How to Create Style Guidelines

Five top tips for developing effective brand guidelines
How to Create Style Guidelines
Image: Antoni Shkrab / Pexels
Table of Contents
In: Content Creation

As we wrote in our last blog post, every brand needs guidelines to communicate in a consistent way, build trust and save costs.

So, how do you get started? In this post, we share our top tips on creating your own language guidelines.

1. Find your brand voice

If your brand was a person, how would you describe them? Defining your brand voice can be as simple as listing a few words: friendly, professional, knowledgeable, serious, playful… etc. It might also help to jot down what your brand is not.

2. Rewrite the rules

Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: spelling, grammar and punctuation. To create a basic style guide, you could just pick out a few important areas to focus on. Do you use American or British English? How do you write measurements, times, prices and dates? For example, 1st January 2021 or 01.01.2021? Setting our clear rules for these small but important details ensures that all of your content speaks with the same voice, whoever is writing it.

3. Focus on formatting

To make your digital and print communications look professional, it’s important to think about formatting. When do you use bold text? When do you use italics? When would you use a bullet list as opposed to a numbered list?

4. Make a word list

There are probably several words and phrases that come up again and again in your communications. To ensure that these are always written in the same way, make a simple list to clarify which words should be capitalised (Marketing Director vs. marketing director) and/or hyphenated (bestsellers vs. best-sellers).

5. Spread the word!

Once your style guide is ready to go, make sure that anyone who creates content for your brand has access. The guidelines will also need to be checked and updated regularly.

Ready to go further?

As a next step, you could think about expanding the scope to include even more detail, from acronyms and abbreviations to Oxford commas.

The more detailed your guidelines are, the stronger and more consistent your content will be.

Making a style guide doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and the sooner you do it the better. Talk to our Creative Team to find out how Bwritr can help.

Written by
Fiona Freeman
Writer. Reader. Nature Lover. Coffee Drinker. Managing Editor.
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