Day 4: On Design Guides, Mostly.

I spent today working on two things. First of all I did a little bit of research regarding how software development companies communicate their competencies. It’s a complicated issue because you want to include all technical details and show yourself as an expert in “hardcore” programming. And at the same time you don’t want to bore your non-programming customers to death. You want to clearly explain to them why and how you will provide the solution they need, never mind the .NET, JAVA, PHP or other mysterious abbreviations. And let me tell you folks, I have not found one company that would do it well enough (if you disagree, feel free to post examples in the comments). Meanwhile, I am considering infographics.

The second thing, I was working on today had to do with my favorite topic: design. I was handed a large folder with¬†ridiculous amount of various image files containing different versions of the logo, company’s name and design templates that accumulate¬†over the years. I was asked to organize it and make sense out of it. I took the liberty of going a small step further and creating a complete design guide with all the visual identity information I was looking for when I started. I think the document and (now) organized folder with all the graphic design elements will serve the company well.

Below some very good online resources concerning writing design guides:

1. Two introductory articles:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/07/21/designing-style-guidelines-for-brands-and-websites/

http://saatchidesign.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/20-top-tips-for-designing-effective-brand-guidelines/

2. InDesign template for a design guide:

http://imjustcreative.com/logo-identity-guideline-template-for-download/2010/04/15/

3. Selection of design guides from the web (the last link is to a directory with many, many guides):

http://www.citybrandaarhus.dk/~/media/Subsites/Citybrand-Aarhus/Dokumenter/297×210-aarhus-designguide-rettet.ashx

http://www.scribd.com/adville/d/201995-Good-Technology-Brand-Identity-Guide

http://www.easy.com/PDFs/easyGroup_Brand_Manual.pdf

http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/communications/services/identityguidelines/

http://www.designerstalk.com/corpid/

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