Consistency is extremely important in a brand’s image. And when it comes to your website, the same visual language should be used all across it. If it can’t draw attention, it’s okay. However, if it’s weird, for example, a bad color combination, it will put people off.
So to achieve a consistent and cohesive end result, having a web design style guide becomes important. Its importance increases if you consider the fact that web design projects involve many professionals working together. So if there’s a go-to resource for maintaining brand consistency, it can increase efficiency and productivity. It will also help modifications make easy.
I’ll be teaching you how to create a web design style guide in this article.
Without further adieu, let’s get started!
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How To Create A Web Design Style Guide
We have discussed how important can style guides can be. The following steps will show the roadmap when you start compiling this key reference source.
Step 1: Study Your Brand
First, you must know everything about your brand. What’s your product like? Who’s your audience? These things will help you figure out the feel your brand gives. Or you can call it brand personality.
Is your brand serious and mature? Or is it youthful and fun? Or maybe, it’s elite and luxurious? Creating a mood board can help. Incorporate your brand values and mission into your style guide as well.
Translate your main values into a visual language. It’s the goal here.
Step 2: Determine Your Logo Usage Rules
You know that logo is used in several variations. So define rules for using your logo. A designer in your team can help you with relevant guidelines that may already exist.
From grid and font to colors and spacing, there may be many different aspects of it, so a professional is good for this purpose.
Also, make rules for logo usage by third parties such as affiliates. Here’s an example that outlines Google logo usage.
Step 3: Define Your Color Palette
I’ve talked about color multiple times because it’s vital. It plays an important role, not in your website, but in your overall branding. People use it to remember and perceive your brand.
Think about it: Harley-Davidson would look weird in pink. The same goes for McDonald’s if it were branded in blue.
So define your essential primary colors, usually a maximum of three. Complete your color palette using secondary, tertiary, and neutral colors. Try including values in RGB and Hex number equivalents.
A lot goes into creating the right combination of colors for your brand. So take your time and learn more about Color Theory to be successful in this area. Here’s a resource from our blog that will help you out:
Step 4: Create Rules For Typography
After color, we have another important element of the web design style guide: Typography. Make it appealing by creating a typography hierarchy in your style guide.
Define the font families and sizes for your main headings, H1-H6. Includes styles for normal text, forms, and other things. Write font sizes in pixels and be consistent with them. Also, use progressive sizes such as 14px and 16px instead of intermediate sizes such as 15px.
Consistency is the key to giving a trustworthy brand experience. So be sure to apply it in all elements of web design including typography.
Step 5: Set Layout And Spacing Rules
Now it’s time to move to other important parts of a style guide: The layout, grid, and spacing rules. These can be implemented using HTML and CSS. They are important for your website structure.
Start out with some basic templates for your main layouts. This will help if you want to add more pages in the future.
Step 6: Consider Icon Style
Define some basic rules for iconography usage. Here are a couple of questions you should ask: Would you go with a ready-made icon library such as Font Awesome? Or whether you’re going to use your own custom icons? Of course, there are things like colored vs monochromatic, filled vs outline, etc. Also, define the main icon sizes that should be used.
Step 7: Define Guidelines For Illustrations And Imagery
Custom illustrations are a great way to stand out from the crowd. They can give a unique presence and voice to your brand.
When defining their guidelines, include style and color references for them. In addition, the usage of images on your website can be critical. Consider defining images usage guidelines as well.
Step 8: Outline Stylistic Considerations
After the basic components, move on to things like buttons, form fields, form elements, navigation menus, notifications, and more. Get in details for each thing. As an example, for buttons, you can include different states, such as regular, hover, active, or focused.
Step 9: Develop Your Brand’s Voice
Your style guide is not just your site’s appearance: it’s a way of communication. Talk with marketers and copywriters to create guidelines for your website.
Step 10: Include Specific Dos and Don’ts
Cover specific things that you can’t talk about in other sections here.
Step 11: Don’t Forget About Downloadable Assets
Think about downloadable assets like your logo in all its different formats, a press kit with necessary brand materials, and the style guide in a PDF format.
So what’s your brand personality? Let me know in the comments below!