How do you create a style guide or corporate identity manual?

Find your uniqueness!

Create a consistent and distinctive signature and content for your brand 

The structure of a corporate identity manual:

Before creating your own manual, consider these basic elements that will help you create a comprehensive guide to your brand:

Brand Overview: 

It is necessary to communicate the pillars on which the company’s identity is based: philosophy, values, personality and tone.


It must include specifications regarding its design, the space between the elements, the colors and the different scales allowed, as well as the safety zone. It is important to mention the correct and incorrect uses of the logo to avoid possible mistakes.

 The Color: 

which colors are allowed around the mark and which combinations are forbidden. It is important to indicate the dimensions of the pantones for the printed documents.


It contains the basic rules of design that reflect the brand’s intent. It allows you to create an original layout.

Icons and other elements:

Explain how to use the icon library your company incorporates in print or digital media (e.g., how to implement the “download” icon in terms of size and color).


This includes the use and treatment of photographs and illustrations, as well as the type of approach allowed. For example, your brand can only use dual color images (composed of only two colors) or photographs that convey diversity.


It outlines how to use your brand’s fonts, including size, spacing, use of light and dark backgrounds, and combinations between headings and paragraphs in the text (e.g. H1, H2, H3 and paragraph).

How do you create a style guide or corporate identity manual?

1-Indicate your brand’s content and philosophy.

Perhaps the most difficult part for many companies is communicating the substance of their brand. In this part of the guide, the goal is to be able to explain in a paragraph, two at the most, what your brand stands for: the value that characterizes it, the type of audience you’re targeting and why you’re doing this work.

2-Define the uses of your logo.

For the logo, it is necessary to provide for its use on the most common backgrounds, black and white, as well as all authorized versions. In addition, it is necessary that you set an example of inappropriate uses, so as not to leave room for changes according to the different criteria of each specialist, but a unified and truly distinctive image.

3-Specify the types of typography.

You must provide the font families, if you use more than one, the size and color. Determine the hierarchical level and size of headings, as well as typographic variations in the text, such as bold and italic options.

4-Integrate your brand colors

Color is one of the most prominent elements in differentiating and naming a brand, so much so that it increases its recognition by 80 %. Including primary colors in your guide, along with secondary and background colors, will help create harmony and consistency in your company’s communication.

5-Choose a tone of voice for your brand.

The tone of your style guide should explain how you want to convey your brand content in the text. It is very helpful if you are working with outside writers.

6-The report on the use of images and photographs.

Cambridge University devotes several pages of their style guide to images. They explain the nature of the photographs they use (with characteristics such as diversity, energy, and personality) and the minimum dimensions required. They also mention links to learn more about using Flickr, legal issues, and copyright.

Now you have the elements to start your brand identity manual. Create it as quickly as possible and you will notice the positive effects it will have on your audience’s perception.

Similar Posts