Style Guide Best Practice - Smart Media, Marketing, and Sales
Style Guide Best Practice

Style Guide Best Practice

Branding Essentials

Long-time Talklaunch collaborator Kristin Furjanic wrote this case study on style guides for Lumin Station. The style guide is an essential piece to buyer’s journey mapping. The style guide materializes expectations and dispels assumptions. Brands who launch without a style guide do so at their own peril. It is critical that visual standards and messaging are in harmony with the vision of the founder and experience of the audience. Click away friends. – Ryan

Architects of Success: these brands killed it. #brandessentials #styleguide Click To Tweet

Every brand tells a story. It all starts with an idea, a flash of inspiration, or a push in the right direction. But, where does it lead? How is it built? We’ve compiled the best and brightest examples of style guides and branding identity. Necessary pieces, essential to the structure, consumption, and expansion of these brands. And they’re killing it.



Centric was founded in 2009 as a 24-hour music and entertainment channel. Their brand reflects the lifestyle and sophistication of a multicultural adult viewer. By mixing, remixing and changing the proportions of brand ingredients, Centric can always come up with new and exciting results without deviating from brand standards. Identifying the key components of their art direction as Photo + Color + Texture + Pattern + Type they invite a young and modern audience. Centric commands attention and is quickly recognizable.


Uber is always moving. Bits and atoms. Puppies and kittens. Burgers and fries. Riders and partners. They’ve come a long way from the San-Francisco-based start-up, or “black car service for 100 friends, and everyone’s private driver.” Their new brand took two years of creation and embodies not just who they are, but what they want to become. It’s all-encompassing, and representative of technology that moves. Cities and citizens.



Vanvero’s mission is to empower and liberate photographers, by providing them with reliable and useful tools to capture creative brilliance and beauty. To never limit the eye behind the lens. They’re serious, but not stodgy, and as such, their brand is bold, crisp, and clear. Their style guide is representative of the image they’re helping artists create.



These days, “free” is not a word you hear very often. But, Skype is free – and it’s downloaded 298 times per minute. That’s a lot of free sh*t. But that’s Skype—plain-speaking, simple, and human. Their goal is to provide the whole world with the ability to make ‘beautiful, lovely, clear, and free calls.’ They have a story to tell, and they prefer to do so in colorful speech bubbles. They strive to provoke dialogue and foster community. Their style guide demonstrates leadership. Skype is confident their fans will tell their story for them.




An Australian-based phone company created their mascot Ollie to set themselves apart in an over-saturated market, and use him to engage with their audience. They shifted their organization to be more customer-centric and service-focused, which ensured their customers that Optus was there for them every step of the way. Their bold typeface, bright, positive colors and quippy taglines gained huge traction on the web, and in customers’ hearts.



Simple and direct – Ollo gets to the point fast. Critical to Ollo’s branding are the people in their imagery. These people are their ideal customer personas. Using models allows Ollo to connect emotionally with their customers. With an interactive logo design, and a neon color palette that is described as ‘friendly and optimistic,’ Ollo’s brand strategy alludes to a sense of infinite possibilities.



A true artist, whose unique branding has literally withheld the test of time. Lance Wyman created the logo(s) for the Mexico ’68 Olympic Games. He used visual graphics to trick the eyes and empower the soul. His inspiration was drawn from ancient, cultural artifacts, and he brought them to life through various art deco pieces, colors, and representations. The ’68 Olympic Games branding was relevant then, and still holds up today.



Speaking of brands who have been around for a hot second—meet the National Aeronautics Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA—born / designed in 1975, by Danne & Blackburn. Their iconic, and bright red typeface is known around the world, and proudly owned by the U.S.A. NASA knows it’s all about packaging. Every NASA graphics standards manual comes case-bound with a two-color silkscreen and soft touch lamination. They are individually sealed in a static shielding pouch. How appropriate.



Medium isn’t ordinary. It’s a different kind of place to read and write on the internet. It’s the quality of an idea that matters, not the author’s qualifications. Don’t worry about formatting or fonts – they do that for you. The value of Medium is in the network of thinkers to participate in an always-evolving conversation—whether that be a think piece, an astute observation, or an inspired rant.  Understated, visual, and trustworthy, the arrangement of text allows the collections of writings to shine. Medium encourages the visitor to start writing their own story.




The ChemPoint brand focuses heavily on UI – and it needed to do so in order to reach a new generation of customers in a rapidly modernizing industry. It’s fresh face, bright blues, and impeccable brand standards are proudly displayed across all forms of collateral. Their website proudly expresses the visual manifestation of humanity and partnership, which is then embedded in the user experience. Fresh, and unique – their updated brand strategy allows them to stand at the forefront of a complex industry.

Medium put it perfectly: “The sharing of ideas and experiences is what moves humanity forward.” The biggest story to be told? All of these brands have found a way to humanize themselves. They are living, breathing, artifacts with a story to tell and an audience to impact. They have set out to serve a purpose. To be a part of something bigger than themselves. None of them are ordinary; all of them are complex. They all work to create a highly connected experience. And those are the brands that people believe in.