The Style Guide:
A Production Team’s Greatest Tool

By Lillian Mondaro

Not limited to a logo or a slogan, everything companies distribute to advertise to or inform their consumers has a one-of-a-kind aesthetic known as branding. Branding is what identifies them to their respective target audience, while separating them from competitors. Companies utilize production teams to help maintain that specific brand. When these production teams work on branding projects, they rely on a key document that instructs them on how to proceed. This is called the style guide.

A style guide is a simple document to create, and can vary in content depending on how each brand-focused project is to be typeset and/or reviewed for final approval. Thorough style guides provide clarity for use across multiple media forms, including, but not limited to: print materials and digital items. Proofreaders especially utilize style guides to accurately follow specifications when providing QC.

Some of the questions a style guide can answer are:
-Which font and what size of font should be used?
-Should documents be typeset as flush left or justified?
-Is there a glossary of specific jargon to be referenced as needed?
-Are there specific colors (Pantone or RGB) that should be used and if so, how?
-Are documents to be created without hyphenation?
-Are there any additional criteria upon which proofreaders should focus?

It is encouraged that all companies keep a style guide on hand and provide it to the production team(s) they use so that accuracy of the desired aesthetic is maintained at all times. The more information the team has, the better!