What is a style guide and do I need one?

An in-house style guide is an invaluable tool

An in-house style guide is an invaluable tool

A style guide is a resource that helps anyone producing written text to maintain consistent styles for print and online publishing.

A style guide outlines writing standards for structure, language, grammar and word use, spelling, capitalisation, punctuation, use of italics, numbers, lists, tables and other elements of writing so that your written communications has consistency that says volumes to your audience about your professionalism.

An in-house style guide makes sense for businesses but it also works brilliantly for students and academics who are writing to the university style but still need to have a list of styles for grammar, spelling and referencing consistency.

A style guide is essential if more than one person is working on a project (maintaining the house style) and it also helps new employees quickly know what the style standards are for your organisation.

Think of your style guide as a fluid document that should be updated regularly particularly with the changes to the way people are communicating more on line. Style guides for your website and apps may need the coding documented. Make sure that your style guide is written in the company’s preferred styles with fonts, colours and other elements conforming to company branding standards – your style guide is then your exemplar for all who use it.

If you do not have an in-house style guide, contact Susie Stevens on 0410 037 635 or email Susie today.

Susie has written style guides for publishers, for multi-national corporations, small businesses, academics and post-graduate students.

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