Who stuffed up the logo?

The Importance of a Corporate Identity Manual

Ever wondered why large organizations have above-the-line, below-the-line, and through-the-line marketing teams? And then they have ad agencies to boot! No, it’s not because they have too much money to spend. Essentially it is because they understand that their brand is the most important asset to their entire company. And that is where the importance of the Corporate Identity Manual comes in!!

How to stuff up your logo?

Over the 30+ years that I have been in the marketing communication or branding industry, I have seen it over and over again. Not everyone understands the importance of sticking to the same logo and brand identity. To some people, anything goes and it shows. Do you know what your company’s colour codes are? Pantone or CMYK colours for printing purposes, HEX colours for digital use, and so forth. What are the exact font specifications? What are the correct proportions?

We are currently in the process of supplying a client with their entire team’s workwear, but somehow no one knows exactly what the right logo is. And the options are vastly different! Yes, we understand that not everyone can have a full-time marketing communications officer. The reality is that even if you do employ one, there are no guarantees that they will know what they should be doing in any case. That is how the cookies have been crumbling for a very long time. And probably a reason to consult a branding consultant.

How to waste your money?

In case you did not know it, I am an entrepreneur myself, and one thing I hate is wasting money. I’ve been brought up that you have to look after each cent. Whether you have branded 5 company shirts or an entire fleet of trucks with the wrong logo, does not matter. Waste is waste.

I am pretty sure that you do not want to see your company’s brand being dragged through the mud. If you do, you might need a little bit more intense help than what we can offer you. If you are not passionate in building your brand, whether you are part of the team or the owner of the team, passion is vital and you should respect the importance of your brand.

What is a Corporate Identity Manual?

The size and intensity of a Corporate Identity Manual depend on the size of your company. Through the years, we have done corporate identity manuals as big as 130 pages for Gold Reef City or a bare basics 5-pages details the colour- and font specifications, dimensions, how to apply the logo on corporate clothing, workwear, corporate gifts, and/or banners & flags.

Why is a Corporate Identity Manual Important – even for smaller organizations?

Creativity is an amazing strength, but sometimes creativity has to be kept at bay. If you have multiple people working with your company’s logo, a corporate identity manual ensures a consistent brand over multiple applications. If it is only you working with the logo, a corporate identity manual reminds you why you have chosen certain elements to fit in with your company story. ‘Cause trust me, you do forget after a while when things gets crazy!

In the same manner that a tomato sauce company has to stick to the same recipe for their tomato sauce, a logo and all the applications thereof, should be consistent. Alternatively, you are going to sit with brand confusion. And brand confusion leads to distrust. And we all know where distrust in a company will end up. Yes, the distrust might be subliminal, but in our hearts and souls, it is there. And that is where decisions are made.

How to put a Corporate Identity Manual together

Essentially a corporate identity manual is the culmination of all the brand elements at your disposal. It starts with obvious elements such as:

  1. Main Logo
  2. Alternative Logo Options (if the reverse is required)
  3. Pantone Colours
  4. CMYK Colours
  5. HEX Colours
  6. Font Specifications

Additional elements could include:

  • Email Signature Design
  • Corporate Gifts Applications
  • Corporate Clothing Applications
  • Workwear Applications
  • Banner Applications, and
  • Any additional standard advertising element, and even
  • Standard Company Presentation Designs.

If you include the story behind your logo and all the design elements, your brand will be so much more in debt to you. Ultimately no design should be made without a meaning. You should not use any design element because it looks good, but because it has meaning to it. And ultimately because it tells your story to your world out there!

A corporate identity manual could be as simple or as complicated as is required of your specific company. When change is required, it is ideal to keep on referring back to your corporate identity manual and make the necessary changes to the CI Manual before making any changes that you feel are necessary.

When to get outside help for your Corporate Identity Manual?

In my opinion, a corporate identity manual should be put together at the conceptualization of your logo and all the elements surrounding it. Ideally by the designer of your logo, alternatively you could look at agencies such as addVentures Communication to assist you.

A basic corporate identity could cost you as little as R3500 to put together, but if you consider how much money you could waste on getting your branding specifications wrong, it might very much be worth it. And on the ultimate positive side, your brand will grow much faster if you do it right from the start!

Give us a call if you need assistance putting your corporate identity manual together.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Merchant Hotel CI two pages

Worth R3500!

Sign Up for our Newsletter and stand a chance to WIN a Corporate Identity Manual for your Company!