Branding guidelines can be difficult to work around; they can restrict certain aspects of an annual report designs and cause limitations. However they can also ensure consistency and give the report the right tone and structure. At Clip we are well versed in using branding guidelines in fact we have actually created a number of brand guideline documents for a variety of our clients.
At Clip we always try and make sure that we look through brand guidelines thoroughly especially before embarking upon any aspect of design or research. Brand guidelines can influence so many aspects of an annual report from layout, margins, justification of copy, headers, footers and how we can apply headings. They can also affect the style of images and the way in which text is layered over and around them or the way they may be cropped.
In the past 14 years of producing reports we have worked with branding guidelines from 20 pages stretching up 124 pages long. We have a firm understanding of what branding guidelines are and what their purpose is. Guidelines can affect the placement of logo, size, colour and sub strap lines to colour references such as Pantone, RGB, Hex and CYMK.
Guidelines can sometimes affect print finishes from percentage colour differences and the variation between printing colour onto matt versus gloss stock.
On the plus side branding guidelines can give structure to annual reports and as designers removes margin of error. For example our graphic designers have a sound knowledge of typography and branding guidelines can affect the smallest of details such as tracking between letters or the space in between paragraphs. These subtle differences can add complexities to reports but it can also ensure fewer adjustments that then need to be made later on; therefore making the approval process for the client much quicker and more efficient.
We use branding guidelines to help us produce annual reports according to the standards expected by our clients. It is not always wise to exceed design expectations but to adhere to what has been approved resulting in getting the report design right the first time around. It is a challenging task but it’s something we very much enjoy. Some of our clients give us full creative freedom which is a lot of fun too!