< Back to all posts

Brand Style Guide Examples To Inspire You

Posted by Deb Nicharot on July 9, 2024

A brand style guide can be your secret weapon from a content creation perspective. This living document, also known as a brand book or playbook, helps all your production teams stay on the same page in graphic design terms, whether those groups are made up of staff members or third-party contractors.

With a brand guide, your content creators have easy access to everything from color palette and typography preferences to logo treatments and finished pieces of video content and imagery. Every element of your visual style can and should be described in this document, along with comprehensive brand guidelines.

While every company will naturally take its own approach to assembling a content style guide, you can still take inspiration from good examples of the form.

What a Visual Style Guide Can Accomplish for Your Brand

Before delving into the specifics of creating and customizing your style guide, it’s important to ask why. Why take the time and effort to codify comprehensive brand guidelines for your visual assets?

The value takes two forms:

  • Encouraging high-quality content: Having access to a reliable set of up-to-date guidelines and design elements will help your teams hit the right marks. You can convey your brand personality with consistent branding and visual style across all content marketing channels.
  • Simplifying the creation workflow: Brand materials aren’t just more visually compelling and consistent when created according to a content style guide — they’re also much simpler to produce. Your team members can consult the living document for reference, without having to reach out to a graphic designer or creative director.

A consistently updated brand style guide is the heart of your company’s graphic design efforts, whether you have one group of content creators or work with a wide network of internal and external teams.

image0011 Style Guide Examples

Examples of High-Quality Style Guides

Perhaps the best way to grasp the real power of a brand style guide is to look at good examples of the form.

You can see a few throughlines between these companies: Namely, they employ clear content style guidelines that help them present a strong brand identity to their audiences, so their deliverables are unmistakable.

Compelling brand style guides include:

  • Apple: Apple’s visual style guide reflects a few seemingly contradictory facts about the brand. First, it has a wide variety of affiliate businesses that use its name, logo and product photos as part of their own branding and marketing. Second, it has a very strong visual identity that it doesn’t want to be diluted.

    By being clear and firm about what kinds of branding aren’t allowed, the guide keeps designers following a relatively rigid template, thus ensuring the Apple brand maintains its consistency.
  • Google: Google’s products and services often act as the backbone of web services and technology tools. This means its imagery and brand logos have to be widely available for use by third-party graphic design teams, accompanied by rules about how to use them.

    One interesting element of Google’s guide for partners is a section where these third parties can submit their own assets. Members of Google’s creative team will then approve the visual elements or request changes, determining whether they fit in with Google branding. Few brands will have to go beyond the concept of a static style guide in this way, but Google’s sprawling corporate relationships make it necessary.
  • Medium: The Medium guide to logo usage shows just how seriously a company can focus on one element of its branding. The guide contains a link to download high-quality visual files of the Medium brand mark so a partner’s graphic designer can work with it at full fidelity.

    Beyond the file download, the guide itself goes into detail about the correct distances between all elements of the text and imagery in the logo, as well as the ways they can be colored in. The level of specificity is impressive — for instance, it’s acceptable to use the Medium logo in white on dark colors, but not light ones like yellow.

From dictating the correct use of product imagery in content marketing to mandating which colors to use when reproducing a logo, a brand style guide can touch on every element of visual design.

Ready To Build Out Your Brand Playbook?

If you don’t have a style guide ready to go, it’s a great time to build one. There’s one caveat, however — you should only include visual assets in the guide if they’re of sufficient quality. The guide’s contents are designed to inspire your next wave of brand content, which means you should only include good exemplars. A professional videography or photography can help you produce content for your guide.

For more on the importance of visual style guides and playbooks, read our eBook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A perfect video production takes
a perfect crew

Any City. Any Country. Any Time! Regardless of location, we have the perfect video crew for you!

Let's get started:Get a quote!