To stop the all too familiar scenario of seeing a beautifully designed brands go out into the world only to be misused by a client we need to be empowering them with the right kind of identity guidelines. It’s time to take our cue from User Interface design and start creating guidelines that leave nothing to the client’s imagination. To work on creating a brand and then to send it out into the market with what could be compared to a quickly scribbled guide on the back of a receipt is woefully insufficient.
Find a solution to help clients use their new visual identity to their absolute that is a pattern library. We’ve all seen the beautiful digital User Interface kits, pattern libraries and style guides created by big brands for their digital products, well its time to start creating similar for Brand identity guidelines.
The easiest solution is to establish and understand all the ways the brand identity is going to be used during the need analysis stage this will really help inform the final design. Here are some guidelines;
- Digital Usage: A logo has to be responsive these days, it needs to work on all screen sizes so undoubtedly there will be several different versions of the logo — a desktop version, a different more simplified version for small screen sizes, possibly one for tablets. You may need an even more simplified version for use on the favicon in different sizes and in different colors for various browsers.
- Social Media Usage: When using the identity in social media remember one size does not fit all on the various platforms — find out which platforms your client uses or may use. have test accounts set up on all the major platforms so you can test the usage as you are designing it.
- Email Usage: What about emails, do they need a file specific for an email signature or a few different versions for Email Marketing. Consider using thumbnail mock-ups of a couple of different mail chimp layout scenarios so the client can see which logo to use where.
- Print Usage: Demonstrate how the variations of the logo can be used on different documents from business cards to brochures, what backgrounds should the white logo version be used on and what background should the colored version be used on.
- Colours: Demonstrate the colours, contrast and variations and show how they can be used and explain why certain scenarios won’t work and demonstrate why. Explain when transparency is appropriate and when it isn’t. Think about what the client truly needs as opposed to what you’ve always sent out. Will they really need a black version of their logo? Might they use it incorrectly if you supply them with one? Explain when PNGs should be used and when Jpegs should be. Explain the colour variations that will be experienced from print and digital. Include Hex, CMYK, RGB and Pantone where possible. explain why colours look different in print than digitally