Insights from Sophie Lange and what you should include in your style guidelines. 

As a brand designer, I’ve spent countless hours crafting identities for a large array of clients. Whilst many businesses already have their own established identity, often clients that engage my services don’t have pre determined brand guidelines, and it’s my job to build that identity from the ground up.  

Whether you’re a startup or established business, one thing remains vital to brand representation: the importance of a comprehensive style guide (or branding guidelines). This is essentially a blueprint for your visual identity and voice, and outlines the fundamental elements that make your business stand out in the mind of your customer. This includes logo, colour palette, typography, imagery, and tone of voice. If you don’t already have one, here are the reasons why you will now. 

 

1. Maintain your brand consistency

A style guide ensures that all visual and verbal elements of your brand remain consistent across various platforms and channels. Consistency is crucial for reinforcing brand identity and making it easier for your audience to recognize and connect with your brand. Whether it’s your logo, colour palette, typography, or tone of voice, a cohesive presentation across all touchpoints creates a stable brand experience, building trust and loyalty among your audience. This is particularly useful when brands utilise market trends and require flexible adaptation while maintaining consistency. Plus, you’ll save time and resources by providing ready-to-use templates, guidelines, and assets for various design elements. 

2. Delivering a strong brand recognition 

A well-crafted style guide is essential for strengthening brand recognition, and ensures that your brand’s visual and verbal elements are applied across all channels, from your website and social media to your marketing materials and packaging. You’re reinforcing your brand’s identity and making it more memorable to your audience. For instance, McDonald’s has a clear colour palette that is strongly communicated globally. Just by looking at their red and yellow, you’ll be able to identify the brand, whether their logo is present or not. Over time, repeated exposure to consistent branding increases brand recall and familiarity, making it easier for your audience to identify and differentiate your brand from competitors. 

3. Professionalism 

A style guide demonstrates your brand’s commitment to professionalism and quality. By providing clear guidelines for how your brand should be represented visually and verbally, the style guide ensures that every aspect of your brand’s identity is carefully considered and executed. This attention to detail not only enhances the perception of your brand but also reinforces confidence and trust in your audience. It improves the customer experience by ensuring a seamless and unified brand presence across all interactions. Consistent branding signals that your brand is reliable, credible, and worthy of their attention and loyalty. 

4. Streamline design processes and collaboration 

Beyond visual coherence, a style guide serves as a central reference point for all stakeholders involved in your brand’s creation and communication. It streamlines the design process by providing clear direction and expectations, reducing the need for endless revisions and facilitating a more efficient workflow. The style guide fosters collaboration by aligning everyone’s efforts with a unified vision and ensuring clear communication across all facets of your brand and safeguards against misrepresentation or misuse of brand assets, maintaining brand integrity. This clarity empower teams to work together seamlessly, resulting in more cohesive and effective brand communication.  

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So what should a Style Guide include? 

At a minimum, your style guide should cover key elements such as your logo, your colour palette, any typography used, imagery guidelines, and tone of voice. These elements form the building blocks of your brand identity and should be treated with care and attention to detail. Additionally, consider including usage guidelines and best practices for each element. For example, specify acceptable variations of your logo and how it should be positioned in different contexts. Provide hex codes for your brand colours and guidance on how to use them effectively. Define your brand’s tone of voice and provide examples of messaging that aligns with your brand personality. If you’re stuck on this one, or need a more detailed set of guidelines, that’s where I can help! 

I am deeply invested in brand success and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having a comprehensive style guide. It is the cornerstone of effective branding, providing direct clarity, and unity across all touchpoints. So, if you haven’t already invested in a style guide for your brand, now is the time to do so. For any members on the Ladies Who Long Lunch business directory, I am offering you and your business a FREE brand audit and 50% off towards your completed style guidelines. Get in touch with me today for an audit of your brand and let’s create your guidelines together. Trust me; you won’t regret it. 

About the Author 

Sophie is a creative designer based in Moreton Bay and Brisbane CBD on Jagera, Turrbal and Kabi Kabi land, whose passion lies in all things design. She thrives on crafting unique and visually stunning designs, always eager to take on new challenges. 

Beyond just design, Sophie considers herself a jack-of-all-trades. Whether it’s plastic surgery or landscaping, if Photoshop says she can do it, she’s game. When not immersed in her work, Sophie enjoys spending time with her dog, attending festivals and heavy metal gigs, or embodying the role of a Paladin in Dungeons & Dragons. 

Sophie launched her career while still studying, establishing Lange Design Co, which eventually evolved into a solo venture post-graduation. Throughout her journey, she has collaborated with remarkable companies worldwide, all while staying rooted in Brisbane. Additionally, Sophie attained accreditation from the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) in 2022 and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) in 2023, actively participating in both organizations and serving on the Youth Reference Group for headspace Mental Health. 

Her career has been diverse, spanning print and digital media studios, with specialisations in branding, typography, out-of-home advertising, creative events, social media, UX/UI, and web design. Passionate about leaving her mark on the ever-growing design industry, Sophie is enthusiastic about collaborating on projects that push boundaries and create something remarkable. If you have a project in mind, she welcomes the opportunity to work together and turn ideas into reality. 

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To get in touch or Follow Sophie Lange on Social Media:

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