Creating Systems of Design and Consistency Through Branding Guidelines
Tempered Networks is a network security company providing both physical and virtual products to segment and protect networks. For the summer of 2017, I interned as a visual designer within the Marketing team.
My work began with small projects — document copy, iconography, and diagram updates — but efficiency issues in the design workflow were quickly recognized. To make employee’s jobs easier and give a stronger unified identity to the company, we decided I should create a cohesive brand style guidelines document.
During the final weeks of my internship, I worked to standardize the organization’s documents, iconography, typography, colors, collateral, documents, and best design practices. This required researching brand guideline best practices and presenting examples at meetings with the content developer, product manager, and marketing team. At these meetings we solidified the organization’s values and criteria for the company’s own brand image which allowed me to create a cohesive 32 page document detailing all of the aforementioned aspects of the company’s visual identity. The finalized document I created allowed for:
- Consistent visual branding for all company documents, presentation, and stationary
- A seamless transition for the next design intern
- Efficiently locating files
- Usability for all employees
Through this I discovered my passion in design: I love to create adaptable systems — I want what I design to be usable by everyone. I always ask myself, “How will my successor, colleagues, and clientele use this?” Inclusivity is important to me as a human and as a designer, if even one person in the project scope is not involved or unable to participate, then I have failed. With every project I complete I further my realization that creating for a diverse user group is imperative for inclusive and adaptive design. I did my best to ensure these values were enacted through including the following assets in the guidelines document:
- Slide deck including all 100+ pixel-perfect icons and instructions for diagrams to ensure all employees are able to use the new assets in presentations and documents
- InDesign templates for all document types so future design interns have a centrally accessible and protean document to base their work upon
- Do’s and Don’t’s for placement and styling of the company’s visual assets and typography to emphasize consistency on all platforms
- File naming conventions to standardize names and allow for easily searchable assets in the organization-wide file system
This document was created to originate a space for future branding guidelines to accommodate future organizational changes. Understanding that design is iterative, organizational goals change, and styles fade from popularity is crucial for a designer — one must be willing to let go of their work and ego in favor of laying a foundation for the future.
Efficiency is my priority and I love to pare my thoughts down to the essentials. If you want to know more about my experiences and philosophies, feel free to reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!