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The moment you start building your brand, you immediately imagine what you want people to think about it.
You create this persona, this specific image that would make it stand out from the rest of the brands in the market. You give it this character that would allow people to create a mental image every time they hear the name of the brand or anything else associated with it.
This is where design comes into the picture.
Brands are not just about what their corporate values are or how wide their product range is. It’s also about its visual representation, something that promotes brand recall and allows it to create its own subculture in any given field or industry.
And when it comes to this, it is important to make sure that everything is cohesive and consistent.
This is what style guides are for.
Style Guide 101
Style guides, also known as style manuals in other circles, are sets of standards followed by specific brands when it comes to identifying their brand. It covers everything from font styles to logo positioning, from specific color codes to patterns used.
What is it for? Basically, style guides ensure that every piece of brand representation is uniform. A brand does, after all, rely on its identity when it comes to creating a buzz that would make it audiences remember it.
Apple, for example, has very strict rules when it comes to their brand. The Apple logo should not be aligned with the leftmost margin, but indented by a specific measure. And it’s not just about the design, this includes wording as well.
For example, a specific entry on how to use the word ‘access’ as a verb on any piece of Apple material. It dictates that saying ‘Access the server using an administrator account’ is discourage, and that saying ‘Log in to the server using an administrator account’ is more appropriate. The same thing goes for the sentence ‘You can access the Internet with your MacBook Air’. Apple would rather have you say ‘You can connect to the Internet with your MacBook Air’.
The same thing goes for Bing. Knowing that they are going up against one of the biggest tech brands in the world, they have to be able to establish a specific brand image that would set them apart from Google. This is something they enforce through their style guide.
Here are a few other jaw-dropping style guides that shows you what a serious business branding actually is.