09/03/2009

Brand guidelines

I read this article on Vgroup's lovely blog last week and it got me thinking about some of the brand guideline projects i've been involved with recently.

I've found that the delivery of a set of guidelines can sometimes be as important (if not more) than the content. As the article says 'How many times have your guidelines ended up on a dusty shelf' never to be referred to or remembered? - i've certainly seen it happen in marketing departments with a high turnover of managers.

Occassionally i come across a brand doc that is designed to be unique in its format and does a great job selling the key messages. But more often than not, they get filled with the same vague or over prescriptive shit about type and colour. We really try to make any guidelines we produce as 'fit for purpose' as possible, rather than an after thought to a logo design and so our guidelines take on all kinds of formats and shapes.

I've recently saw this piece of work from the increasingly prolific DixonBaxi studio.

No doubt the design work is beautiful. I couldn't find a bad word to say about DB, but i was surprised to find even Neighbours has a set of style guides. Seems like a bizarre concept. I expected to see guides on using Harold Bishop Extra Bold or templates for the Ramsay Street grid layouts.

It's becoming hard to write and design any guidelines after Christopher Doyles ingenious identity guides. It's great when something like this comes along and highlights all the rubbish habits we have developed. It helps us avoid the cliches and goes towards changing views on creating these docs.