Brand Style Guide for Lawyers and Law Firms

Read about the importance of brand style guide for law firms.

Introduction

In short, a brand style guide is a rulebook. It contains specifications on everything that plays a role in the look and feel of your company’s branding. Furthermore, it is the documentation of your brand identity. However, it is presented in a format that makes it easy to apply to any content you create. 

Using a brand book ensures that your law brand looks and feels the same. Even when you have different people working in different positions in your law firm. A style guide is important because it helps your business communicate in a consistent way across all channels. From your logo to brand voice, graphic designers to marketers, it helps you present a consistent brand.

Your style guide should be:

  • Comprehensive: Including as much relevant information as possible.
  • Practical: Providing clear direction with simple language and helpful examples.
  • Accessible: Everyone on your team should know where to find your style guide.

Most importantly, your style guide should be customized for your law brand’s unique needs. Before you create a style guide, you need to know your brand. Moreover, define its key components: mission, vision, target audience, brand personality, and core values.

When crafting your law brand style guide, start with:

1. Choosing your format

Depending on your needs, you can design your style guide for multiple mediums. You can create printed guidelines or digital guidelines, accessible from anywhere. Moreover, you can try interactive style guides, which are easy to navigate and more dynamic. 

2. Defining brand guide elements

There are six essential elements that need to be included in every brand style guide. Some of them may already be created, like your logo or color palette. However, for others, you’ll want to go back to your inspiration boards. A designer will help you take those moods, feelings, and images and turn them into tangible brand elements.

Read about the importance of a brand story in brand style guide for law firms.

Brand story

Every great brand is driven by a compelling brand story. A brand story describes the things that a company cares about most. In other words, it is used to communicate the company’s values to the public. Moreover, it can also help guide major decision-making within your law company. Your brand’s story should always come first in a brand style guide. That way it can set the stage for the brand experience and inform the rest of the style guide.

Logo guidelines

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 your law company. Therefore, ensure your logo is used in the way you intended and prevent mistakes that could send the wrong message. Include all approved versions of your logo and describe when to use each one. Moreover, explain how not to use it and show visual examples to make it really clear.

Color palette

In your brand style guide, clearly define your law brand’s color palette. Defining a brand palette will go a long way towards creating a consistent look and feel. For example, in your style guide, show swatches of your brand colors. Your color palette can guide your logo, website design, printed advertisements, and event collateral. Therefore, make sure to include the information needed to reproduce those colors accurately. Check out these online tools that help you choose a color match or convert digital color into other values.

Read about the importance of typography in brand style guide for law firms.

Typography and font guidelines

Typography is another visual element of your law brand style guide. No matter how complex your typography scheme is, make sure to give clear instructions for use. Typographic guidelines can support your blog design, website copy and a tagline to go with your company logo. To enhance your brand experience, use a brand style guide. That way you will ensure you’re applying typography consistently across your collateral. In addition, outline what fonts are used for what purposes (in print and on the web).

Image guidelines

Everything about your imagery contributes to the perception of your law brand. This includes your brand’s style, color, and content. Whether you work with photos or illustrations, provide lots of examples and thorough descriptions. If your branding features infographics or data visualizations, provide stylistic guidelines for them as well. Specify when and where to use infographics and data visualizations and include style preferences and technical conventions. That way you will ensure a cohesive brand presence

Brand voice

The importance of having a consistent brand voice in your messaging should not be underestimated. Brand voice strongly affects how your audience feels about your law company. Therefore, define the style that resonates with your audience and aligns with the personality of your brand. Afterward, ensure that it’s replicated across all channels by including it in your brand style guide.

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3. Making a list of additional brand collateral

Maybe your law firm will have to include more than these six essential elements in its brand style guide. For example, if your brand is primarily digital, you will need to codify how you layout images on your website. In social media marketing include guidelines on the types of imagery you use in your posts. A brand style guide should fit the organization it belongs to. Start by making a list of any additional elements that you will need to cover in your guide.

4. Making an outline for your guide

Next, determine the structure of your guide by making an outline. Take your 6 essential elements, mix them with your business-specific needs and build an outline. Afterward, decide if you want your guide to be a digital PDF, to be available online, printed, etc. Furthermore, make this information clear and visible to everyone.

5. Keeping your brand guidelines updated

Your brand is always growing and changing and your brand guidelines should reflect that. After crafting your brand guidelines, revisit them periodically. Select the time to review and refresh them. You can do this one month, a quarter or a year after finalizing the guidelines.

Work with your team to schedule regular content reviews. Moreover, make sure the guidelines are being appropriately applied. Most importantly, have regular conversations about what is or isn’t working. Brainstorm with your team the ideas that will make using brand guidelines easier. 

Conclusion

Your brand guidelines are the summation of your brand strategy. Therefore, they should include everything anyone might need to know about your brand. Include your law company history, milestones, or any other relevant information about its background.

Moreover, explain who you are, what your law company does, and why it matters. Follow the previous steps to create a comprehensive, practical, and accessible brand style guide. Furthermore, allow everyone representing your brand to produce collateral quickly, efficiently, and with confidence.

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