The 7 Elements of an Effective Brand Style Guide

Before you can begin to confidently create graphics or a website for your business or brand, you will want to learn how to create a Brand Style Guide.

First things first, a Brand Style Guide is NOT the same as a Mood Board.

Often confused by people who are new to branding, the first thing you should know is that your Brand Style Guide is not your Mood Board. Your Mood Board conveys the overall tone, vibe and vision for your brand. It evokes the feeling you want people to have when they experience your brand.

A Brand Style Guide is your brand blueprint.  It is typically a single page document that outlines the 7 core visual elements of your brand:

  • Logo
  • Variations of Logo
  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Photos
  • Patterns/Textures
  • Icons/Illustrations

Just like the 5 Brand Tone words work together to create a unique brand feeling for your Mood Board, the 7 elements work together to create a unique look that is yours and yours alone. These elements work together to create your unique identity.

In order to set your brand apart, visually, you need more than just a logo, colors & fonts. While you don’t NEED to have all 7 elements, combining as many as the core elements as possible, will allow you to create a truly one of a kind visual brand.

    This Brand uses a gorgeous floral design for one of the “patterns” but also as stand alone illustrations. This is a creative technique that you can use – choose your pattern, and then break it up and use elements of the pattern for your icons/illustrations!

    This Brand is technically missing the Icons or Illustrations element, but the honeycomb shape could be considered a great alternative for icons. Layering social media icons on the honeycomb shape will tie it all together nicely.

    For this brand, we’ve pulled the spark from the main logo to use as a stand-alone graphic or icon. If you check out this brand’s website, you’ll see the use of the spark and patterns throughout!


    With all of 7 elements of your Brand Style Guide in place, you can confidently stay on track with everything you design, creating a consistent look, and a memorable & recognizable brand.

    Once you have your Brand Style Guide completed, you can:

    • See how well everything works together, and ensure that each element supports the overall aesthetic and feeling that you want your brand to have.
    • Keep everything in one tidy place, and easy to reference as you create graphics that are always on-brand, compelling, consistent & cohesive.
    • Save tons of time and money by being able to create all of your own graphics as you need them, or confidently hand them off to your assistant.
    • No longer feel like your brand and marketing efforts are a complete amateur disaster…

    If you’re ready to get started with your own brand, and you’re not quite sure where to start, I highly recommend creating a Brand Mood Board.  It’s honestly one of the first things I do with all of my design clients, and it’s something that you can totally do on your own!

    Click below to grab my FREE Templates and Mood Board Training so that you can get started right away.