If you want to maximize design team output, a design guide can be an invaluable tool to use. This can also ensure a consistent identity of your brand. Keep in mind that this is more than a document that comes with a new brand identity or new website. Truly, a good design guide is an artwork. It also has a practical application in design work. What more, it showcases the aspiration of the project. It must as well incorporate voice, code, and elements of design together. They should also be clearly usable, manageable, and easy to understand.
Below are the 6 essentials to put in your design guide today.
- Examples of Brand Identity
The design guide should best showcase the identity of your brand. This will, of course, be in the visual format. This must represent the way that the design materials should look. This is a perfect example of a show and not to tell.
Real-case uses are also the best examples exemplifying the design standards and the intentions to portray. Make use of screenshots from the mobile homepage, website homepage, app, and any other place. This is when the design is at its best.
With real examples in the design guide, you won’t need to create extra work just so you can showcase visual elements. Team members also have an idea that the written guideline will work during actual practice.
- Guidelines of the Design
Outline clearly all things relevant to typography palettes, color swatches, design elements, and shapes. The design should function and look in a certain way. There is also a philosophy behind it.
Make an effort to explain all these things to help users apply the design style consistently and accurately across mediums. Also, include elements considering website design. These should somehow be different from the print branding counterparts. For instance, designers choose for a unique typography palette online mimicking printed branding. This maximizes the use of Google Fonts to Typekit for ease of use.
- Personality and Voice
Bear in mind that the guidelines for writing style are not fun as you thought of them could be. But, they are still important. Impact the visuals by having a descriptive style of writing. This will contribute to the imagery that you intend to use. This also includes the elements of type and color. All these things could go together for the overall personality of a brand.
A strong personality and voice can also become a part of the visual identity. With a good personality, users will be able to identify the design elements outside the content of the brand.
- SEO Keywords
SEO is one of the least fun but the most-talked-about parts of website design. So, think about the keywords more often. Include these keywords when speaking about the brand. Prioritize descriptive language and include the top keywords in the design guide.
Better if you have a list of keywords to bring the words you want to say. Even the design elements should relate to these keywords. That way, the content will relate in the entirety of the website design.
- Element and Pattern Styles
It is essential to be guided despite the different mediums found online. A guide should apply to animated versions of color palettes, logos, design elements, and patterns like navigation and form fields.
Even the design book must have a section intended for these elements. Let the team love you by creating an element style and pattern guide in the online location. This way, users will just copy and paste the elements for ease of use.
- Code Snippets
A website design guide should have a lot of commonly used code snippets. From slider effects to small animations to buttons, these could somehow add to your workflow. These eliminate the need to manually enter the specifications with a new element.
Firefox has so far included information for the design component. This is in matters concerning its design guide for the revised logo and branding usage. Although you have no full library of code snippets, you still need to include the base information like the H1 up to H4 on pages found in the website design. Learn how to style the images and buttons.