Show off your Corporate ID Standards/Style Manuals?

aluminum's picture

Anyone interested in showing off ID/Style Guides they've put together for clients? I haven't done one in years and am now about to do one for our state agency. I have the basics down (color rules, size restrictions, placement, media types, etc.) However, this is going to be targeted specifically at the average employee, as we do not have a formal marrketing group to force adherence. So I'm interested in anything that is targeted at the LCD...the rogue webmaster putting together an intranet oblivoius to IT standards or the secretary that is getting logo sweatshirts done 'just for fun' type of thing.

Or anything, really...I just like looking at style guides. ;o)

Hildebrant's picture

Darrel --

You may find it hard to get people to give these up. It seems to be the 'holy grail' piece of the ID system, you will find agencies that specialize in just id guides.

We have put together around a dozen, but nothing really worth posting.

What you may be able to find is online style guides..

Heres a few that have been posted here:

Hope this helps..

kakaze's picture

Is it just me or do these companies throw darts at a piece of paper with all the standard windows fonts listed on it to find their "corporate" type faces?

Like that ABB; ITC Garamond and Neue Helvetica...ugh. Okay, not system fonts, but still...

Hildebrant's picture

I do find it somewhat entertaining when a style guide specifies a system font. :-)

kakaze's picture

I wrote about this in another thread: My Aunt works for Sun Trust, and the guy who runs the Savannah headquarters had specified Arial Narrow as the font they had to use for EVERYTHING.

Memos, email, powerpoint presentations, etc. Needless to say it was quite ugly.

Last I heard he changed his mind and switched to something else.

My Aunt had to make me promise I wasn't going to write an email to him to complain about the use of Arial Narrow and to suggest different, more readable/aesthetic fonts to use instead.

aluminum's picture

Thanks Kyle. I had forgotten all about that site.

I've actually found a handful of good university style guides, which is probably as close as I'm going to get to the type of verbage I need for this project.

I'll post what I have so far hopefully today.

Also, while I'm at it, has anyone had to design an ID system where there is an existing 'seal' that is often used? Be default or state's seal has become the de-facto 'logo' for any agency that is too lazy to use the seal properly.

Oh...and as to the system font first gig was as an intern at 3M. I could use pretty much anything as long as it was either Times or Helvetica.

As much as we cringe at using system fonts, there are financial + IT related reasons for doing it, and consistency with system fonts is probably better than no consistency at all.

I'm not sure if I can convince the powers that be here that we should also be considering type setting standards. We hardly have a stationery system at this point. I have a lot of talking to do... ;o)

aluminum's picture

OK, now I need to turn this into a critque thread.

Here's the style guide thus far. It's simple and meant to be simple enough so that it's actually read by a few folks. ;o)

Notable omissions are any type standards or stationery standards. Both may be 'future conquests' for me but aren't worth the fight at this point.

application/pdfstyle guide pdf
styleguide_draft1.pdf (257.1 k)

Additionally, I need some opinions on the following final logo that I came up with. Having worked with this mostly at small sizes, I began viewing it large and realized I wasn't sure which line type was better: sharp or soft corners. The soft corners 'feel' a bit nicer, but the sharp corners seem to tie into the type better. Opinions?

soft or sharp?

aluminum's picture

Actually, if you have any fine-tuning suggestions for the mark overall, feel free to share them. This is the final polishing stage before making it official.

pstanley's picture

I think the style guide is good.

On the style guide, depending on who your audience is, it might help to separate out the logo use and abuse advice for different media/functions: one page for use on the web (size, borders, file-type etc); one page for color printing; one page for black and white printed matter; one page for signage etc.

Otherwise, there may be a danger that people say 'Oh well, I prefer the signage version, and although I'm about to put out a leaflet, it's "approved" so I think I will use that.' Also some of your audience may start reading about Pantone colors and just think 'This is all stuff for professional printers, I reckon I'll just do the best I can'

It might also be useful to divide sections clearly into "Preferred" "Tolerated" "Forbidden" categories: sort of red, amber and green. Otherwise my guess is people will tend to treat anything not expressly prohibited as permitted. That's how (we) lawyers think.

Do you need as many alternatives as you have? For instance, do you need both the green on black and the black on green horizontal versions (since both have the red too)? Which is preferred, or is it a totally free choice? Is the version with the logo preferred to the all-words version, or don't you mind?

kakaze's picture

hard corners, definitely.

aluminum's picture

Any last votes for the hard vs. soft corners? Will be sending this off tomorrow...

Hildebrant's picture


tsprowl's picture


Jordan Harper's picture


I spotted a few things on the pdf that I thought I should point out.

page two paragraph 1: 'exostomg' or 'existing'?

page three paragraph 2: 'The one exception is that one side of the mark may ABUT the page edge or the edge of a bounding object' -- ABUT?

page three: I think rather than saying 1 inch ^2, it may be better to say 1 x 1 inch, ditto for 100 pixels ^2. Just to be absolutely clear about what you mean.


hrant's picture

Is this a hard crowd or what?
Hard for me too.


adriano's picture

justice is hard :-)

pstanley's picture

Hard. Soft looks like a bent coathanger.

aluminum's picture

Thanks everyone. Hard it is!

And thanks for the proofreading, Jordan! (Though I'm not sure I understand your 'abut' comment...are you suggesting I use a different word there?)

Jordan Harper's picture

you're welcome, maybe i should have checked first -- I'd never heard the word 'Abut' before . . . perhaps you should change it to a word more widely understood?

Or maybe I'm just a Philistine ;)


robert_salzmer's picture

Looking for corporate design manuals, corporate identity manuals, identity sites, styleguides, etc?
Try to explore my just relased site about corporate identity documentation.

Btw. We still need more authors!

aluminum's picture

Robert...nice site! I like the idea. Do check your stie in FireFox, though...your navigation pane is completely unreadable (too small) in FireFox for some reason.

robert_salzmer's picture

Thanks Darrel,
Sorry, I know about the firefox-problem - is still beta. I hope i find the time to let it fix next days.

e's picture

Hello Robert,

Mozilla 1.5 has the same problem. Maybe is related to this part of your code:

param name="SCALE" value="exactfit">
embed src="gfx/topic.swf" width="970" height="100" hspace="0" vspace="0" scale="exactfit" quality="high" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" menu="false"></embed

You're giving a height of 100 px to your flash navigation system. Maybe Mozilla and Firefox don't recognize the "exactfit" parameter.

All the best

robert_salzmer's picture

Thanks Vicente,

you are so right. Thanks. =) is now working on firefox too. Enjoy.


bob67's picture

here are some more corporate design manuals (about 140):

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