How to create a simple stylesheet for your blog

 How to create a simple stylesheet for your blog or business using Adobe Illustraot. 

My first official designer job was at small town newspaper creating ads. I learned a lot from that job, but more importantly, I learned a lot of what not to do. At the paper we would create ads for companies with zero consistency. We had realtors that would change the style of their ads every single week. This is a really bad practice.

Creating a consistent style with your brand visuals helps build the trust of your potential clients, because they know what to expect from you. It also makes you look more professional. All major corporations do this, so should you even with a tiny small business. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and Target had changed all their marketing to green instead of red. You would be totally freaked out!  

You need to build that same kind of expectation with your branding.

One easy way to maintain consistent branding is by creating a stylesheet for your blog or business.

A stylesheet is a simple one page document that outlines the guidelines for your brand. 

BMG Stylesheet -01.png

Then when you need to create a graphic for your blog you can check your stylesheet, instead of trying to remember which fonts and colors to use. 

This will help you from having to reinvent the wheel each time you need a graphic. 

A stylesheet is also really helpful when you are working with a team of people.

Using a stylesheet means that if your VA needs to make a few graphics while you are on vacation, they know exactly which fonts and color to use. They won’t have to guess which san-serif you use, because let’s face it, to the untrained eye, they all look the same. 

If you are just here for the video, skip to the bottom! 

Don’t worry,  I created a template for you too! This will save a ton of time, since you won’t have to build the outline, but you can totally customize it to fit your needs. 

Adobe Illustrator Stylesheet Template

Grab a copy of the exact stylesheet template used in this tutorial!

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These five things are must-haves for your style sheet. 

1- Primary Logo: This is your main logo the one you use most of the time. 

2- Logo variations: Variations will depend on your style of logo and your needs. If your main logo is long and skinny, your variation might be stacked. If your logo has a lot of detail your variation might be more simplified. Could be your logo comes in pink and teal. Or if your logo includes a metallic texture then, you might need a flat version that works better for print. 

3- Submark or icon: This is small and simplified version of your logo, that is best used for things like your website favicon or watermark on photos. 

Logo examples-06.png

4- Colors: Your brand color palette with the hex code for web display. The hex code ensures that your colors are consistent across all applications, no matter where you enter the hex code it will always be the same color. There are other way to display colors such as CMKY values or using a Pantone spot color, but hex is the easiest.

 Always include your hex color codes so that others using your branding can type in the code for consistency. 

5- Fonts: Typically here you will list the font you use for headlines and body text. Which is NOT necessarily the fonts in your logo, although it could be, if those are the fonts you use most often. 

As an example, my two primary fonts are Montserrat and Playfair Display. I will also use my script font on occasion for special headlines or wording. 

 Include your branded fonts in your stylesheet

Additional things you might want to include on your style sheet. 

Patterns or textures: Your  specific brand patterns and textures are nice to include, especially, if you feel like it helps to define your brand. Not all brands use a lot of patterns, so this completely optional. 

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Inspiration or the mood board: This is really helpful when you are working with a team and the need to source stock photos for your business. My brand favors photos over the use patterns, so in my case, it’s really helpful to include the style of photography I like. 


RELATED: How to make a moodboard for your blog using Adobe Illustrator! (Tutorial & template)

Brand elements: Some brands have artistic elements that accent the brand. You may or may not have anything to include here. Sometimes your brand elements work as textures or icons, it really depends on your specific style. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 11.28.44 AM.png

Special icons: If your blog has custom icons for your services or social media buttons, you can also include those on your style sheet. 


You might see some designers call this a style guide or brand sheet. It can be very simple or have a few more details. It’s all the the same thing. There are also brand guides, which can sometimes mean a single page like this, or it can be a full guide that goes into more detail. 

For my clients, I have created a full in-depth brand book that includes a lot guidelines for their brand. It tells them which colors are primary colors and which are secondary, when to use their logo variations, how to choose to the right photos, and a few other details. 

After I had been in business for about a year, I started to get frustrated when I would see my clients using the wrong colors or fonts that didn’t fit their brand. But, I quickly realized it was my fault because I hadn’t give them any rules to follow and it wasn’t something that comes naturally to them. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 11.38.43 AM.png

I’ve gotten great feedback on this brand book, even from more seasoned business owners and newbies alike. 

Ok, friend, grab your free stylesheet Adobe Illustrator template and watch this tutorial! You'll have your stylesheet done in no time. 

Adobe Illustrator Stylesheet Template

Grab a copy of the exact stylesheet template used in this tutorial!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit