Graphic standards: does the manual matter?

Graphic standards are the agreed upon fonts, sizes, colors, logos, positions, page layouts and other design elements that are used to visually represent a brand. They’re used across a variety of platforms to create a consistent visual cue resulting in instant brand recognition. Typically they are published in a manual or style guide so that all employees have access to the same general branding guidelines.
A successful brand typically has a personality that consumers associate with it. Graphic standards offer the visual tone that works together with language to create an attitude or angle that the consumer responds to. Creating a graphics standards manual for your brand gives designers a guideline for all future ads, packaging, web pages and sales tools so that they project the same story (no matter who is creating them).

Here is an example of the kinds of graphic rules to be included in a (fictitious) graphics standards glossary:

  • Introduction
  • Corporate Logo
  • General Guidelines
  • Alternate Logo Usage
  • Clear Space
  • Corporate Co-branding
  • Our Corporate Tagline
  • For Web
  • For Special Display Graphics, Signs, Banners, and Posters, Giveaways
  • For Use in Marketing and Corporate Materials (brochures)
  • Corporate Typography
  • Corporate Colors
  • Extended Color Palette
  • Legal Information
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