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The 5 essentials of a corporate identity manual

More and more organizations are using a corporate identity manual (or style guide). This contains rules and guidelines for applying the corporate identity in various communication expression forms. A good corporate identity manual contributes to the use and monitoring of the corporate identity of your organization and thus to a professional corporate image. Compiling such a manual requires some time and attention. But why do you have to pay attention? In this blog you will find a list of the five essential elements needed to compile a complete corporate identity manual.

1. Corporate identity elements

The corporate identity of an organization is made up of a number of brand style elements. Examples include the logo, use of color, typography and style of images and texts. The corporate identity elements indicate the visual characteristics of the corporate identity. The technical specifications of, for example the color codes, margins, line spacing, etc. are often described in the manual. By describing where employees can find all corporate identity elements within the digital working environment of the organization, you save them time and stimulate the (correct) use of the corporate identity. 

2. Background information

For new employees entering the organization for the first time, the corporate identity manual gives them an introduction and background of the corporate identity. By communicating transparently and clearly about the origin of the corporate identity and by indicating why it is important to the organization and its corporate culture to use it correctly, you create support within the organization.

3. Do's and don'ts

An important point of attention is the communication style in the manual. The technical information may make the application of the corporate identity seem complicated for employees who do not work in the communication or design department. Therefore, a chapter with visual examples of good and bad applications of the corporate identity is helpful and necessary to increase the readability. In this way you ensure that every employee understands how he can apply the corporate identity correctly. 

4. Communication

Documents are not only judged on how they look, their content is also important. In addition to the do's and don'ts described earlier, it is helpful to draw up guidelines regarding language use. To pay sufficient attention to this subject, it is recommended to add a chapter called ‘Communication’. In it can be described how a target group should be addressed. This is also called the tone-of-voice. Guidelines can also be drawn up for the degree of standardization (copy-paste) and personalization. The result will be clear communication in which you ensure a consistent and professional corporate identity image.

5. Resources

Finally, a description of the ways in which the corporate identity is applied will be discussed. Many documents are still printed today. Examples include letters, promotional materials, but also company clothing and photographs. This chapter describes which materials are suitable for this and when they can be used. The way of printing 'offset' or 'digital' is often described so that all materials are always of the right quality. In addition, the use of photographs (both digital and physical) is described by quality requirements and placement within the corporate identity. The use of templates can also be made clear in this way so that employees can utilize the options efficiently.

Automatic monitoring of your corporate identity

To actually apply the corporate identity consistently, proves to be a challenge for many organizations. To prevent errors from being made, it is essential to ensure easy accessibility and availability of the most recent version of the corporate identity manual, but also of the corporate identity templates. iWRITER has developed a software tool to automate corporate identity monitoring. Because the tool is fully integrated in the well-known Microsoft Office programs, employees can use smart building blocks and automatic layout of documents with all corporate identity features in their familiar work environment. That way your organization will always create professional documents and you are assured of faultless correspondence. Would you like to try it out for yourself? Try the iWRITER demo.

Estelle van Kemenade

E-book: How do you build a strong corporate brand?

The consistent, consequential and constant implementation of your corporate brand is the key to success. How do you control your corporate identity on a global scale?

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