How many times have you been left flabbergasted or confused when a promotional company asks you “Do you have a vectorized version of your logo?” or your printer asks “What’s your Pantone colours?” or better yet, you hire a designer and they ask “Do you have branding guidelines?”
It’s probably safe to assume you have no clue what I’m talking about OR I’ve just triggered a memory where one of those questions was asked of you.
Listen, your company needs an Identity Guideline Manual. It’s simple, easy to understand and will save you loads of cash in the future.
What is an Identity Guideline Manual exactly?
Your Identity Guideline Manual is your Logo Bible. It’s the electronic book that explains the do’s and don’ts of your logo. It will tell any printer, designer or promotional design company how to properly display and utilize your logo in any print or electronic presence.
I cannot stress this enough with business owners. Your logo is the foundation to your business and everything it does. It starts a conversation, it captures your audience attention and it creates sales. If it isn’t given the respect it deserves, you’re hurting your business is a huge way.
Every business should have this electronic PDF easily available for anyone within your business who will be displaying your logo to your target market.
So how do you get one?
Easy! Ask a professional designer to develop one for you. Or if you were lucky enough, when you had your company logo designed, you should have gotten one with your final files. If not, GO GET IT!
Here’s what should be included in your Identity Guideline Manual:
- Whitespace agreement – this is the minimum amount of whitespace surrounding your logo when it’s placed beside any other logo, text, pictures, etc.
- Colour and Black & White versions of your logo – I’m a huge believer that any logo should stand up in a single colour version as well as in full colour. Your logo needs this versatility. You can’t recreate gradients and 0.25 point line weight in embroidery at 0.5 inches. Your logo needs to be readable in ANY situation.
- Minimum size rule – this is to tell everyone that your logo must not be scaled down a certain size.
- Approved logo versions – if you have multiple versions of your logo – simple icon, icon with text, icon with slogan – this aspect of your Identity Guideline Manual will tell the user of your logo what versions are approved for certain applications.
- Corporate Colours – there is nothing worse than having something printed and finding out that your colours weren’t matched correctly. Every company should have a set of Pantone colours with CMYK & RGB equivalents. Having this ensures that you will never run into a colour matching issue ever again.
- Supporting Typefaces – Who wants their slick logo paired with Times Roman or worse yet Comic Sans?! I didn’t think so. When your logo is now used and there is supporting type on your print piece or web page, you can rest assured that every aspect of type and logo is complimentary to each other.
- Logo & Typeface Files – here is the gem of this whole package. Your manual should come with various file formats of your logo – EPS, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc. Every possible scenario for print and web should be included. Every logo variation and colour combination in every file format should be in the ZIP file with your manual. Also your supporting typeface should also be included so you can install it on your computers and use it in all your future memos, flyers, ads, etc.
- Other – sometimes you will find Designers like myself, get a little more detailed with an Identity Guideline Manual and implement other rules to the brand of a company. I may show samples of “what not to do”with the logo like: skewing it, chafing positioning of the supporting slogan or text, colour changes not approved or how the supporting typefaces need to be utilized.
There is a lot to think about with your logo but you don’t have to do the work. Leave it in the hands of a professional designer to ensure that your brand guidelines are met throughout any application. It’s well worth the investment to have it done properly. No more stress, no more mess.
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