Outline for "Corporate Identity Manuals"

 

SECTION 1: FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES

History of Corporate Identity Manuals
• National and multi-national corporations replacing local craftsmen
• Much more than merely designing a logo
• Development of modern identities
• Multiple reproduction needs
• Need for flexibility and continuity
• Branding as a corporate asset
• Persons with no design training have tools to ruin identity
• Distribution by web & PDF makes cost of manuals affordable

General Principles of Corporate Identity Manuals
• Inside margins
• Trapped negative space
• Logo + signature = identity
• Lack of THINKING
• Designs need to be worth the client's money

Corp Identity Manual Text and Grammar
• Spelling
• Logo does not equal identity
• Impersonal voice
• Be direct, be blunt, be clear
• Not sales document - Internal document
• Statement of corporate policy
• Clarity is paramount
• Audience - not just designers

Does Identity Need Redesign or Design Refinement?
• Signature only (type off-the-keyboard) not good enough
   - Signatures used for consumer products, not corporate identity
• Components: Logo, Monogram, Wordmark, Signature with logo
• Logo Conceptualizing:
   - Corporate activity
   - Corporate ideals
   - Corporate name
   - Graphic Approach

SECTION 2: MANUAL CONTENTS

Manual Cover / Title Page
• Needs author (Corporate Identity) and title
• Be sure to follow manual policies
   - Don't violate clear space
   - Use proper identity variation
EXAMPLES
   - Big identity
   - 3-D identity + regular identity
   - Step & repeat
   - Texture or photo montage
   - Avoid the kitchen sink syndrome
   - If using non-standard Identity, also use standard identity

Manual Introduction - Functional Identity
• Define terms: logo signature identity
• For (legal name)
• Inc never used in identity
• Preferred identity or variations
• Manual policies to be followed
• layout grids to help, not get in the way

Construction Page
• Avoid 7 Deadly Sins of Identity design
   1. Scale problems (parts too small)
   2. Clarity in 1 color
   3. Lack of Mass (clarity at distance)
   4. Misleading info/inappropriate mood
   5. Overlapping elements/ Unnecessary elements
   6. Lack of style, visual sophistication
   7. No unique design
• Start w dimensions; define units of measure
   (from signature type)
• Step by step construction
   (no "next, then" or personal tone)
• SIMPLICITY is the soul of good design
• COINCIDE or CONTRAST Principle
• Heighten visual relationships
   - Use grid to discover relationships
• Optical illusions
   - Round letterforms below baseline
• kerning of signature must be perfect (view upside down)
• Signature Type
   - Coinciding or contrasting font with logo
   - Coinciding or contrasting shapes with logo
   - Extra letterspacing counterproductive, makes letters smaller
   - Mass more effective: avoid light fonts & outlines
   - Size relationships logo re signature
   start with signature
   - Functional name, not formal name
   (with return address only)
   - Challenging fonts impede legibility
   - Fancy fonts token of amateur
• Color choices
   - 2nd color should be different value
   - Pantone is proper name omit CVS


 

Staging and Clear Space Page
• Staging dimensions / spaces should be specific & have visual logic
• Clear Space
   - Usually determined from signature cap height
   - Clear Space variant for signage

Minimum Identity Sizes Page
• Practical size limit: how small an identity will reproduce clearly
   - Newspaper or yellow pages
   - Photocopy / fax
   - Web

Corporate Typeface Page
• must either coincide or contrast with the signature font
• One font for print
• One font for Web

Acceptable Identity Variations Pages
• At least two pages with 8 to 10 variations
EXAMPLES
• Preferred Identity
• Horizontal or vertical (different from preferred)
• Flush left or centered versions (different from preferred)
• One color (usually B & W) version
• Reverse color identity over black (colors adjusted for contrast)
• Reverse Version (B&W)
• Extreme Vertical Format (big logo)
• Horizontal Format
• Extreme Horizontal Format
• Alternate Scale Logo re Signature
• Alternate weight for small reproduction
• Fragmentations or Outline variations .
• Reversed out of corporate color
• One color identity in corporate color
• With corporate activity phrase for at least 2 of above versions

Unacceptable Identity Deviations Pages
• Don't confuse issues with samples
   - One issue per example
• Show obvious ones before exotic ones
• Some obvious visual device to prevent mistaking these as acceptable variations
EXAMPLES
• Do not change the logo
• Do not change the signature font
• Do not change the signature design (same font, but different weight, italic, caps, lower case, etc.)
• Do not put the identity in a shape
• Do not switch identity colors (logo/sig.)
• Do not stretch or distort the identity
• Do not use in low contrast situations
   (use 60% gray under identity)
• Do not use on a busy background .
• Do not put drop shadow on identity
• Do not deviate from corporate colors .
• Do not crop the identity in any way
• Do not add other elements to the identity
• Do not fragment or outline the identity
• Do not rotate the identity
• Do not use the logo or signature in text situation
• Do not use inappropriate scale variations
   (logo to signature)
• Do not violate identity's Clear Space .
• Do not use bitmaps / image captures from the web for print use
OPTIONAL EXTRA VARIATIONS
• Do not place the logo in the signature .
• Do not omit the unique design device in a wordmark

Identity Color Variations Page
• Thoughtful color variations not just random
• Signature always gets dominant contrast
EXAMPLES
• Original corporate colors on white
• Identity with color logo reversed out of black
   (perhaps use alternate reverse corporate color)
• Entire identity reversed in white out of the corporate color
ADDITIONAL COLOR VARIATION POSSIBILITIES
• Entire identity in corporate color
• Entire identity reversed in alternate corporate color out of black
• Entire identity in a second alternate corporate color on white
• Just logo in a second alternate corporate color on white
• Entire identity reversed out of the second alternate corporate color
• Other combinations (as appropriate) of original & second alternate corporate colors
• One important color combination that should be on this page is to show the identity reversed out of a non-corporate color.
• Give short, descriptive, unique names for each color combination: Gold & White on Maroon."

 

 

Perforated Removable Color Swatch Page
• Give corporate names for each color
   "Widget Red" or "Widget Reverse Red"
• Specifications for each color swatch: .
   - Pantone number
   - CMYK equivalent
   - RGB equivalent
   - Hexidecimal equivalent

Color Use on Different Backgrounds Page
• Color identities on 11 blocks
   (white to black in 10% increments
• A horizontal identity variation works best for this
• On mid value backgrounds print "No Appropriate Variation"
EXAMPLES
• Preferred (color) identity with preferred identity reversed .
• Black only identity surprinted with white only identity reversed
ADDITIONAL COLOR SET EXAMPLES
• Single color identity surprinted with single color identity reversed
• Alternate corporate color surprinted with alternate reversed

Identity Application to Vehicles
• Maintain Clear Space with vehicle edges to avoid overkill
• Identity must include Corporate Activity Phrase each time
• If photographics used, must be instantly recognizable
• Variations for each brand / model of vehicles may be needed

Stationery Page
• Show letterhead and envelope at half sizes; card may be full size
• Full identity needed on each piece
• Specify version & size of identity used on each piece
   - give identity measurements in real units: inches or metric
• Placement / alignment of text: company legal name, address, etc.
• Type policy (font, weight, size, leading) company's legal name, etc.
• Fine measurement / alignment lines in other color very helpful

Step & Repeat logo Pattern Page
• Use logo only, not full identity
• pattern should continue, trimmed by margins to show it is infinite
• Keep logo legible, creating no artifact or new object from logo
• Pattern is for decorative purposes only; does not replace proper identity where needed

 

 
 
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