- The standards manual is the right tool for designers, marketing directors and outside creative agencies. It gives the end user the tools to follow the identity system and brand message. But civilians, or non-designers, don't really care about the clearance space around a logo. For them, a brand vision book explains the brand in less technical terms. A brand vision book is less a usage manual and more of an overview of the brand's history, ideals, goals and message.
Like the standards manual, a vision book can be any format. There are books that are as small as a Post-it note, with 200 pages, or a group of publications. I prefer a size that is manageable and can fit on a shelf. The less it feels like a dogmatic document of rules, the better. Again, the goal is to seduce the viewer. The information should be exciting and engaging. Make a welcome kit for new employees with a brand vision book, and other useful items.
Since people respond to images more, and less to large blocks of text, I liberally use imagery to explain an idea. Rather than stating, "We care about our employees." in text, show an image of an employee. It's best to never say you're smart, caring, cool or whatever, demonstrate it. Rather than using multiple paragraphs explaining the brand, do it with text, like quotes from the CEO or founder, or find other pieces of information that support the vision.
Brand vision books work best if they are varied. This isn't a manual, so design every spread like its own poster. You're also using the elements of the identity system to make the vision book, proving that it works. The images should match the content and style you've specified for the system. Stick with the colors and typefaces also. You want the viewer to be excited about the visual system and understand why it communicates the brand message.
The vision book is the place to let your hair down and have fun. Nobody wants to work for a company that is dull, uptight and rigid. Even the most staid professions now need to communicate their brand message in an exciting and dramatic way. This is the place to have fun.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books