Brand and Style Guidelines – a promise of design productivity

Everyone in the company has a love-hate relationship with the style guide. The brand and style guidelines holds a promise of productivity for designers, developers and vendors. Having worked on style guides for both E*TRADE and PayPal, I considered it an operational role that required patience and grit to work with innumerable stakeholders across the company and delivering something that allowed smooth execution.

It is always a work in progress and never ready. Designers complain that it is restricting and Developers complain that it is never detailed enough. Having said that I am a huge advocate of the style guides because it ensures the vision, values, attributes of the brand are executed out consistently across various channels. There is no second guessing and the designers can be free to innovate on the interaction and experiences.

One thing to remember and set expectations for others is that “Change is inevitable”, so plan for it. Make incremental and planned updates that can be communicated to the organization and the vendors quickly.

Here are some of the resources to get you started on creating a style guide.

Designing style guidelines for brands and websites – Smashing Magazine
Brand identity style guides – Logo Design Love
20 top tips for designing effective brand guidelines – SAATCHI

 

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