4 simple steps to Create a Blog Style Guide
Branding plays such an important role in any business. The brand identity, or visual aspect of branding, provides the look + feel of a company. Just to clarify – brand identity is much more than a logo. It conveys the tone of your brand in a visual way through elements including typography, color, photography styling, etc. It allows the viewer in an instant determine if the company is fun + quirky, for men or women, a luxury brand among many other details!
But how does the brand identity impact a blog?
Often times, a blogger doesn’t have much of a budget to hire a brand identity designer, so you are left to DIY this whole branding thing. If you are a blogger who is on a budget, here are a few tips to develop a blog post graphic style guide, that will not only help streamline your process, but also provide a consistent + familiar face to your blog.
Consistency is key
I can’t stress the significant role that consistency plays in a brand. If you continuously change your blog graphic style, you are not doing yourself a favor. Consistency allows immediate recognition from your readers. When you pin an image from your blog, your followers should instantly know it came from your blog, and hopefully click through as they anxiously wait to read your latest post! Help your readers to easily recognize your blog posts and find you through branded featured images.
Now that you have decided to be consistent with your blog branding, you need to decide what photography style you want to incorporate into your branding. If you are great with a camera, that is an added plus! You can have much more control over your photography choices. If you decide to use stock photos, try to be mindful of the mood the photo is conveying. Select a few words that define your brand, and make sure the photography matches!
I don’t use photography much for my featured images, since I post so frequently! However, when I do post, I typically understate the photography through either a duotone or overlay. For the Spruce Rd. post images, I emphasize the typography more, so this style works for my brand.
Consistent Font Choices
With about 592987420 fonts out there, it can be hard to narrow down your font choices for your brand! I totally understand the power a beautiful font can have over you… trust me! However, in the spirit of consistency, I recommend narrowing your typefaces down to 2 primary choices, and a couple display fonts for minimal use. As you scroll through my featured images, you will notice I almost always use the same two fonts: one bold + all caps font for headlines, supported by a contrasting delicate italicized serif. Occasionally I will use a display font for the purposes of a typographic quote. I recommend using display fonts sparingly, especially if you aren’t quite comfortable with typography yet.
Here are a few definitions to help narrow your search. I recommend one of each:
A type form that has a small decorative line added as an embellishment to the character. Ex: Times New Roman, Georgia, Bookman Old Style.
Meaning “without” serif. A clean typeface without added embellishments. Ex: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana
A more decorative font. I recommend using these sparingly. Often times a script, ornate in style, grungy, or some other artistic effect. If the display font was used in body copy, it most likely wouldn’t be legible. Minimize copy to 1-5 words when using a display font.
Here are a few examples from my previous blog posts. You can see the common typography + color used throughout.
When crafting your blog post style guide, be mindful of the colors you select. I recommend creating a primary color palette of 3-5 colors, along with a few secondary colors. You will incorporate these colors through typography usage, as well as through selecting photography for your blog images. I recently purchased a few solid large sheets of paper in my brand colors, for simple instagram photo backgrounds! Through consistent colors, readers instantly recognize your brand.
And there you have it! A few simple ways to streamline your blog branding. Do you have any aspects of your blog branding that inconsistent, and need a refresh? I would love your input in the comments below!