A style guide shouldn’t read like the work of a control freak, but nor should it be vague and ambiguous. Paul Wyatt explains how to strike the right balance.
Here are (some of the best) tips for ensuring your style guide does the job right in ensuring others do it right.
It doesn’t have to be perfect
Obviously we’d all love to spend time and energy crafting the perfect design style guide for each project. But in the real world, that’s not always possible. If you’re up against a tight deadline and not able to create a style guide with lots of bells and whistles (and examples), be sure to include the most pertinent and helpful information about the brand or piece of work you’re created in the time you do have.
information about logos; font usage; colour palette; tone of voice
If you have enough time, it’s worth adding some examples of logo and typographic usage as well as links to master artwork/ brand collateral templates and helpful contacts within your agency or company.
Concentrate on the visible
Look around your workplace and you’ll (hopefully) see colleagues who look presentable and are nicely dressed. Quite possibly a large percentage of these people do not have matching pants and socks or bras and knickers. But who cares? You (hopefully) don’t get to see them. Similarly, in your style guide concentrate on the visible and the relevant. Try not to deep dive into creating colour palettes which then have sub colour palettes and then further sub, sub colour palettes which might never be used or seen.
Work with a copywriter to energise and communicate the brand. This style guide potentially will be used client-side by the in-house creative team or sent out to other agencies to be applied in future work.
For your guide to be applied successfully it’s essential to communicate effectively in written form the brand spirit; the reason behind the work; what the guide is there for; and what the brand goals are that the creative using the guide should be mindful of.
At the end of the guide include relevant contacts and create a group email address should the reader have any queries about the guide and need to get in touch should there be something the guide does not explain. Although if you’ve included all the relevant details in your guide this should very rarely happen.
Also consider creating an FAQ as part of the guide and think about the top 20 questions a creative might ask about a brand when they first approach it. “I hate your logo. Do I have to use it?” is a question which isn’t allowed.
Create art-worked examples
Art-working up examples of creative templates can be a great way to showcase how the guide can be interpreted. Also consider supplying these files for download with the style guide.
The internet has become a crucial part of our daily lives. We live in a world where social media and electronic gadgets reign. Needless to say, the ever innovating technology has made our lives far easier than it used to be, especially in the field of business and communication.
Imagine the world without the internet. What would happen to the people who are so dependent on it? The blogging world will die and millions of people will lose their jobs. That is not a pretty sight, I tell you.
Students and everyone else who turn to Google for help will lose their repository of information. This means that they will have to go back to the old way of expanding their knowledge by browsing through the numerous books in the library which could be very tiring and time-consuming.
Communication will be greatly affected if the internet becomes non-existent. Cellular phones and electronic gadgets will lose their value. People will have to go back to writing telegrams and snail mails. Instead of Skype and webcams, landlines will again be the best means of communication. No more emails and chats for internet-dependent people. Social media sites will disappear and it will be very hard to keep in touch with your loved ones when they are miles away from you.
Helping students become quality Tutorial Designers has been on my mind and agenda lately. The reasons are plentiful, from the train of thought “if you can teach it, you know it”, being a vital skill in the 21st century, Alan November’s work “Who owns the Learning?”/ “Digital Learning Farm” to tutorials being an important piece in the self-motivated and self-directed learning of our times.
Teaching, nor creating (digital) tutorials, may come natural to everyone. There are are several skills involved. which are valuable for our students to learn.
not only understanding content and process, but being able to express and communicate them to someone else. The communication can be accomplished in a variety of media.
curating all student created tutorials in one place (ex. wiki) will create a hub, where students can search for tutorials of content, that they need a refresher on and it creates a depository for students in future years to come.
writing a script is an essential part of tutorial design. Tutorial writing could be considered part of the expository writing and technical writing genre
using specific vocabulary related to the content explained
“Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing”~ Wikipedia
a tutorial is a special type of story. It requires the “teller” of the story to engage the “listener” via different digital media
tutorials are meant for others to learn from us
creating, editing, and mixing of a variety of media forms (text, images, audio, video, etc.) and the fluency to work with a variety of media and switch effortless between them
I wish had the proverbial nickel for every participant in one of my sessions who has approached me after the program with a comment that began, “Have you got a minute for a question? My boss and I just don’t get along. We need to have a conversation, but he/she…” From there, the story and details diverge.But here’s the commonality: The conflict has been ongoing, stress has clearly altered productivity and results, and both parties have crashed against a communication barrier that seems insurmountable.
If you find yourself in that same predicament, consider these tips for a straightforward conversation that helps you break through that wall of hard feelings and misunderstandings.
1. Realize that two sides can be right. Conflict is not a competitive sport. The other person does not have to lose for you to win.
2. Communicate what happened, what you have concluded about what happened, and how you feel about what happened. Then listen for the same information from the other person. You will uncover hidden invalid assumptions, wrong interpretations, and inaccurate information.
3. Make a conscious choice about whether you will accommodate, compromise, overpower, or collaborate to come to resolution. Backing people into a corner rarely serves good purpose. But you yourself may decide to accommodate the other person’s wishes to “bank a favor” when something is not all that important to you. Remembering that you have a choice in the matter helps.
Over the past years communication patterns have been changing continuously due to increased public demand for information and knowledge. Numerous social networks and websites have escalated and gained the attention of the academics and practitioners, as well as the business society.
Coincidentally, while I was reading Grouped, I found an excellent example of Paul Adams’ theory in practice!My wife asked me recently if I would like to have paneer for the evening snack. It was an unusual choice in a family of South Indian origin, so I asked her when she had learnt to cook paneer. She said ‘Facebook’! Apparently, there was a paneer recipe posted on its Page by Surf Excel Matic, a detergent brand.Let us examine this against ‘light-weighted conversations’ theory:Who did Surf Excel target?At-home-moms with good Facebook presence, who like to cook and take care of the family. Oh, and they’re probably the decision makers for the detergent brand too!
Paul Adams, the Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook and the author of ‘Grouped’, makes an interesting point about the future of advertising. I stumbled upon a video presentation of his at the fMC recently. That got me interested enough to buy his book, ‘Grouped’ which was a subject of much controversy between him and Google.According to Paul Adams, every marketer should have three things in his new knowledge set to be able to tackle the rapidly evolving customer behaviorin a connected world:
Social behavior : Marketers should understand the ‘Why, What, Who, How’ of communication and how people observe, share and act within their networks
Networks: The social networks are here to stay and marketers need to understand how they work in order to succeed
How people think is affected by their biases, perception, non-conscious brain, past etc, relationships and interactions between people and products
Instead of stuffing your profile with buzzwords, use the new year as an excuse to clean out your profile and improve the way in which you showcase yourself. Highlight your skills, previous roles you’ve had and recommendations from those who’ve worked closely with you as key starting points to a better LinkedIn profile.
Alimentación, ocio y negocios, ALOYN, es un Grupo dirigido a Directivos y Propietarios de empresas, interesados en el mundo de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. Tanto por la parte de la industria productora como por la parte de la industria consumidora y/o distribuidora (Distribución Comercial, Horeca, Vending, Venta Directa, etc). También nos interesan las actividades ligadas al agroturismo y el enoturismo como magníficas actividades de promoción y difusión de la cultura gastronómica.