How to Make a Style Guide

By Sunjay Armstead |
June 10, 2020
Pages of a company's style guide

Clear brand messages are often remembered. That simple truth unfortunately that poses an immediate challenge. How can you clarify your company’s message and become top-of-mind for your customers? You need a style guide. Let’s talk about how to create it.

Three easy sections

Your style guide is the framework you should use for positioning your brand identity. Using it often will set your company apart from your competition. If you don’t have a style guide right now, you’ll likely get overwhelmed with the plethora of examples out there. No need to worry. Start with these three sections.

Example of logo usage guidelines

Logo guidelines

In this section, you will address the ways your logo should and should not be used. What colors are allowed? Can you use the icon alone? What about stretching the logo to fit in tight spaces?

Color usage

In this section, you will present your brand’s primary and supporting colors. I normally include white as a primary color to help teams see the value of whitespace. I also always make sure to include Pantone® colors to match my client’s primary colors. Pantone colors allow you to be consistent when printing merchandise and letterhead.

Example of typeface usage guidelines


In this section you will decide which typefaces your brand will always use. I suggest using no more than two main typefaces to keep your brand image free from clutter. Some typefaces have open licenses, allowing your team members to download the fonts on their computers free of charge. Other typefaces require you to purchase licenses per computer or user. Check the terms before you buy!


Karla Cook at HubSpot compiled a list of 21 style guide examples. If you are looking for ideas, that’s a great place to start.

A word on usage

Great, now your style guide is all finished! But a style guide is no help to you if you don’t use it. Here are a few easy ways to use your guide right away:

  • Lasting change happens at the top, so commit to being the champion of applying your style guide
  • Add your guide to your desktop for easy reference
  • Share your guide with your team
  • Have a vision casting meeting with your team and communicate your style guide expectations
  • Use your guide to create beautiful social media and email marketing pieces
  • Use your guide to create letterhead and presentation templates

Your next steps

Creating a style guide can be daunting. But you need one to ASAP in order to clarify your message and become top-of-mind for your customers. So let me create one for you and teach you how to use it well. It’ll make your life a lot easier. Let’s talk today.