As a designer and branding expert, I always like to look at other people's work to get some ideas on how I can improve the quality of my work.
I studied some of these above style guides in preparation for my recent project and now I share it with you for your inspriation.
If I missed any of your favorite style guides just send me an email so I can add them to the list.
4. Who creates style guides?
A style guide document is usually developed by whoever is working on the branding project—an agency or a designer.
Style guides are created by designers and agencies who specialize in branding.
Not every designer will know how to develop a comprehensive style guide, but most will certainly do know how to make at least a simple style sheet that covers the basics.
5. What is included in a style guide?
Depending on the company, a style guide might describe different brand assets like typography, color palette, layout, patterns, imagery, illustrations, icons, animation, UI elements, and other graphic assets.
A basic style guide includes: logo usage, its versions and colors, and the do’s and dont’s.
However, most style guides will also include things like brand strategy, tone of voice, editorial tips with examples, and so on.
At the end of each style, there should be at least a few examples of proper use of these brand assets on real applications (business cards, stationery, signage, website etc.)
Ultimately every style guide is different because every company is different and therefore has different requirements.
6. How much does a style guide cost?
As mentioned earlier, a style guide can include just the minimum basics laid out on a couple of pages or it can go to an extent of hundreds of pages—therefore price can vary greatly.
Expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 up for a decent style guide.
Ultimately, the price you pay for a style guide development will depend on who you hire and how big the scope of work is.
Just like with logo design, graphic design in general or any other creative service—the price depends on who you hire, their experience and expertise, their location etc.
However, while anyone can design a logo, I don't believe any designer can develop a great standards document.
Building a style guide is a tedious, often hard work that only experienced designers will actually know how to do.
7. How to create a style guide
Design is not always a linear process like from A to B, it’s more of an iterative process where designers test things out to find the right solution.
Prepare a list of all the touch-points that a brand user will come in contact with.
First you need to figure out where the logo and other brand assets will be used.
Next, based on that you will be able to outline what sections your guidelines could include.
Here’s a simple step-by-step process to create a basic style guide:
Set guidelines for your logo
Define your color palette
Outline how fonts are used
Spell out your brand voice
Include examples of applications
As mentioned earlier, your style guide can contain just a few to a couple of hundreds of pages.
For example, the style guide I recently developed for one of my clients is quite comprehensive—it contains over 70 pages.