Branding Style Guides from Around The World

This is heading directly into geek territory. But we are self-confessed geeks, particularly when it comes to all things print and design. When you need complete uniformity in style and formatting for all your branded materials, i.e., marketing, letterheads and packaging, your best tool is a branding style guide or identity design guide or a style guide or… well, call it what you want.
The Executionist but it best, explaining “A brand style guide is the primary visual DNA of your company’s branding, though it can also reference grammar, tone, word usage and point of view. Essentially, it’s a document that describes, defines and presents examples of what your brand looks like in various visual media such as print, Internet and broadcast.”


Enough of the geek talk, take a look for yourself at this list of branding style guides from around the world. We’ve highlighted some of our favorites, which are particularly meticulous.

  1. Adobe corporate brand guidelines (PDF)
  2. Alberta corporate identity manual
  3. Android brand guidelines
  4. Apple identity guidelines (PDF)
  5. Argento brand identity and style guide (PDF)
  6. Barbican identity guidelines (old)
  7. Bath Spa University brand guidelines
  8. Berkeley brand identity
  9. Best Buy brand identity
  10. Boston University brand identity standards
  11. Boy Scouts of America brand identity guide (PDF)
  12. British Council brand website (registration required)
  13. British Rail corporate identity manual
  14. Canadian National Railway Company visual identity guidelines (PDF)
  15. Carnegie Mellon brand guidelines
  16. Channel 4 identity style guides
  17. Christopher Doyle identity guidelines
  18. Cisco logo usage and guidelines
  19. Code for America website style guide
  20. Columbia University visual identity (PDF)
  21. Cornell University brand book
  22. Dropbox logos and branding
  23. Duke University style guide
  24. easyGroup brand manual (PDF)
  25. Edinburgh Council brand guidelines (PDF)
  26. Esso Imperial Oil quick reference guide (PDF)
  27. Facebook brand assets
  28. Good Technology brand identity guide
  29. Google visual assets guidelines
  30. GOV.UK elements
  31. Haas School of Business style guide
  32. Heineken visual identity
  33. IEEE brand identity guidelines
  34. Jamie Oliver FRV brand guidelines
  35. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens brand guidelines
  36. Liberty University brand identity policy
  37. Lloyd’s brand guidelines (PDF)
  38. Macmillan identity guide
  39. MailChimp brand assets
  40. MasterCard brand center
  41. Microsoft corporate logo guidelines
  42. Mississauga’s Brand Story
  43. Mozilla Firefox branding
  44. NAMI identity guidelines
  45. NASA graphics standards manual (mid 1970s)
  46. National University of Singapore identity
  47. New York University identity and style guide
  48. New York City Transit Authority identity and style guide
  49. NHS brand guidelines
  50. NYU-Poly identity style guide
  51. Ohio State University brand guidelines
  52. Ohio University brand standards
  53. Oregon State University brand identity guidelines
  54. Pacific University brand standards (PDF)
  55. Pearson brand guidelines (PDF)
  56. Penguin logo guidelines
  57. Princeton University graphic identity
  58. PRSA guidelines & logos
  59. Redfern brand identity guidelines (PDF)
  60. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College style guide
  61. Santa brand book
  62. Sapo (PDF, in Portuguese)
  63. Skype brand book
  64. The Beano Comic brand guidelines (PDF)
  65. The Scout Association brand guidelines (PDF)
  66. The University of Texas brand guidelines
  67. Twitter brand assets and guidelines
  68. Uber brand guide
  69. Ubuntu brand guidelines
  70. University of Arkansas style guides and logos
  71. University of California brand guidelines
  72. University of Cambridge identity guidelines
  73. University of East Anglia brand identity guidelines (PDF)
  74. University of Louisville brand
  75. University of Northern Colorado identity style guide (PDF)
  76. University of Wisconsin-Madison brand identity guidelines
  77. Vanderbilt University graphic standards
  78. Vimeo brand guidelines
  79. Virginia Tech identity standards
  80. Walmart brand center
  81. WordPress logos and graphics
  82. Yale University identity
  83. Yelp styleguide


Designing With Personality: 8 Awesome Case Studies

If you’ve ever taken a stride over to our office, you know the sheer amount of samples we have can be overwhelming. Too many people come to us asking for what’s nice, what’s new, what’s trending. The real question should be, what is you?


Flat designs, full page images and minimalism, it’s all the rage nowadays. What will make the difference between the good and the great is the connection your design makes with people. If you ask me what the best way to make that connection is, i’d say it’s no different than the way you’d make that connection in person, your personality. The key to making your next business card, website or brochure connect with people is to design with personality.


So how do you design with personality? Aarron Walter has mastered the art of designing with personality. Smashing Magazine has published his chapter on how sharing our personality can help us create lasting relationships with users, clients, and customers. Walter begins with a rather strong message: Whether the website is for a client or for yourself, if you’re struggling to find your way, it’s probably because you are starting from the wrong place. The inspiration you seek is not where you think it is. It’s not in a blog post entitled “25 Amazingly Beautiful Websites.” It’s not in your Twitter stream, nor on Facebook. It’s not even on the Web. It’s right there on your seat. It’s you.


I’ve gathered 8 amazing case studies of what it really means to design with personality.

01. Simplicity, Extremely


When the core of your brand is simplicity, it’s best to take it to heart. At STUDIOJQ they believe things should be kept simple, “extremely simple”.  By developing a color palette that is engaging and exciting, the were able to compliment every word of what they stood for.  There’s no doubt that sometimes less is more.

02. Branding the un-brandable

Potwasher Josh

Taking a seemingly un-brandable field of work, and making resemble something mildly professional is no easy task. There’s no mistaking the power of the design created for a seemingly miniscule job title, the pot washer. Sometimes developing a personality take a bit of magic. The color contrasts and playful hand gestures were the stylistic devices, “giving class and charm to a job that is usually considered the most boring of jobs.

03. The proof is in the pudding… design?

Birch & Waite

Take a stroll through the aisles of any grocery store, soon you’ll notice there’s little to differentiate one sauce from the other. When Birch & Waite launched a range of batch-crafted sauces for the professional food service industry, they needed to make an impact. There first step was realizing a creative angle to keep them from being mistaken for the low quality mass produced alternatives.

.04 Swiss Inspiration

Oper Köln

When your brand still speaks of your personality after years, you know you’ve got it right. When the Cologne Opera developed this apparently swiss inspired brand design, they created a long lasting trademark that was retained even after the reopening in 2015. This clearly established brand features a high-contrast colorful experience with unmistakable typographic characters.

.05 Monsters, why not?

Sweet Monsters Co.

This outrages design is only can only be succeeded by and even more outrages company. With a twitter feed that reads “Lock up your back door and run for your life, cause the Sweet Monster are coming.”, you can’t help but be terrified. There’s no doubt this sucrose addicted monster blends so fittingly with the personality of Sweet Monsters Co., A Brazilian company that specialises in American milkshakes and Belgian waffles.

.06 Clean & Balanced

Taylor Made

Ok, they don’t really exists, but if they did they’d pride themselves in 150 years of fine products and expert craftsmanship. “As with any well dressed client that walks out the doors of Tailor Made is aware; the secret to looking sharp is keeping clean and balancing out their outfits”. This logo could have walked in through the doors of this shop looking as sharp as ever. They literally fitted this logo’s typeface in a suit, personifying the identity of this business.

.07 Recycled, hand-made, natural


Find your core personality takes introspection. ChickChirik is  gift registry project founded to make gift giving easy. This isn’t exactly a new idea, but what does make them unique is array packaging supplies made from kraft paper and jute that’s “recycled, hand-made, natural soft to the touch and create a feeling of warmth”. This uniquely design packaging enhances

that experience exactly.


.08 Warm & Easy Approach


Vanguard and the warm easy approach, although not what you typically expect from a real estate company, Levante has set out to do just that. This minimalist approach and typographical selection on it’s own does the job, but once it’s combined with cardinal point inspired symbol, you get an irrevocably personal touch.

Typography Basics Every Designer Should Know

Every designer needs to understand typography. Let’s start with the basics.

Typography in simplest terms is the art and technique of arranging type. Typography is born to make written language readable, appealing, and legible. The meticulous arrangement of type involves selecting from a myriad of considerations.

What are those considerations? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are the basics every designer should know.


A Preface to Choosing fonts


There is an astonishingly and tragic array of fonts available online for your pleasure. There’s no shortage of fonts to choose from, but as with anything else in this world, this universal advice still applies; Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. There’s something magical about painting your canvas with a limited and intentional palette. We’ve gathered a list of some excellent free fonts, but always consider investing in a paid typeface. Most are crafted by talented and experienced artists over an extended period of time.


The Basics




A short line or stroke attached to or extending from the open ends of a letter. Fonts designed with this character are called serif fonts.




This literally means “without line”, and refers to fonts designed without a serif.




A sloping version of a typeface which is uniquely designed as a tilted (from left to right) version of the upright typeface. It is used for emphasis or distinction and in foreign words.


Size (x-height)


The height of a typeface’s lowercase letters (disregarding ascenders and descenders). It’s called the x-height’ simply because it is based on the letter ‘x’.

When pairing different typefaces, for example when using a different fonts to denote an area of attention – it’s generally wise to use those that share a similar x-height.


Line Spacing (Leading)


Leading is the vertical spacing between lines of text (from baseline to baseline). Curious fact: it’s called leading because strips of lead were used in the past to separate lines of type in the days of typesetting. The key to leading is making your text comfortable to read. To accomplish this, a general rule is to keep your line space between 1.25 to 1.5 times greater than your font size.


Letter Spacing (Tracking)


Tracking or letter spacing is the space between your letters. Yeah, that one was hard to figure out. More specifically, though, it’s the uniform amount of between each character in section text.




The horizontal spacing between two consecutive characters; adjusting the kerning creates the appearance of uniformity and reduces gaps of white space between certain letter combinations. An example of this would be where an uppercase ‘A’ meets an uppercase ‘V’, their diagonal strokes are usually kerned so that the top left of the ‘V’ sits above the bottom right of the ‘A’.




The term ‘measure’ describes the width of a block of text. Anything from 45 to 75 characters is generally regarded as a comfortable length of line for a single-column page set in a serifed text face in a text size. Keeping your measure too small requires the eye to constantly move to next line. Keep to too long and your reader’s eye is extended beyond comfortable range. The 66-character line (counting both letters and spaces) is widely regarded as ideal. When using multiple columns, a better average is 40 to 50 characters.


Hierarchy and scale


It would be difficult to know which was the most important information on the page if all fonts were the same size. Hierarchy and scale are important elements in any design project. It gives readers a sense of how to actually read material from start to finish with visual cues and flow. headings should generally be large, sub-headings smaller, and body type even smaller still. This isn’t a rule, just a suggestion. Sometimes a header isn’t the most important thing on a page or the first thing you want the reader to read.

Ten Things I’ve Learned About Business Cards

The debate on business cards relativity in this age of digital technology still goes on. For those of you that found a value in them, here’s a great, and humorous list of do’s and don’ts. And if you need money for a new set of cards, check


  1. There are standardized sizes for a reason, and you should make sure your business card isn’t a weird size that will get lost or won’t fit anywhere. A business card should fit in a rolodex. Unless it is themost impressive business card ever designed.
  2. Less is more. People are web-savvy, so keep it simple. Website address. Name. Company Name. Phone (maybe). Email (maybe). Do you need much more?
  3. Use pictures if it relates to what you do (i.e. photographer/artist, etc.). Otherwise, be cautious about how much graphical information you include. Don’t make people work to figure out who you are.
  4. Use good paper stock. Quality matters.
  5. Use all the same design principles that you would apply to a website or a poster…don’t be cheesy.
  6. Show your design to somebody before printing. Make sure they are honest with you. Does it look simple and clean? Can they quickly figure out who you are?
  7. Don’t use a watermark or raised lettering or colour unless you have a reason. If you can afford it, hire a professional or risk…this.
  8. Rounded edges, subtle design choices, innovation..these can all work. I don’t like all of these examples, but I do like how simple but effective many of these cards are.
  9. When you are out networking, you might give out a ton of cards and never hear from anybody. It’s better to take cards, and in fact I feel like the main reason to have a business card is so that you can get somebody else’s card and follow up with them. I’ve also noticed a certain cache in people selectively giving out cards, or saying that they don’t have any cards on them. Or maybe they just say that to me (boo hoo!).
  10. At the end of the day, a business card is just how you stay in touch with somebody, so don’t sweat it too much.


Click here to see the full article in forbes: