Branding Recap: Creating a Brand Style Guide in 6 Steps | MP 123

Branding Recap: Creating a Brand Style Guide in 6 Steps | MP 123

How can you ensure consistency and professionalism in all of your messaging? Are you in the process of rebranding with or hiring a new designer? How can you quickly communicate the essence of your practice’s brand to a new designer?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about creating a brand style guide in 6 steps.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

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In This Podcast

  • Start with a great brand story
  • Use logo guidelines to create a recognizable brand signature
  • Include your brand’s core color palette
  • Choose typography that matches your visual style
  • Find your brand voice
  • Include image and data visualization guidelines

Start with a great brand story

A brand story defines and describes the things that a company cares about the most. It’s used to communicate a company’s values to the public, and can also help guide major decision-making within an organization.

Sam Carvalho

Brand stories wrap up a company’s vision, mission, and core values in one package, so the brand story should always come first in the brand style guide.

If you’re feeling stuck, feel free to Google some brand stories for inspiration. Trello, Skype, and Facebook all have great ones!

Use logo guidelines to create a recognizable brand signature

Brand story aside, your logo is the most important part of your brand.

It’s the one thing that everyone should immediately recognize as belonging to you, and only you. To make your logo instantly recognizable, it has to be used consistently.

All of the top brand style guides outline rules for exactly how to use their logos, to make sure nobody sends the wrong message with their brand. That even includes specifications on how much space to leave around logos, acceptable color variations of the logo, as well as minimum logo sizes.

Sam Carvalho

Include your brand’s core color palette

To keep brand recognition intact, it’s important to make core brand colors consistent.

In your brand style guide, clearly define your brand’s color palette. This usually includes one primary color and some secondary shades.

Include the necessary hex codes, RGB values, and CMYK color codes to make sure your colors are presented consistently across all media.

Choose typography that matches your visual style

Typography is one of those things that go unnoticed if it’s done well but sticks out like a sore thumb if it’s not. Allowing font choices to slip under your radar can cheapen your brand.

Sam Carvalho

For consistent typography, outline which fonts are used for what purposes – in print and on the web – in your brand style guide.

You can even design a hierarchy of font styles and sizes, text colors, and styles for lists and paragraphs. Or, just focus on your most used fonts which are usually not more than one or two.

Find your brand voice

Spend time finding the style that resonates with your audience and aligns with the personality of your brand.

Once you have it figured out, ensure it’s replicated across your channels by spelling it out in your brand style guide.

Sam Carvalho

Do this by including a writing sample (or two) that heroes your company’s brand voice.

Include image and data visualization guidelines

Everything about your imagery, including style, color, and content, contributes to the perception of your brand.

Therefore, it’s important to create some guidelines for imagery like photos, illustrations, charts, infographics, and so forth to include in your brand style guide. Include where to position them and for which purposes they are used in your messaging.

Photographic style is as important as illustrative style. If you use photographs frequently in your branding, your style guide should specify the level of complexity, compositions, color schemes, and technical specs that make photographs fit within your brand.

Sam Carvalho

Additionally, if your branding features infographics or data visualizations, include some stylistic guidelines for them as well. Specify when and where to use infographics and data visualizations and include style preferences and technical conventions.

These sorts of guidelines are easy to overlook, but when used properly, go a long way toward fostering a cohesive brand presence.

Sam Carvalho

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • Use promo code ‘JOE’ to get three free months to try out TherapyNotes, no strings attached, and remember, telehealth is included with every subscription free.

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Sam Carvalho

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.

Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to

Thanks For Listening!

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