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When developing your corporate identity, it’s important to create a style guide of editorial standards. While these small details may feel insignificant compared to your company’s graphic design and marketing strategy, creating a style guide is a vital step toward ensuring that your copy is correct and consistent across all channels.

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What Is a Style Guide?

A style guide is a document that details a company’s set of standards for writing, editing, formatting, and designing documents. Also known as a writing style guide, this manual establishes the standard requirements for grammar, punctuation, tense, tone, wording, and writing best practices. A style guide typically consists of a set of official style guidelines (such as The Chicago Manual of Style or The Associated Press Stylebook) and supplementation of particular company rules or divergences from the official style. A style guide ensures clarity and consistency across written communications while maintaining brand identity and integrity.

What Is the Purpose of a Style Guide?

A good style guide serves two main purposes:

  • Keeps writers within guidelines. A copywriter has to adhere to an organization’s tone and style when crafting copy for public-facing marketing materials. A style guide lays out these rules for writers, offering them a well-organized set of guidelines to reference as they work. Style guides are especially useful for contract or freelance copywriters who are not familiar with the company’s particular house style.
  • Helps editors maintain brand consistency. A comprehensive style guide provides editors will all the rules and guidelines they need to follow to keep your company’s communications error-free, consistent, and on-brand—from long-form copy to design.
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