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Logo Design and Corporate Identity Manuals

Tampa Bay advertising agency, graphic design, web design, brochure design, newsletter design, logo designThe history of graphic design is extensive and can be traced back hundreds of years. For the sake of this article, we are going to focus on graphic design as it was forming during the industrial era, and how the appearance and growth of corporations affected one aspect of graphic design in particular – logos.

Once upon a time, graphic designers were more likely to work full-time for a company for many years, unlike today, where there is an entire workforce of talented freelance designers that complete projects on a contractual basis. At the onset of corporate graphic design, the designer who created a logo, tagline or slogan for his or her company knew how the logo was to be used on all materials. However, it soon became clear that it would be necessary to communicate the proper usage to other people both inside and outside the company. After all, the designer couldn’t work at the company forever, and graphic designers also began to work outside companies as consultants. Thus, the corporate identity manual was born.

The practice of creating the corporate identity manual developed after WWII, as it was around this time that graphic designers began working more frequently as consultants on a contractual basis. The corporate identity manual is often a work of art in and of itself, as the designers showcase the many uses of a company’s logo, its color palette, typography, and proper orientations of the logo and other text. The purpose is to communicate to other designers how to apply the corporate identity, including logo, slogan and tagline, in a variety of formats and also how not to use the pieces in a design. Today, a corporate identity manual will describe both digital and print applications to maintain consistent design across all platforms.

A well-known designer (in the graphic design world at least), Lester Beall, can be credited with some of the earliest corporate identity manuals. He designed the manuals with care, and the books themselves are creations of beauty. Examples of his work for insurance company, Connecticut General, are seen below. The pieces are so appealing that they could be framed and hung on a wall rather than simply be used for their practical purpose. It is in this practicality and simplicity that the beauty of these manuals resides.

logo design corporate identity program

logo corporate identity program

Corporate identity manuals can be quite fascinating and beautiful, existing in the unique space of being both practical guides for other designs, as well as works of design artistry themselves. Check out this list of 50 stunning corporate identity manuals for ideas.

Pinstripe Marketing’s logo design program is built around helping you discover your company’s character, and we can help you create a logo and corporate identity manual that will set the tone for your company’s success. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to tell us more about your company and the logo you envision.

 

 

Of Taglines and Slogans

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Practically everyone knows the word, ‘slogan.’ You may have also heard the term, ‘tagline.’ Even if you aren’t intimately acquainted with these words, you probably realize they have something to do with marketing. You can be forgiven, though, if you don’t quite understand the difference between the two words, as it’s not uncommon even for seasoned marketing professionals to occasionally slip up and wrongly use ‘slogan’ and ‘tagline’ interchangeably.

Both taglines and slogans are short phrases, issued forth from some business entity, that are meant to be easily remembered. However, taglines (should) spring from a company’s brand and evoke an understanding of what the business is about from a holistic perspective. As such, taglines may remain the same for years—possibly decades—and are sometimes presented in conjunction with the company’s logo. Slogan, on the other hand, comes from the Scottish word for ‘battle cry’ and will pretty much change with the advent of any new advertising campaign or from one of the company’s product lines to another.

The situation does gets a little muddy because not all companies have an official tagline (or if they do, they seem to keep it to themselves). Typically, they will come up with a slogan that they use for many years and then go on to something else. AT&T used “Rethink Possible” from 2010 until 2014, then the company went to “Mobilizing Your Life.” Coca Cola has changed to tagline many, many times over the past century. So often in fact, that you probably don’t even know what it is—which is why you shouldn’t change it that often. (Raise your hand if you thought it was still, “The Real Thing.”)

As for slogans, companies may not use them at all … letting imagery or various other elements of a campaign carry the attendant message without putting it into specific words. Or they may enlist the established tagline to do the work of a slogan as well. Publix’s “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” is a good example of a very active tagline contributing to ongoing marketing efforts.

But there are many companies that have clearly delineated the two types of marketing phrases. Here are a few better known company taglines as well as some notable campaign slogans.

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World famous taglines aren’t vital to branding, and carefully crafted slogans aren’t critical to marketing campaigns. But when there are deployed, they should be short, memorable and make a promise to the customer, whether it’s about the company as a whole (tagline) or about a specific product, feature … or limited good (slogan). In the meantime, you can feel superior and annoy colleagues and errant marketing professionals by correcting anyone who uses either term incorrectly.

Check out the resources below to help you create memorable taglines and slogans:

Tips on How to Write a Killer Slogan

How to Craft a Powerful Tagline

Cool Business Card Design

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Have you ever received a business card that felt more like a gift than an exchange of contact information? Business cards like this may seem like a distant goal, something to yearn for but perhaps never to achieve. We are here to tell you that this is not the case – with the right designer and a solid goal in mind, you too can have the business card that everyone envies and admires.

What is it About This Card?

Cards like this are special because they look and feel great, but they also represent the company or person in just the right way. Think of the cards that left the biggest impression on you. We certainly can. There was the artist who gave us a choice of a couple different cards that featured her artwork on the back – we now have them hanging on our bulletin board as tiny pieces of art; people see them and want to know about them – they are talking pieces. Someone saw the card once and immediately wanted to find out about prints. They visited her site and ordered three. She knew that having her art displayed in miniature form would lead to people wanting more.

There’s also the intelligence and security expert whose cards are thick, smooth and shades of royal blue. The thickness of the card brings to mind something solid and secure, assets we want our security professionals to possess. The smooth face screams confidence and intelligence. And blue is soothing, calming. If you have a security problem, you can be at ease knowing that he will do everything he can to solve that problem. All of these implications are contained in one beautiful business card.

How Do I Get One Like It?

Before you toss out your white card stock and Times New Roman font, think about what you want to say with your card. Cool business cards are not cool just because you chose great paper and used a funky font and graphics – they should speak volumes about you. If you just apply the cool parts without a goal, your card may end up seeming jumbled, busy, or worse – it may send the wrong message. If you are a  family law firm and your card is metal, this is confusing. Why is it metal? Just because metal is unique? Is this a law firm for rock bands? What’s the metal all about? You can see why that is the wrong approach. Depending on the type of law your firm practices, you want to convey the intellect, tenacity, and sophistication of your attorneys. Color, font, logo, paper, and orientation will be affected by the goals and mission of your company.

New business cards are a big deal, and this is perhaps the perfect time to revisit your logo, mission statement, and goals. Like many busy professionals, it may have been some time since you’ve looked at your business and marketing plans. Now that you are on the precipice of choosing a brand new design for your business cards, take the opportunity to look at your current marketing materials – this is a good time to reevaluate everything. It may be best to work with your marketing department or an outside marketing agency to see if a fresh look is in order. A marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses in your sector solve problems can help revamp your marketing plan and give advice on what areas you could improve to keep current. Once you have an overall strategy you can revisit design to fit that strategy.

Designing the Card for You

Once you determine what your card should say about your company, find a great designer or agency to conceptualize and execute your design. We understand that budget constraints affect this decision. Know this: a great designer will help define your business and seek the answer to your problem; a mediocre designer will use the tools that they have to put together the pieces that you give them in an acceptable way. Great design demands critical thinking, passion, and creativity. Mediocre design requires knowledge of the software used to piece together your design. Hire a great designer to achieve that cool business card. This designer will not only create the graphics for your card, they will suggest different papers, colors, textures, and other elements to complement your design and further convey your message. Don’t bother trying for a cool business card if you are going to skimp on the designer – that is half the battle.

For ideas or even just for fun, check out this list of super creative business cards.