Most people agree that consistency is a component of trust. When a business consistently shows up, acts from a place of value, and delivers on promises, we trust them more.
Perhaps you feel like you're being consistent, but still not seeing the results. Customers still seem to be unfamiliar with your brand.
So, what could the problem be? Why are you seeing inconsistent results?
Look to your branding strategy and web style guide. In the Digital Age, brands can be seen regularly on a variety of platforms. There are plenty of opportunities to be recognized but not all businesses capitalize on them.
So, if you want consistent customers, then you need to start by building a consistent brand and web style guide that your customers will recognize. The more they recognize and associate your brand with your company the more trust is built.
Consistent branding, web style guides and quality interactions can give you the opportunity to interact directly with the customer. This results in more loyalty and more revenue for your business.
Read on to discover how to create a web style guide to promote a consistent branding strategy.
Crafting a Web Style Guide to Promote Brand Consistency
Starting a company and selecting design elements go hand in hand. Taking special care to create consistency can be the difference between success and failure. Explore the following ways to create a web style guide that complements your company's branding strategy.
1. Company Branding
Before you craft the perfect web style guide for your company's website, it's important to get in touch with your current branding strategy.
Look over all of your company's design materials such as your logo, email sign-offs, and pamphlets. Other design materials include your business cards, website, and social media pages. Notice the amount of consistency throughout your designs. Are the colors and fonts the same? Are slogans and copy cohesive? If you find that consistency is present, then use these elements to craft your web style guide.
If you want to upgrade your branding strategy or need to re-brand to create more consistency, then it's time to head to the drawing board. When re-creating your brand take into account your target audience, the tone of your business, and what your company believes in. Imagine how these elements would then translate to visual design and copy.
A well-crafted web style guide requires consistent typography. Typography is the design of the printed word. For example, font type, size, and spacing.
Typography speaks beyond the words created using individual letters. Fonts can completely transform the written word, sometimes changing the meaning and message completely.
For example, imagine seeing the word "kindness" in a scary, Halloween-inspired font on a movie theater poster. Movie-goers wouldn't just take the word "kindness" at face value believing it was a movie promoting acts of kindness. Movie-goers would instead believe that in some way "kindness" was a play on words relating to the movie's scary nature.
This is the power of typography! When selecting typography, stick to 2 to 3 fonts total. At least one for headers, icons, and buttons and one for copy and paragraphs. Spacing, font size, and appearance should also remain consistent throughout your web style guide.
3. Color Scheme
Web style guides also need a consistent color scheme. Keep in mind, colors reflect moods and messages.
Start by selecting a dominant color to represent your brand and company. Then select complementary colors to accent your dominant color. Always keep in mind that combinations of colors can also be associated with other brands and even holidays. Think "red and green equal Christmas" and "black and orange equal Halloween".
Next, select a background color that complements your selected dominant and secondary color scheme. Many people choose white to balance their web style guide and to enhance their dominant and secondary colors. This reduces confusion and allows the consumer to focus their attention on the important brand content.
Great web style guides have structure. They present the consumer with a pattern of displayed information and balance so that it's user-friendly. When your website is user-friendly, it allows the customer to digest the content much easier. A structured web style guide also makes your company come across as more professional.
The structure of your web style guide will take into account spacing between the headers & footers, sidebars, and the ratio of content to text. Your structure's theme needs to be present throughout your website as well as on your company's printed materials.
Strive for balance and consistent design elements on each page of your website to encourage readers to browse longer.
The copy of your web style guide should match your brand's tone and message. It should also mimic in-person interactions and be influenced by your company's mission and values.
If your industry's target audience is families your copy will need to match a tone and formality appropriate for this population. People below the age of 25, on the other hand, might be better reached using informal language depending on your product and services.
Copy includes all text composition on your website and other printed materials. Examples of copy include blog posts, "about us" text, and product descriptions.
6. Graphics & Imagery
The graphics and imagery you create for your web style guide need to be consistent and balanced with your copy, structure, and overall design. They need to always compliment these design elements.
Great graphics fully communicate and convey a message using visual components and text. They can stand alone or be used to complement other elements of your web style guide such as copy.
Take into consideration the size of the graphic for structural purposes. Edit the photo to match your color scheme and typography. Graphics should also match your brand's tone and overall message.
Ready to Craft the Perfect Web Style Guide?
Crafting a web style guide takes time and patience. The best web style guides take into account market research, your target audience, and your company's mission. Remember, consistency and great interactions equals trust. Trust equals more business and revenue. Always pay attention to details to promote consistency so that your customers can easily identify your brand.
Want to learn more about website design and web style guides? Check out our blog post to learn more about website design best practices.