Traditional Styleguide: What it is and Why You Need One
09 December 2019
It might be difficult to think of a time before websites and social media, but branding has been around long before the internet.
One of the main goals of branding is to create a cohesive and easily recognisable “look” that people can instantly relate to your brand. This can only be achieved through consistently applying the same design elements to absolutely everything your brand appears on, from free merchandise to the stationary on your team’s desks.
Which is exactly why a traditional styleguide is absolutely essential (yes, even for online brands).
What Is a Traditional Styleguide?
Think about the McDonalds uniforms, the Woolworths delivery trucks, and the billboards for the latest iPhone. Chances are, you recognise which brand those things belong to before you even read their name.
This is because these brands have created cohesive brand identities that are instantly recognisable no matter where they’re applied.
“Nothing drives brand awareness like seeing brand design in the flesh”
These brands maintain a consistent brand identity by always following the guidelines laid out in their respective styleguides.
While these traditional styleguides are often used to dictate how a brand should be shown in the “real world” — for example, on stationary — they can also include certain digital applications, such as email signatures.
Think of the traditional styleguide as the “OG”.
Why Do I Need One?
Despite the digital world we live in, a traditional styleguide is still just as important, even for purely online brands.
Nothing drives brand awareness like seeing brand design in the flesh. We see countless images on screens every single day, so something tangible like a store sign is more likely to stick in your mind.
Maybe you pass that store sign every day on the way to work. Perhaps the design is so striking that it stands out from the stores around it. Or in the case of our client Cakeagram, maybe it’s the only rainbow confetti-covered car on the street.
“Great brand design makes your brand unforgettable. A traditional styleguide makes sure you get it right every single time, no matter what the application.”
Another example is branded packaging. Your product might sit on your customer’s office desk or kitchen counter for hours or even days. They’ll likely look at that packaged product several times a day. Not to mention the excitement of opening that packaging to reveal the product itself.
Wouldn’t you want to make sure the packaging is designed to pair that feeling of excitement and recognition with your brand?
Finally, displaying your branding across internal collateral can have a huge impact on your team. It helps everyone to feel like they’re part of the same team, creating a sense of pride and camaraderie in what they’re working towards.
Great brand design makes your brand unforgettable. A traditional styleguide makes sure you get it right every single time, no matter what the application.
It’s difficult to determine what should be included in your brand’s traditional styleguide since there’s so much variation between different industries and brands.
This is why it’s invaluable to work with a team of branding experts who can figure out exactly what you’ll need and use to truly boost your brand’s visibility and reputation.