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Conventions for specifying Corporate ID

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I am trying to write a little document formulating and specifying the elements of graphical corporate ID for an organisation I am involved in. Not really designing but trying to get some consistency in presentation in print, web and peripheral graphics. I am thinking I will describe the use of:

  • Initial Letters
  • Words, Company Name, url.
  • Taglines
  • Fonts
  • The Oak Leaf emblem and combinations with typographical elements above
  • Colours
  • Logos & Letterheads
  • Document Styles

The usage is for anyone producing documents internally, so minutes, reports, publications, plus externally if we ask someone to produce something in print or exhibition materials or whatever.


What I am clueless about is any conventions I should follow for specifying these things. Can I just give ttf fonts and RGB colours? Jpegs and png images? What about document styles, eg typography and spacings? Is there any standard way of describing all these things?

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That document may not be quite as "little" as you think, especially if you want to cover internal comms documents, as well as web and print media!


I don't think there's a standard format because it will depend on the brand design and the priority of the business (I've seen recommendations to not use cartoons or the clipart bundled with the software because a business wanted to be seen as highly-professional and original - of course they hadn't seen our ideographix cartoons ;) ). From what I've seen it needs to cover the key elements

  • logo colours, placement and safe area (don't forget an inverse version) including any tag line or tagged logo (for different departments locations etc)
  • house font - just the name no need to specify ttf unless there are variants.
  • h1, h2, h3 styles and sizes for web and documents.
  • whether the guidelines apply just to customer-facing documents or internal as well.
  • use and placement of images in documents


I'd suggest you make as many preset images and document templates (inc presentations) as possible - it's quicker than explaining it and otherwise people will stray quickly from your guidelines.


I had a customer who has an external house style but just defaults to specific Word styles for internal comms as it was easier.


If logos etc are printed as spot colours you'll probably need to specify Pantone colours and you'll need CMYK not RGB for printed materials anyway.


That's all I can think of at the moment - there's probably lots more.

Edited by DonkeyWorx

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