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Developing a Style Guide

Working with typography


From:

Developing a Style Guide

with Nigel French

Video: Working with typography

It's not just what you say, but how you say it that shapes your brand personality. For this reason, your use of typography is an important aspect of your brand. It's often said that there are no bad fonts, just inappropriate fonts. Typefaces are like shoes: sometimes flip-flops are the right choice; other times it's hiking boots. You don't want to get those two occasions mixed up. You need to make sure that you've chosen a typeface or typefaces to enhance the image of your brand.

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Developing a Style Guide
23m 25s Appropriate for all Oct 16, 2012

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A style guide helps clarify a company's voice, look, and identity. In this course, Nigel French explains the components that make a style guide—sometimes called a branding guidelines book. The course shows the importance of the style guide for maintaining logo integrity, a unified voice, and consistent use of typography, color, and imagery.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how style guides fit into the branding process
  • Who is a style guide for?
  • Formatting the guide
  • Deciding what to include
  • Identifying your position statement and voice
  • Working with logos and typography
  • Formalizing brand colors
  • Working with images
Subjects:
Business Design Color Page Layout Typography Projects Design Skills
Author:
Nigel French

Working with typography

It's not just what you say, but how you say it that shapes your brand personality. For this reason, your use of typography is an important aspect of your brand. It's often said that there are no bad fonts, just inappropriate fonts. Typefaces are like shoes: sometimes flip-flops are the right choice; other times it's hiking boots. You don't want to get those two occasions mixed up. You need to make sure that you've chosen a typeface or typefaces to enhance the image of your brand.

Even if your logo is typographically challenging, the typeface that supports it should be readable and accessible. Consider the typeface's design pedigree. Is it traditional or contemporary, formal or informal? Who designed it and when? And does it have any specific connotations, either positive or negative? In the case of the Roux Academy brand, it's of paramount importance that the typeface be readable and the style guide explicitly states this, pointing out some type usages to avoid.

Once again, most of this stuff is common sense, but it doesn't hurt to anticipate as many potential misuses as possible. As well as the design considerations that contribute to the type's accessibility, there is also the practical consideration of the availability of the fonts, both within your office and the offices of your partners implementing your brand. Fonts are not free and buying licenses for typeface families can be expensive.

For this reason, the Roux Academy brand has opted for typefaces that are already owned by its design team, or in the case of Arial, are installed as part of Mac and Windows operating systems. The use of your type should be rolled out across all your written communications, from a prospectus or catalog of hundreds of pages to the humble email signature and everything in between.

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