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 Marketing Strategy + Effective Communication = Business Growth

Benchmark Your Brand -A Purpose for Corporate Identity Standards

Written By: Juliana Neufeld
Marketing Communications Specialist, PKG Communications

It's more than just your company logo, colours and the rules to reproduce your brand. Your Corporate Identity Standards (abbreviated "CI", also known as "Brand Standards") is as crucial as your mission statement and company vision. In general, your CI amounts to a logo (logotype and/or logogram) and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand.

Many businesses think that once the logo is created, the branding-process is completed. Not so, says John Williams, columnist for "It's recommended that even the smallest companies develop and maintain brand standards from the very beginning."

Williams suggests focusing on strategy and consistency in the following five areas:

  1. Logo: it's not just the design, it's how it's produced. Whenever possible, your logo should be reproduced in high-resolution to reduce distortion. The placement and sizing should be consistent, too, from piece to piece.
  2. Graphics: borders, backgrounds and patterns are all things you'll need to consider, and keep consistent. Size and weight of the graphics is also important.
  3. Colours: considered as one of the biggest decisions for your logo, colours play a large part in audience impressions. The rules on colour should be reversible (when printed on a dark background) and include options for 1 colour print.
  4. Fonts: "choose just a handful of fonts for use on all your materials, selecting at least one serif font and one san-serif font," says Williams. Whatever you select, be consistent through web, print and signage, in both internal and external communications.
  5. Illustrative or photographic style: whether you choose illustrations or photos, keep it the same whenever possible. This includes black-and-white, colour, hand-drawings, etc.

It is often forgotten that Corporate Identity Standards should encompass the company culture as well. Is your business laid back, or strict? Are you based on quality or value? Is your target audience the low-income family, or the stockbroker who wears suits on a daily-basis? You might consider these things developing your Brand Standards.

Once you've made the decisions on these areas of your CI, get them in writing, and distribute them to employees and anyone who will reproduce your logo, and it should also be a part of your media kit.

PKG Communications can help you develop a brand standards guide and/or a media kit. For more information on how we can help you develop these (brand standard guide and media kit), please contact us at

John Williams is's "Image & Branding" columnist and the founder and president of, the world's first do-it-yourself logo design website.


Benchmark Your Brand

    BENCHMARKYOUR BRAND - A Purpose for Corporate Identity Standards.

    Learn valuable reasons to have this essential manual developed, and understand the importance of brand consistency for your logo.


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