Working with global corporates means we’re often supplied with their Corporate Identity (CI) guidelines to use to create new assets. Having been around the block with various CI’s for over a decade, the importance of the detail in a CI cannot be under-stated. And we’re not just talking about how to use or, more importantly, not use the logo. The devil is in the detail. Having recently been appointed to take over custodianship of the Vector Logistics CI, we’re putting our lessons learnt into practice and thought we’d share them with you too.
Vector is the logistics arm of RCL FOODS. The new CI was created to show the connection between the holding company, RCL FOODS, and Vector Logistics, requiring integration of the new RCL FOODS colour palette and adjustments to the Vector logo.
Through inheriting and applying updates to the CI we’ve noted how important it is to have comprehensive guidelines in place for any brand, big or small, to ensure consistency in application especially where multiple agencies such as interior decorators, printers, promotional clothing or agencies are in the mix.
Here’s our top tips for creating a bullet proof CI:
The more complicated your logo the more guidelines you’re going to have to include
around it’s correct application. If your logo is flexible, for example it can be in landscape or portrait orientation, you’re going to have to show, with examples, how and when to apply each. Static logos are therefore far better for consistency.
If your agency purchases a font and specifies that this be used for the identity, they need to provide a link for other agencies to purchase the same font from. Proper licensing is important as well as consistency of the font. If a purchase link to an official site isn’t provided, your third parties using the elements will scratch around the web trying to find the font, usually for free, or a similar substitute.
If we had included various other design elements such as patterns it would have made the identity far more complex to both explain and for users to roll out. Our other top tip is to have templates created for any identity created to make it as easy as possible for non-designers to apply.
Ultimately there is a heavy price to pay later on when branding is applied incorrectly and needs to be redone or your brand is misrepresented if you don’t invest in robust CI Guidelines at the start.
Last, but not least, please create your CI Guidelines first BEFORE the brand is rolled out. Work with your agency to develop the right logo and elements, give them the time to create a CI Guidelines document that tries to cover most examples of it’s application, and then go forth and brand!