the writer: Mohsen Barabadi

The difference between guideline design and guideline design

"The goal of creating a visual brand identity is not just superficial harmony, but internal coherence is our intention."

Aubrey Balkind -

Visual identity for brands is started after brand research and strategy steps. After the brand identity and personality design of each brand are completed, the work on its visual identity begins.

The brand visual identity guideline is a document in which the visual aspects of the brand, such as various logo formats, organizational colors, fonts, office papers, advertising structure, and other items required by the brand, are integrated, coded, and compiled. This guideline is one of the types of other brand guidelines, such as product guidelines, communication guidelines, etc., based on research and strategy results.

At this stage, the designer, with the employer’s help, examines and defines all the contact points of the audience to design the visual identity guideline. Here it is clear that The brand needs items such as an office set, website, catalog, exhibition stand, etc., to communicate with the audience. These items are predicted in the visual brand identity guidelines, and standards are formulated and designed for each.

In the process of compiling visual identity guidelines for brands, in some cases, the client expects the designer to provide a final, complete, and designed design ready for printing for various items such as billboards, advertisements, and even printed materials such as catalogs and brochures This expectation indicates that the client needs to learn more about developing the guideline and its mechanism. It is necessary to clearly explain and explain all the matters written in the guideline during the meetings.

There are many differences between legalizing a media, such as a billboard, and its advertisement design, some of which are discussed below:

Focusing on translating the strategy and mental identity of the brand into form and image in the guideline

In compiling the guidelines, the designer tries to reflect the concepts extracted and predicted during the brand research and strategy in color, shape, pattern, etc. Considering the visual brand identity guideline in the Attributes section of a brand, it is necessary that all items, such as color, form, fonts, etc., are aligned with other layers of the branding model, such as benefits and personality.

For example, in choosing a color for a brand that identifies which main character is “creative,” one should consider the concept of creativity and should use colors with high brightness. It is also possible to adopt the strategy of using multiple colors for this brand.

In the design project, the designer must provide creative designs with the colors in the guidelines for various brand items such as promotional packages, ads, etc.

Legitimizing media, not designing messages and ideas

In the brand visual identity guidelines, the primary contact points of the brand are identified, and each of them should specify the placement of the logo and visual forms appropriate to the brand. In the vertical billboard, which part of the logo should be placed with the most visibility for the audience and make appropriate predictions for the billboard texts is included in the guideline compilation. On the other hand, what kind of image should be used for the billboard and how should present the idea and message of the billboard are in a separate design area. At this stage, according to the rules and considerations provided in the guidelines, the designer first places the brand logo on the billboard and then starts designing the desired message or idea.

Guidelines, a tool for design

When designing, from catalogs to social media pages for a brand, a designer first needs tools to get started. Different logo formats, primary and secondary colors, permitted Persian and Latin fonts, brand patterns, models and how-to-use photos, etc., are the default tools for a project for a designer. In the visual brand identity guidelines, all these items are included. Now, the independent graphic designer or the design unit in the relevant brand can use them to design and provide countless items for the brand.

For example, the brand can use the pattern for the inside of envelopes, the knowledge of shopping bags, packaging, and various things. In the guideline, only limited items have been designed to present the pattern.

"The visual identity system of the brand is structurally and visually integrated. This system is based on the integrated brand identity and uses specially designed colors, letters and formats. The integrated visual identity system makes the company easier to identify. "

Alina Wheeler Brand identity design -

at the end

A visual identity guideline is similar to a party theme where the host sets limits for invitations and can establish general rules for visual elements. Keeping these frameworks in mind, the designer can provide creative solutions for different brand cases and finally creates an image of the desired brand in the audience’s mind that is entirely compatible with the brand strategy. The exact balance between creativity and control allows us to fulfill our goals while being faithful to the brand identity standards.

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