Importance of Branding Standards

February 19, 2013     / /

Recently, while browsing designs on Dribbble, Hunie, & Bēhance I have noticed a trend that is begging for attention. This trend screams for notice from the design community as a war cry to become better and more informed. While browsing many designs on the web, I have noticed that designers are failing to use the correct, up to date, and brand approved logos for companies. Mainly, I have noticed our lack of attention to the correct twitter icon.

Twitter Logo Comparisons

Twitter’s old bird-logo (left) and its new one (right). The new bird appears to have lost weight, gotten a haircut and improved its mood.

This cannot be allowed to continue as ‘simple oversight’ on the designer’s behalf, I look at it as a lack of credibility for both the designer and the company or client they are designing for. An important part about being a designer, specially at this time in history, is staying current and up to date on design trends and standards. One standard in particularly would be ‘Branding Standards/Guidelines’.

What are Branding Standards?

Brand Standards or Guidelines are set in place to help the brand maintain it’s style. They are typically a set of documents, or a webpage that lay out how to use the design elements of and for a company’s brand. Since we are talking about twitter, here is an example of their Branding Standards here.

Notice how Twitter allows you to download their new logo in vector formate.

Notice how Twitter allows you to download their new logo in vector formate.

Twitter takes the time to explain their logo, what it is, and how it is to be used. They also manage to tell you what not to do with their logo. They also make it a strong point to say “Hey Designers, please do not use our old logo(s). Also, do not distort or alter the integrity of our logo and subsequently our brand.”

How not to use the Twitter icon or logo.

How not to use the Twitter icon or logo.

Why is following brand standards import?

Most brand guidelines are produced for the company’s employees and representatives to ensure the company is presented in a coherent way. They are also given out to designers and anyone else dealing with the brand in a marketing aspect. These guidelines are established to ensure that the company’s brand and image are consistent, no matter where or how they are used. All companies struggle to find their brand, build upon it, and maintain it.

Twitter is not the only brand that suffers from lack of attention. Other big brands such as Pepsi, AOL, and Walmart all suffer from others not noticing their updated branding standards.

Twitter is not the only brand that suffers from lack of attention. Other big brand such as Pepsi, AOL, and Walmart all suffer from others not noticing their updated branding standards.

Part of being a good designer is learning when and how to follow branding standards. We as designers strive to create logos, websites and brands for clients. We spend hours tweaking little details on the logos. Hours coming up with new strategic marketing plans, and how to implement them. So why do we just kick other designers work to the curb when it comes to sticking with their branding guidelines? I’m sure Twitter’s designers and marketing team have spent countless hours on their logo and brand. It’s important that we show these designers and Twitter’s brand some respect.

What’s in it for me?

What do I get out of following other’s rules and guidelines? I’m a stinkin’ designer! I’m allowed and expected to be creative, I don’t need to follow rules. WRONG! As we follow the brand standards created by other designers and brands we simply add credibility to us as a designer. At the same time, we add credibility to our clients, companies, and individuals we design for. We send a subtle yet strong message of “Hey, I pay attention to details and will treat your work the same way.”

Let us as designers pay more attention to the small details and help improve the industry as a whole.


7 COMMENTS

Nick Jarvis - March 16, 2013 - Reply

love this article, one of my biggest peeves is seeing big sites have out dated twitter logos, I understand smaller ones, but c'mon. great article Peterson!

    timothycd - March 16, 2013 - Reply

    Thanks! I'm glad people are finding this article of worth.

Timothy - March 16, 2013 - Reply

awesome article ... bookmarked and shared ! ... I'll definitely link this to other designers ...

    timothycd - March 17, 2013 - Reply

    Thanks. I'm glad this article is of use. Slowly we can change this community of designers.

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