July 4, 2017

On-line Style Guide

I’d love to say that people engaged with this project and it had stake-holder buy-in but that would be a lie. The truth is that in the start-up phase of many projects, the visual identity is still quite a lose concept where everyone has their opinions on how it should be interpreted. My own take is that consistency, is important. Consistency and coherance create trust and trust creates sales.

An on-line style guide can help support that consistency especially when it relates to visual assets and UI elements. In an ideal world the style guide would be used, referred to and maintained by the Design team to create core pages landing pages and associated visual assets such as LinkedIn banner ads. In the real world however unless a style guide has been signed-off at the highest level it’s difficult for an internal Design team to push back on managers who want to create collateral that doesn’t adhere to the style guide. Internal Design teams lack the clout and ‘credibility’ of an outside agency. This is unfortunately a side-effect of the ‘growing pains’ of start-up projects.

This becomes a whole lot easier when an external agency has developed a style guide. This is likely to be an expensive process and will have senior management buy-in. Once in place, a director level approved style guide is a lot easier for internal design and development teams to ‘inforce’.

You can view the internally developed style guide here