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6 Elements To Include in Your Business’ Design Guide

Aug 09, 2021

A design guide serves as a guideline for your brand’s identity. It notifies designers, either in-house or out, of the voice, color, and other design elements to use when designing a website for your business. The guide is important for you to establish an identity for your brand and maintain it.

In this article, we discuss six design elements that every business should have in their design guide. These will help establish and make your business a success from a design perspective.

Your brand’s mission statement

Your design guide needs to start by defining your brand. The best way to do that is to include your mission statement. No, need to go too into details, just a brief summary should be enough. Why is it important to include this?

This particular element will let designers know about your brand and its aims. It goes a long way when it comes to design because they will make sure that the designs they create are in line with your brand’s mission.

Select captivating typography

In design, every little detail counts. Designers will tell you that the font is as important as the graphic in your designs.

For most businesses, a nice, professional font is the best option. This font will be used in the logo, content, and so on. Fonts like Sans Serif, Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Arial are most commonly used. For good reason too, these have thin lines and are easy to read.

You can opt for more than one font, but limit your selection to three and not more. When picking multiple fonts, make sure they complement one another. The best way to do that is by selecting the same typeface.


Pick a motivating color palette

Color is vital for your overall brand. You want to pick a few that work well together and invoke an emotional response from the public. A response that receives your business in the right light.

In order to pick such colors, you need to understand color psychology. To sum it up for you:

  • Yellows, reds, and oranges promote action and intensity.
  • Greens and blues communicate trust and tranquility.
  • Black conveys seriousness and sophistication.
  • White is associated with purity and peace.

Whatever palette you end up deciding on will be used for all your design work.


A voice that resonates with customers

Designs complement your brand’s voice, the two go hand in hand. When customers see your designs, they look at both the design elements and the copy as a whole. Therefore, your design guide has to include your brand’s voice.

This specific element highlights the type of content that needs to be included with designs. It includes the tone and personality of the content and therefore, your business.

A guide for images

Images are a crucial part of the design, be it a brochure, website, and so on. You need to be specific about the images to be used so they are uniform throughout your brand’s design work. Something you need to consider is:


  • Type of images: Using original photography tends to work better. However, not all companies have the resources to have them taken. Specify whether your designs should use original or stock photos. You also want to mention the overall feel of the images such as professional, laid-back, and so on. Be sure to mention if the images should be abstract or include people.
  • Image presentation: Usually designers decide whether an image needs to have round edges or hard angles, based on the design. However, if you have a preference for your brand include it.


Include graphics and icons

As your brand develops an identity certain graphics and icons are associated with it. You must include these in your design guide. These elements should be used in everything that is designed for your brand. The only way to do that is to identify and highlight them in your guide.


Final thought

There is no exact science to developing a design guide. You can go about the process in whichever way you deem fit. However, including the six elements mentioned above is a must. These serve as the main component of the guide, giving designers specific elements to use to ensure the brand’s identity.

Also, it is important to visit the guide every now and then, changing it as the brand evolves. So, there is no such thing as a set design guideline, it should transform along with your brand.