Maintaining a style that stays uniform throughout all visual, print, advertising and design channels can be a challenge for small businesses that hire outsourced or freelance graphic designers. They can be a valuable asset in terms of bringing in new insights, experiences and the ideas that come with it, but in the end, nobody knows your business like you do. Aligning your vision with that of a designer can be a challenge.
Style guides help inform designers about what kinds of images and themes your company is shooting for in its marketing and operations.
"For a small business, a simple style guide should have the preferred primary typeface/headline/header font and secondary typeface/body text font, primary and secondary colors and general rules for on-page spacing," writes Prasad Thammineni for Small Business Trends. "The goal of the style guide is that if someone sees your company’s mailing and then visits your website, they should naturally understand that they’ve come to the same company’s home page."
However, the two should not be identical. Both web and print resources each have their own function, and nothing aggravates consumers like receiving material through mail that offers the same or duplicated information from the web.