Logo Design & Branding
Corporate Style Guide
A corporate style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of print documents or web sites. Adhering to a corporate style guide provides authority, uniformity and coherency in tone, formatting, look and feel, design, language and a host of other elements.
After all, seldom is the development of brand collateral, Internet marketing campaigns, digital strategy decisions, or managing web content the sole domain of one individual. Sure, there are some solo operators who do it all. We’ve helped quite a few out. They’re impressive people.
But in most organisations, there are multiple stakeholders, multiple contributors, multiple opinions, and multiple egos all contributing to various initiatives. In this instance, a corporate style guide becomes the ‘source of truth’, the definitive reference that all potentially competing interests must defer to.
The result of proper and permanent adherence to a corporate style guide or style manual can add efficiency, speed and consistency to any development, design or writing process, irrespective of the medium or the messages.
There are generally two types of corporate style guide, whether for print or online:
- Design- focusing on rules for presenting colour, logos, fonts or icons: page or web site layouts including spacing, justification and common items; and the correct usage for standard controls such as buttons, dropdown selections, radio buttons and check boxes.A design style guide should also provide reference material illustrating both the conceptual approach to the user-interface as well as a process to ensure usability is built into the design from the beginning.
- Writing- from hard copy documents, brochures, letters, PowerPoint presentations and annual reports, to intranet or Internet content, a writing style guide details the more established conventions for respective mediums that the organisation chooses to abide by.Title Case or Sentence case for headings? Speaking in 3rd person or 1st? Make a decision and stick to it. A writing style guide captures rules like this and acts as the ‘bible’ to bring consistency, authority and coherency to every piece of writing produced.It can cover such topics as writing tone (formal, conversational, academic?), structure, word usage, formatting, grammar and punctuation (pm or p.m. or PM?), and any in-house language or spelling conventions.
Get your corporate style guide
We in the Digital Garden have compiled numerous corporate style guides for our clients, both design and writing. Some of the more common elements that most Australian companies would adhere to we’ve captured in a template, which acts as a good starting point in customising your own corporate style guide.