In this brief walkthrough, we've shared what's a style guide and style sheet, so that you can learn how to format documents for your particular industry.
What's a Style Guide?
Also known as a "manual of style" (or MOS), a style guide sets standards for writing and page formatting in a specific discipline. For example, journalists use AP style, doctors use AMA style, and chemists use ACS style. Each style guide has carefully crafted rules, so that any relevant documents have consistent language and visual composition.
Style Sheets, Guides, and Manuals
A style sheet is a brief style guide, which summarizes the most important stylistic guidelines in that field. For example, a book may have a dedicated style sheet, and this is related to the publishing house's more comprehensive style guide (also known as a "house style"). Finally, the industry-wide style guide is the most complex version, which is why it's called a "manual".
What are Some Common Style Guidelines?
- Logo Placement and Sizing
- Color Schemes
- Page Formatting
- Grammar and Punctuation
- Bibliography Formatting
What Should I Avoid When Creating a Style Guide?
The best style guides are clear and concise. In most scenarios, you shouldn't require more than 5 pages to create a strong stylistic framework. As a general rule of thumb, if colleagues in your industry are expected to know a specific concept or technique, it should not be included in the style guide.
If you want to learn more, check out these 25 inspiring style guide examples!