Today, as promised, I want to share some tips, on how you can create a style guide for your business!
Maybe the idea of creating a style guide or do branding doesn't feel right for you, but you really want people to recognize your style and of course your art/creative work.
People should recognize your style not just in your actual work, but also in the way you're communicating, verbal and non-verbal.
Visitors like or dislike your style in seconds, most of the decisions online are based on the visual appearance of your homepage. So this means that if they don't like your esthetics they will never even click trough to see your works!
That's why you really want to make sure to create a style guide that matches your creative work, your personality and is also appealing to your ideal customer.
If you do that and your applying the rules of your style guide throughout your whole online and offline appearance you repel the wrong audience and attract the right one!
If you try to hard to be everybody’s darling you won't be anybody’s darling! Make sure you're not making that mistake.
So let's dive right into how you can create your own style guide:
I would love you to do some research, go on pinterest and create a board with al the esthetic things you love. If you like you can make the board invisible for the public.
Don't be afraid, there are no wrong pictures!
Add colors, fonts, layouts, homepages, photos, artworks, logos, and other stuff that you like.
Search also on google, take a look at your favorite homepages, go through your book collection, your material collection, what do you like?
Take a look at magazines. Add your own creative work to the mix!
Take notes about what's attracting you!
Write down words that describe that style!
Print out photos, cut out images, collect al the visual material and the words that attract you!
This process shouldn't take longer than one to four hours! It's never going to be perfect, so you just need to stop researching at a certain point!
Those are inspiring me!
2. Create a Vision Board!
The next step is to take all the materials, photos and words and create a collage with it.
The Vision Board should reflect al the insights you gained trough-out your research phase!
Pin the Vision Board on a wall in your studio and look at it for a few days, is it feeling right? Other wise change what's wrong.
Making the collage shouldn’t take longer than one hour!
After the collage is finished go on with the next step, whilst taking your time to let the collage work its magic.
My Vision Board!
3. Big Picture
Now it's time to take a look at what your goals are with your BIZ!
Don't limit yourself during this phase! Think big!
What are your goals? Do you want to have a exhibition in a big museum? Do you want to create your pieces for the average house owner? What kind of projects do you want to do? With whom do you want to work? Where do you see yourself in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years? This process is hard, but its important! So make notes!
Give yourself 2 days to think about it and then write it down. Don't censor yourself and don't be too realistic, it's about dreaming! So there is no right and wrong!
4. Your audience!
Who is your ideal audience? What do they want to see? What do they need? Where do you find them? What do they like?
If you have the possibility to ask someone you think could be your ideal client interview them, ask those questions. (A client in this case could be a museum, a gallery, someone building houses, someone that needs help with styling,...)
Take two days to do this and then write it all down! Even though you found out stuff you don't like! Write it down!
Now it's time to reflect what's different between your vision board, your goals and your ideal audience.
If necessary you can change your Vision Board slightly. Take your time to do this, but try to keep it under 2 hours.
You created the hard part of your style guide!
Now the easy part begins!
7. Continue alone or with help?
Now it is time to think about, whether you want to go on and create a logo, branding, a homepage design, graphics and photos yourself or if you need help.
It is a good idea to think about the different ways you could get help. Maybe your partner or a friend can help you design a logo, maybe you need to hire someone.
There are thousands of options how to create your full style guide and the surrounding things for your business.
8.1 Do it yourself
You've already created a Vision Board. So now it's time to choose the following things, matching your esthetics:
→ 4 to 8 colors (color codes)
→ a logo (plus a secondary logo, if you want)
8.2 Hire someone
Hire someone to help you with choosing colors, creating a logo and choosing fonts!
This is my style guide! I love to have al the information on one page always by my hand!
9. How to use your style guide:
Now you can use the colors, your logo and your fonts to create al the visual things you need like:
→ business cards
→ social media icons
→ buttons for your homepage
→ thank you cards
Or you can ask someone to do this for you!
I really hope this step by step guide helps you create your own style guide! If you have questions about the process or style guides in general please mail me! I would love to hear from you! Also I would love to see your style guide and what you've created with it! So send me links to your results!
In case you're wondering how I did it:
I did al the 8 steps myself and then, I started to work together with a designer. Rachel from Miss Poppy Design, she created the logo and secondary logo for me, we choose the colors together and she found the pretty fonts I'm using right now.
After that I took the style guide and created al the other visuals myself or I got help from my husband. He created al the icons for me and helped me with several other things.
But for me it was clear that I can't choose a logo, colors and fonts on my own. I wanted the help and guidance of a professional. In the past I did everything on my own, but I am so happy that I invested in the upgrade of my esthetics.
Thank you, for reading this post, it's a little bit longer than I planned!
I want to invite you to share your results in the comments or to email me about them!