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21 Brand Style Guide Examples for Visual Inspiration

When it comes to building a memorable brand, it’s all about consistency. Like when you’re shopping for your favorite cereal or coffee at the grocery store, you want to be able to spot it from a mile away.

The best brands stick in our brains because their presence is defined by the repetition of the same logo, fonts, colors, and images. Once we see them enough, they become instantly recognizable, bringing us a clear sense of reliability and security.

Free Download: How to Create a Style Guide [+ Free Templates]

Developing a consistent brand starts with creating a brand style guide. These branding rule books help graphic designers, marketers, web developers, community managers, and even product packaging departments all stay on the same page, and present a unified vision of the brand to the public.

In this article, we’ll go over what brand guidelines are, elements of a style guide, and some amazing examples of them in action to use as inspiration for your next branding project or website redesign.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines, also known as a brand style guide, govern the composition, design, and general look-and-feel of a company’s branding. Brand guidelines can dictate the content of a logo, blog, website, advertisement, and similar marketing collateral.

Picture the most recognizable brands you can think of. Chances are, you’ve learned to recognize them because of the consistency across the messaging — written or visual — these brands broadcast. The same brand colors are reflected across them. The language sounds familiar. It’s all very organized and, while not rigid, it’s cohesive.

Here are a few types of guidelines you’d find in a brand style guide and which parts of a brand they can influence.

Download our free resource on how to create your own style guide with brand guidelines templates to follow. Creating a consistent style guide isn’t easy, but with these tools you can build an unforgettable one with ease.

The Elements of a Brand Style Guide

A brand style guide encompasses much more than just a logo. It visually encompasses everything your brand is about — down to your business’ purpose. Here are some key elements that make or break a brand style guide.

  • Mission Statement: Your mission statement is the compass of your brand style guide. It ensures that all your content is working toward the same goal. This statement can guide your blog and paid content, ad copy, visual media and slogan.
  • Buyer Persona: A buyer persona is the fictional representation of your ideal customer. It includes details on your customer’s job title, age, gender and professional challenges — therefore stipulating for whom your brand publishes content. Your buyer persona guides you blog content, ad copy, and visual media.
  • Color Palette: Your color palette is a group of colors your company uses to design its brand, guiding every piece of visual content created. These color combinations often follow HEX or RGB color codes, and govern your logo, web design, printed ads and event collateral.
  • Editorial Style Guide: The job of an editorial style guide is to commit an editorial stylebook on how to phrase certain products, list topics the brand can and cannot write about, and other companies it can mention. Your editorial style guide can guide your blog content, video scripts, website and landing page copy, PR talking points and knowledge base articles.
  • Typography: Typography is a visual element of your brand style guide that goes beyond the font you use in your company logo. It supports your blog design down to the links and copy on your website — even your tagline.

As you can see, the purpose of the brand style guide is to form and maintain all of the various elements of a company that, when combined, spell out the entire brand as it’s recognized.

Intrigued? Check out 21 of the best ones we could find.

1. Medium

Medium emphasizes both typography and color in its brand style guide. Its guide also includes details related to the company’s “Purpose” and “Product Principles.”

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide from Medium, featuring a white, black, and green color palette.

Medium brand style guide typohgraphy

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2. Wolf Circus Jewelry

Wolf Circus Jewelry’s product is all about appearance. Naturally, the company’s style guide is too. The brand’s style guide includes the company’s mission statement, product details, typeface, logo variations, a color palette, and a separate set of guidelines just for advertisements.

See the full brand guide here.

Logo variations for Wolf Circus Jewelry

wolf circus jewelry color palette

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3. Ollo

Ollo is so into color and typography, it turned its style guide into a game. Click the link below to see how much you can manipulate the brand. It’s the perfect way to show content creators how creative they can get but also still adhere to Ollo’s specific typeface and color codes.

See the full brand guide here.

Ollo brand style guide color palette

ollo brand style guide typography

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4. Skype

Everyone’s favorite video chat platform also has a squeaky-clean style guide for its brand. Skype, now owned by Microsoft, focuses primarily on its product phrasing and logo placement.

See the full brand guide here.

skype brand style guide logo and icon usage

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5. Barre & Soul

Barre & Soul’s brand style guide includes variations of its logo, logo spacing, secondary logos, supporting imagery, and a five-color color palette.

See the full brand guide here.

barre & soul brand style guide

barre & soul brand style guide logo imagery and color palette

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6. Spotify

Spotify’s style guide might appear simple and green, but there’s more to the brand than just a lime green circle. Spotify’s color palette includes three color codes, while the rest of the company’s branding guidelines focus heavily on logo variation and album artwork. The style guide even allows you to download an icon version of its logo, making it easier to represent the company without manually recreating it.

See the full brand guide here.

spotify brand style guidelines logos and color palette

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7. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has an extremely thorough brand style guide, covering logo placement across all of its kitchenware products. The company also includes a large color palette with each color sorted by the product it should be shown on.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Jamie Oliver with red tiled images showing photography restrictions

Typography guidelines for Jamie Oliver

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8. Herban Kitchen

Herban Kitchen has both a color and texture palette in its style guide. These guidelines help to show not just how the brand’s logo will appear, but how the company’s various storefronts will look from the outside to potential customers.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Herban Kitchen with eight logo variations and six color code tiles

herban kitchen brand style guide

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9. Urban Outfitters

Photography, color, and even tone of voice appear in Urban Outfitters’ California-inspired brand guidelines. However, the company isn’t shy to include information about its ideal consumer and what the brand believes in, as well.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for Urban Outfitters with black and white logo variations

urban outfitters brand style guide

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10. Love to Ride

Love to Ride, a cycling company, is all about color variety in its visually pleasing style guide. The company’s brand guidelines include nine color codes and tons of detail about its secondary logos and imagery.

See the full brand guide here.

Color palette for Love to Ride with nine cool colors in circular icons

Infographic guidelines for Love to Ride

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11. Barbican

Barbican, an art and learning center in the United Kingdom, sports a loud yet simple style guide focusing heavily on its logo and supporting typefaces.

See the full brand guide here.

barbican brand style guide logo format

Typography guidelines in the style guide of Barbican art and learning centre

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12. I Love New York

Despite its famously simple t-shirts, I Love New York has a brand style guide. The company begins its guidelines with a thorough explanation of its mission, vision, story, target audience, and tone of voice. Only then does the style guide delve into its logo positioning on various merchandise.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for I Love New York with logo and gridlines

i love new york brand style guide typography

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13. Cisco

Cisco’s style guide isn’t just a guide — it’s an interactive brand book. The company takes website visitors page by page through its brand’s vision, mission, strategy, and even its promise before showing users their logo and allowing them to actually type using their proprietary typeface, “CiscoSans.” Where’s Cisco’s color palette, you ask? The business has a separate webpage for just that.

See the full brand guide here.

cisco brand style guide book

cisco brand style guide sans typography

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14. University of the Arts Helsinki

The style guide of the University of the Arts Helsinki is more of a creative branding album than a traditional marketing guide. It shows you dozens of contexts in which you’d see this school’s provocative logo, including animations.

See the full brand guide here.

university of the arts helsinki brand style guide typography

university of the arts helsinki brand style guide

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15. NJORD

NJORD’s minimalist style guide gives you everything you’d need to know to design using the brand’s logo and color palette for both web and print.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide for NJORD with black and white logo and color palette

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16. Espacio Cultural

This cultural center in Argentina has a color palette that’s as elaborate as the artistic workshops it hosts. Nonetheless, the brand does a fantastic job of breaking down every last color code and logo placement you can find — from the building itself to the advertisements promoting it.

See the full brand guide here.

espacio cultural brand style guide

espacio cultural brand style guide

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17. Alienware

Video gamers know Alienware from its game-friendly computers, but the rest of the world knows it by the brand’s sleek aesthetic. The company organizes its brand style guide into four basic parts: voice, design, photography, and partner. The latter describes (and shows) how the brand interacts with partner brands, such as Star Wars.

See the full brand guide here.

Brand style guide and color palette for Alienware

alienware brand style guide sleek aesthetic

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18. Netflix

As far as its public brand assets are concerned, Netflix is focused primarily on the treatment of its logo. The company offers a simple set of rules governing the size, spacing, and placement of its famous capitalized typeface, as well as a single color code for its classic red logo.

See the full brand guide here.

netflix brand style guide logo

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19. Scrimshaw Coffee

Featuring a five-code color palette, this “laid back,” “friendly,” and “modern” brand has a number of secondary logos it embraces in various situations.

See the full brand guide here.

scrimshaw coffee brand style guide color palette and logos

scrimshaw coffee brand style guide

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20. NASA

NASA’s “Graphics Standards Manual” is as official and complex as you think it is. At 220 pages, the guide describes countless logo placements, color uses, and supporting designs. And yes, NASA’s space shuttles have their own branding rules.

See the full brand guide here.

The NASA Graphics Standards Manual white cover sheet brand style guide

Red color palette of the NASA brand style guide

nasa brand style guide typography

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21. New York City Transit Authority

Like NASA, the NYCTA has its own Graphics Standards Manual, and it includes some fascinating typography rules for the numbers, arrows, and public transit symbols the average commuter takes for granted every day.

See the full brand guide here.

nycta brand style guide typography

nycta brand style guidelines

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Build a Memorable Style Guide of Your Own

Once you build your unique brand style guide, customers will recognize your brand and associate it with all the visual cues you want them to. We hope you were inspired by our list of amazing brand style guides and wish you luck in creating a timeless style of your own.


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