Design Guide: Your Style and Brand

Consistency is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you create campaigns. The look and feel of your campaigns should be consistent with your website, social channel profiles, collateral materials, and other branded content.

Below, you’ll find tips for creating a style guide and how MailChimp can help you remain consistent with your brand.

Create a Style Guide

A style guide is a document that details how your brand should be presented in content, tone, layout, and imagery. If you haven’t already, take some time to create a style guide for your brand. Doing this work up front will make it easier to maintain consistency when you or your team create a campaign.

While this is not an exhaustive list, here are some things to consider for your style guide.

  • Brand Voice
    Your company or organization should have a single voice that can be recognized across all materials. This consistency is important to create brand recognition. Determine what qualities of your company you want to convey and base your voice on expressing that to your subscribers. Also include words, phrases, or tones you do or don’t want in your copy. If you have a lot of people developing content, consider deciding on an editorial style guide— AP, MLA, Yahoo—to help maintain consistency.

  • Logo
    A logo is a quick way for people to recognize your brand. If you don’t have a logo, consider making one and using it across your communications. Simple logos with very few colors are easier to reproduce across different sizes and styles of communication, like print pieces or your business card. Set some guidelines on how you'll allow the logo to be used. Can the colors be altered? Can the logo appear on top of a busy photo or background? Can it be stretched or distorted?

  • Fonts
    Choose two or three fonts. Web-friendly fonts are limited, so if the fonts you choose for print materials are not safe to use online, create a separate style section for web materials.

  • Colors
    Develop a color palette for your communications to take the guesswork out of trying to match colors by eye. It’s a good idea to keep your color palette minimal—too many colors can distract readers from your message. Determine the HEX or RGB values for the colors you want to use in your campaigns.

  • Photography
    Set some general do's and don'ts for images in your campaign. Consider subject matter that matches your tone. If you have images that will appear side by side in your campaign, you may want to set standards for image dimensions to maintain size consistency.

To see how effective good branding can be, check out our blog post on how maintaining brand consistency helps create a successful marketing plan.

Signup Forms and Response Emails

When you create a list in MailChimp, we'll generate a signup form and series of response emails. These can be customized to match your brand. If you're signing up subscribers through an application like MailChimp Subscribe for Android or iPad, customize the design to match your brand there, too.

Matching your forms and response emails to your email campaigns maintains a visual consistency that encourages subscribers' confidence in your email marketing. This is important for increasing engagement and decreasing unsubscribes that might come when a subscriber does not remember signing up to the list.

Fonts and Colors

Fonts

For a font to display when a subscriber opens your campaign, they need to have the font installed on their computer. For this reason, our Campaign Builder and Form Designer offer only fonts that are installed on most computers, to increase the likelihood that a subscriber will see the intended font.

  Available fonts in Campaign Builder

Colors

When creating your style guide, you will want to include the CMYK, RGB, and HEX values. CMYK is the color you’ll use for print, while RGB and HEX are used for communications that display on a screen. Use a site like rgb.to to create your color palette and determine values.

When you design a campaign in MailChimp, type the color you want to use for a campaign element in a color field, or click the color swatch to input the RGB value instead.

Select color from the color picker in the Campaign Builder.

Create and Save Campaigns

You don't have to create campaigns from scratch every time. Save the layouts you've designed with your style guide as templates, and use them as the starting point for new campaigns. When you create a campaign from a template, you'll save time and maintain consistency in your campaigns.

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