? What about on a dark one? Is there a one-color version? Does it need to have a grayscale variant? These are questions designers and printers will have depending on the project. Show your logo variations and list any size restrictions or requirements. You logo should never be smaller than “x inches.” Always make sure it has “blank” empty space around it at all times (usually measured by an element of the logo, like the height of a capital letter).

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3. Typography
It’s important to list the typefaces or fonts used in your logo. Typically the font is named in an easy to read font, then the alphabet A through Z is listed in that font. Most also include the numbers 0 through 9 and the punctuation associated with them on the keyboard. It’s more of a logo design issue, but I recommend keeping it down to 2-3 font choices. Something dynamic for your word mark, maybe an italic font for the tagline, and then a simple, readable font specifically chosen to compliment those two (it could be used for your tagline instead).

Fonts Graphic

4. The Colors
You’ll not only want to show the flat colors of your logo, but include some information about them. It’s safe to at least have the PMS (Pantone Matching System) numbers. If you can include the CMYK and RGB calculations too, it makes it easier for the one using the Style Guide. Colors are usually shown as squares or circles with the information underneath of them. For information about choosing colors, check out our posts about Color Theory and Logo Colors.

PMS Colors Graphic

5. Tertiary Elements
Finally, if you have any elements you use in conjunction with your logo, like icon sets, images, or stationary design, you can include that too. It’s an added step to help show visually how your logo looks in action, approved by you. This step is the least important, but I would definitely consider it if you have something you can include so the viewer can get the bigger picture.Australia Oakley sunglasses

Tertiary Elements

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Laying this information out on a one page PDF document will get you a simple Style Guide for your logo. Simple is the key word. Keep the layout minimal, so the important facts stand out. You don’t want anyone reading this distracted or confused by unnecessary elements. Organizing this information will set a foundation for keeping your logo looking clean and consistent no matter where it is seen.

Has a Style Guide helped you before?

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Is there anything else you would include?
Let me know in the comments!

Published by

Rick

Rick has been a Graphic Designer since 2005 and is the Community Manager at Logo123.com. He holds an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Visual Communications.