The CI Guidelines document: your key to strong and consistent branding

Conveying a consistent identity and message is essential if you want to raise awareness of your brand. But how do you achieve this? Is it just a matter of using the same logo and font in the main communication tools? For Vintage, it goes much further than that. We believe in integrating a uniform tone of voice and graphic style throughout all your company’s texts, designs and imagery, online and offline. That is why we see a comprehensive Corporate Identity Guidelines document as a vital component in B2B marketing communication.

A CI Guidelines document is essentially a set of instructions that ensure correct and consistent application of a company’s identity in all its internal and external communications. Vintage is highly experienced in creating and elaborating full CI Guidelines. Vintage’s Creative Director Gunther Thienpont explains the process:

“A CI manual normally starts with the brand’s overall philosophy and mission as an introduction. It then goes on to explain how these are supported by the brand identity and gives clear instructions on how to apply the logo in different tools, for example, and on the colour palette and typography that need to be respected in different situations. We usually illustrate these with a list of dos and don’ts. The document also describes the company’s tone of voice and guiding principles when creating copy and imagery or when looking for stock pictures. And it shows precisely how to use the CI elements in a selection of communication tools such as stationery, templates for PowerPoint presentations and printed material, signage tools and the public website.”

In the past, a CI Guidelines document took the form of a thick book or binder that was costly to produce and distribute and difficult to update without incurring extra costs. Nowadays, the same content can be provided online in the form of a microsite that is password protected or restricted to company employees. This means that the most recent guidelines can be consulted by anyone who needs them at any time or location, and that they can be updated and distributed in an easy and flexible way.

Whatever the format, our clients’ CI guidelines are a vital reference in our daily work. Vintage’s CEO, Claudia Voss stresses the importance of such a document: “When we create a new brand identity for a client, we always compose a detailed CI guidelines document. It’s the ‘Bible’ that our graphic design team has at hand constantly. After a while, our designers even tend to know our clients’ guidelines by heart! For us, it’s the foundation for consistent, integrated communication and it helps us to build and maintain the unique identity that sets our clients apart from their competitors and makes them instantly recognisable.”

 

Interested in a new CI Guidelines document to consolidate or refresh your brand identity? CONTACT ELLEN