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Style Guide

A style guide is a collection of rules and standards for how a brand and its product or services should be presented online. It should include things like typography, colour palettes, imagery, iconography, and tone of voice. Design teams, writers, and marketers use style guides to maintain consistency across all touchpoints, from digital experiences to print materials.

Any UX professional or marketer will tell you that a style guide is fundamental. Consistent look and feel are a crucial part of branding. When a brand is consistent on all its channels, users can easily recognise and engage with it. Yet, a style guide provides even more than that; it increases efficiency and coherence. A style guide facilitates the design and development process when a product needs a small refresh or a new feature. It helps ensure that everything matches despite being built or designed at a different time.

All of those points are especially crucial when the brand grows. As it expands, a style guide makes it easier to keep a consistent brand identity and retain customers for whom the brand remains relevant and appealing.

A style guide should be understandable for everyone using it so that consistency remains intact. Keep it simple. Use clear language and show examples so that everyone can follow set guidelines. And remember that as the brand grows and changes, so should the style guide, so update it regularly. A style guide has to reflect your brand to remain effective.

There are also things you should avoid. A style guide is, by name and definition, a guide, so don't be too prescriptive. Designers and writers should have room for experimentation and exploration. Thanks to that space, they can still use their creativity, and your style guide won't limit possible innovations. Two factors you also shouldn't forget or ignore are context and accessibility. A style guide should be flexible to fit different usage cases, e.g. website UI and graphics for social media are different, but their design should be in the same style. In other words, no matter what graphic or content has to be made, a style guide should have a direction for all. And never forget accessibility. It's a crucial part of UX and UI design. Your digital products, or printed ones for that matter, should be accessible to all people, so include accessibility recommendations for design, such as colour contrast and font size.

A style guide helps UX/UI designers create a consistent user experience for everyone across all touchpoints. A style guide is a key to consistency in all your branding efforts.

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