What I think every company, every brand and especially every website needs is a style guide. I caught this great post at Smashing Magazine called “Style Guides for Brands and Websites“. It is awesome.
The just of the post is why would you want to do this – well they spell that out in a few short bullet points:
- You’ll have an easy guide to refer to when handing over the project.
- Makes you look professional. They’ll know you did everything for a reason
- You maintain control of the design. When someone does something awful, you can refer them to the document.
- You avoid cheapening the design, message and branding.
- Forces you to define and hone your style, making for a more cohesive design.
What I see in todays media world (this is my background – but think it applies to most companies) is the designers who are designing for the web are not digital natives – nor spend much time on the internet. They can build a nice once page site - because a one page site is just like a print piece – but when they get to tieing sites, pages, landing pages, single article level pages – the wheels fall off the bus.
I’m not saying it is easy – but it is necessary. If you do not build a style guide BEFORE you make a site layout/design, then you don’t really need the guide. Use the guide to guide you – at a minimum, you can back into a style guide after.
So anyway – poor web developers. We always get the short end of the stick…so please – feel sorry for us!
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- Designing Style Guidelines For Brands And Websites (smashingmagazine.com)
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- A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines ” The UX Bookmark (theuxbookmark.com)
- The Style Guide For Bloggers (thetechscoop.net)