Good Design = Great business – The importance of Corporate Identity (CI) Manuals

A Corporate Identity (CI) manual is a set of guidelines and standards that illustrates the correct use of a company’s design elements and messaging. By carefully crafting a CI manual that is followed by all necessary parties, companies are able to maintain the visual integrity of their brand throughout all communication efforts.

Elements that make up a CI
• Logo
• Logo variations
• Typography
• Colour Palette
• Imagery
• Iconography and other graphical elements
• Layout

Benefits of creating a CI Manual

Portrays a competitive edge
The main goal of your CI manual should be to creatively set yourself apart from your competitors. By doing so, your brand will be on its way to building credibility while demonstrating authority in the market.

Serves as an ‘advertising template’
Brand guidelines serve as a template for all forms of advertising and communication. Regardless of what you’re promoting and where you’re communicating it, your core communication efforts should always follow an approved set of guidelines, illustrating consistency throughout.

Guidelines for delivering a strong brand identity

Deliver consistency

By being consistent in your communication, your target audience is repeatedly exposed to the core messages, imagery, and other brand elements of your organisation, which assists in building and solidifying brand recognition.

Catch the eye
Most people are visual thinkers, which is why all design elements must coherently speak to one another. From logo use to font choice to colour palettes, your aim should be to stand out from the crowd and ultimately leave a lasting impression on your target audience.

Set standards and rules
A CI Manual should explicitly state how each visual element is be used, including the positioning of the logo, co-branding, imagery and so forth. Although these guidelines should be followed across all communication channels, there will always be slight differences in the way you communicate across each platform. The important part is to stay true to the core values of your brand and the guidelines that form part of it.

As experts in corporate branding, we’d love to invite you and your organisation on a creative journey that is designed to leave a lasting impression on your target audience. Please feel free to contact us for a quote on peter@geralmcgowan.co.za.

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