It’s pretty simple really…just take the third left on your right. Go up about 500m then turn around. Follow that to the roundabout and take the fourth exit and you’re there! Got it?

Brand management is a confusing subject – no doubt – but there is a way to make your life easier. The Style Guide!

Style Guides have been around forever in the corporate world. Essentially they dictate what can and can’t be done with a brand. Some of our more astute readers may recall Vaughan’s take on them a few weeks back.

He makes a valid point that they can, at times, restrict designers and that’s not always a bad thing but it’s not always a good thing either.

Let’s be honest…you only need a guide (of any kind) if you don’t know what you’re doing. Style Guides and Style Sheets are really for those that are going to come in contact with your brand that may not have the knowledge or ability to best represent your brand.

I’m not talking about thinking you know what you’re doing either – like the guy who gets a new piece of furniture from IKEA and decides that he knows exactly how to construct it…

…I’m talking about REALLY knowing what you’re doing.

You invest so much in your brand that it’s silly not to be ensuring that you’ve dictated a set of guidelines.

Style Guides are perfect for in-house use too. They allow receptionists and office staff to compile your material in a fashion that complies with the initial design direction. This adds to the continuity and means cost effective use of your in-house skill set.

Typically a Style Guide will show examples of livery, type (font usage), spacing and logo usage to name a few.

So if you’re looking at finding a better way to control your brand, then look no further…get yourself a Style Guide.

It’s the TomTom of branding!