What are brand guidelines and why do you need them?

As an entrepreneur you may have been in a situation where you hired many different freelancers to work on your brand marketing. You may have thought this was a safe bet – you can hire each talent that has the qualifications for a specialty your brand is in need of. 

But then your brands story started losing its impact over time and your message seemed to get lost in translation. In this case, you really need some brand guidelines!


Brand guidelines (also called Brand Style Guide or Brand Standards) are a multi-page document that outlines how the brand should present across various touchpoints. When it’s supplied as a PDF, various team members have access to it and can create marketing materials with the right colors, logo variations for a specific application, font/typeface choices, and more.

And as a Creative Director of a boutique graphic design studio that offers end-to-end services for businesses of all sizes, it’s practically a necessity. So it’s a document for me to create and reference when compiling your marketing materials.

Why Brand Guidelines Matter

Brand guidelines are an extension of your brand story. In this blog I’ve talked before about why branding is important for all businesses, how to create a tagline, and I shared some Brand Adjectives in reaching and aligning with your people.

Defining some of these elements along with your purpose and promise is the first step in creating a clear visual identity that supports those same qualities.

And it’s this visual identity that helps build Brand recognition, which is when your audience can recall your brand. This occurs when you consistently use the same logo (and designate where to use each logo variation), colors, fonts, and graphic elements across digital and print platforms.


brand style guidelines

Logo Formats

  • Primary Logo

  • Secondary Marks and Symbols

Color Palette

Two-three distinct colors is important to have for any brand to build recognition – color is the one thing that usually sticks in people’s minds. A secondary color palette is a great way to add more dimension to your brand. Uses may include a marketing campaign, season, or holiday usage.


brand guidelines - by stephanie design


Brand guidelines offer a great foundation for any business looking to share their story across several touchpoints. With the help of a Creative Director, we’ll stay organized and have a much better understanding of how the various elements of your brand should be used throughout your business marketing collateral. For this reason Brand Guidelines are included in my Brand Identity packages.

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At By Stephanie Design my mission is to help entrepreneurs make a stunning and enduring online impression. Through Showit lets propel your business forward and equip you with the tools necessary to make us better by design. 

February 12th, 2023


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owner & creative director of
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By Stephanie Hamilton