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Part Five of Creating a Brand Style Guide

The Creating a Brand Style Guide Series is written by Pariah Burke, consultant and trainer for creative, publishing, and editorial professionals.

  • Part One: “Why You Need a Media-Comprehensive Brand Style Guide.”
  • Part Two: “Defining and Creating Your Logo Uses”
  • Part Three: Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media
  • Part Four: Defining Brand Typography

Photography and video are important brand elements. A brand style guide must guide their use as well as set forth procedures and rules for obtaining properly licensed and released stock imagery, and how to future proof the brand against copyright infringement claims.

In the Previous Installment

Part 4, “Defining Your Brand Typography,” was the largest installment in the Creating a Brand Style Guide series. In it you learned about the importance of typefaces to your brand, including how many companies have commissioned custom fonts to give their brands something no other has; choosing type families over individual typefaces for maximum flexibility in your written communications and designs; selecting special-use fonts to augment your main brand type families; how to select and define font usage for digital documents such as websites, ebooks, PDFs, and more; controlling the licenses and uses of fonts to keep your organization on the right side of the law; how to share and distribute brand fonts to your team, both in-house and external entities such as freelancers, vendors, and print service providers, and; how to communicate to all the agents who may work with your brand the guidelines and rules of using type and fonts to the maximum benefit of the brand.

Images and Video in the Brand Style Guide

Increasingly common is the practice of defining brand-appropriate use of images and video without style guides. With the rise of the Visual Web, a landscape dominated by photos and videos shared through social media, as well as almost universally growing Internet speeds and bandwidth, photographs and video clips have become important elements of even formerly text-only websites as well as every other aspect of a brand’s online presence.

Defining image and video usage when representing the brand varies in its spirt and depth depending on the brand. A children’s clothing designer, for example, will define very different imagery guidelines than would a B2B SaaS provider.

Daysee Dae Fashions might include in its brand style guide directives regarding the use of images and video such as those in Figure 1.

Using photography and video

Figure 1: Guidelines to using photography and video footage.

The B2B software-as-a-service developer, serving a broader audience and being more concerned with abstract concepts and feelings conveyed by imagery than by the representation of specific products, might include more generalized guidelines in its brand style guide. It may declare moods to focus on in photography, emotions to elicit, or intellectual and emotional concepts to convey via imagery.

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Part Four of Creating a Brand Style Guide

The Creating a Brand Style Guide Series is written by Pariah Burke, consultant and trainer for creative, publishing, and editorial professionals.

  • Part One: “Why You Need a Media-Comprehensive Brand Style Guide.”
  • Part Two: “Defining and Creating Your Logo Uses”
  • Part Three: Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media

Design is how you look. Type is how you sound. The tone of voice used by your type is your brand’s fonts. They need to be carefully selected, faithfully synchronized, and rigorously protected as the licensed intellectual property they are.

In the previous installment, Part 3: “Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media,” we discussed the importance of color as a brand asset and identifier. You learned how to start off selecting brand colors for matching rendering in all media, using print colors as the foundation. With print-ready colors in hand, you then converted them to screen-ready RGB and ultimately hex color codes for Web- and mobile-applications. Your brand colors defined, you then learned to communicate the values and formulas of those colors, and their roles within the brand, via your organization’s brand style guide.

Fonts Give Your Brand a Tone of Voice

I’ve been quoted as having said: “People respond more to how you look and sound than to what you actually say. Design is how you look; type is how you sound.” The last statement is an axiom to keep in mind as you consider the typefaces—fonts—that represent your brand. Another aphorism I’m found of is “a typeface is the tone of voice in which the mind’s ear hears your written message.” Printed text is how your brand is represented when you aren’t there to speak for it. The fonts you use to set that text provide the tone and emotional context for your printed words. As the brand manager, you should be as meticulous in choosing and controlling the fonts used to represent your brand as the colors and imagery.

Commission a Custom Font

To truly make your brand unique you can commission a custom font. A bespoke typeface would be yours and yours alone, giving your brand a unique voice. If the idea sounds far-fetched, it isn’t; it’s quite common. Adobe, British Airways, Buccellati, Domino’s, Dwell Magazine, General Electric, HarperCollins, News Corp., Sony, Southwest Airlines, and Zazzle are just a few companies who wanted signature fonts that were genuinely signature—unique and designed to the brand. Even humble Times New Roman, the ubiquitous typeface pre-installed on every computer since 1992, was a custom font commissioned in 1931 to give its purchaser, the London newspaper, The Times, an exclusive and highly readable typeface.

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Part Two of Creating a Brand Style Guide

Creating a Brand Style Guide Series is written by Pariah Burke, consultant and trainer for creative, publishing, and editorial professionals.

Part One: “Why You Need a Media-Comprehensive Brand Style Guide.”
Part Three: “Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media” (coming soon)

Your logo, the harbinger of your brand and without a doubt the most crucial of your brand assets, must be protected through strict usage rules. What are those rules? Where and when do they apply? How do you best communicate those rules for consistent, controlled representation of your brand herald? You’ll answer these questions—and more in Creating a Brand Style Guide, Part 2: “Defining and Communicating Your Logo Uses.”

In the Previous Installment

In Part 1 we defined what brand means and how important it is to define a framework for the consistent, controlled representation of that brand in all media.

Protect Your Logo

Few assets are as important to your business as your logo. Creating the mark that will be the harbinger of your brand goes far beyond having a great design. Ensure it’s protectable by investigating its uniqueness as an identifying mark in your area of business. Original logo artwork may be protected through copyright, but when a design identifies a brand, as your logo does, trademark protection is far more important that copyright. Your logo must be unique and dissimilar from any other trademark or service mark used within the same class or classes of businesses. If it isn’t, you will be infringing on another trademark or service mark. Copyright allows owners to go after infringers and to license some or all rights to the copyright protected material to be used by, or become representative of, other entitles. Trademark law, however, obligates mark holders to aggressively defend the uniqueness and unapportionable nature of their logos and other marks. Failing to properly vet your logo in the marketplace could cause you to lose all rights to it—and worse.

Learn more about protecting your digital assets. Download our free digital asset management best practices guide.

Before you build a brand style guide for a new or recently changed brand, engage an intellectual property to ensure the originality of your logo and other protectable brand elements. Trademark law falls under the domain of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As such you’ll usually find attorneys who specialize in trademarks listed under “patent law.”

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digital asset management We are delighted to share that our digital asset management solution – Portfolio 2016 – has been named one of KMWorld’s Trend-Setting Products of 2016!

One of our core mission’s with Portfolio is to extend the value of digital asset management to companies of all sizes. With the explosion of digital content in the past two decades, the need for DAM no longer just resides within large scale enterprises.

Companies and workgroups of all sizes need effective management solutions if they want to effectively manage their operational expenses, maximize the value of digital content, streamline workflows, ensure compliance, and improve productivity.

Portfolio 2016 packs the powerful features companies need for effective digital asset management, while simple to set up, easy to use, and requires little to no ongoing maintenance.

It is a great honor to have Portfolio 2016 receive this recognition from KMWorld as we continue to stay focused on bringing the value of DAM to
everyone!

To learn more about Portfolio 2016 and activate a free 45-day trial, visit www.extensis.com/portfolio.

 


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Do you use metadata to tag your photos? How many of your current photos have keywords applied?

Recently we asked our customers these questions in our DAM Survey 2016. The answers surprised us quite a bit.

73% of our customers told us that they “need more keywords applied” to their assets—and these are the people that are already invested in a DAM system! Imagine how hard it is for people without a DAM system in place to locate key assets.

Digital Asset Management software has been around for years, but like most technologies, it’s constantly evolving to meet the demands of the modern era. Over the years, one thing has become abundantly clear: if you don’t have metadata tags to search with, it’s REALLY hard to manage assets in an ever-expanding digital universe.

Here are some things NOT to do:

Hire a person to manually affix keywords to hundreds or even thousands of assets (dream job!).

OR

Force-attach keywords to all files that meet a specific criteria (file folder location, for example) via scripting or another bulk, unintelligent mechanism.

And here’s what you SHOULD do:

Automatically attach keywords via some artificial intelligence platform where well-trained algorithms with established taxonomies can interpret the images and apply “smart” tags to them.

If only such technology existed and was readily available…

P2.1-SS-Web-Keywords-Detail-ENOkay, enough teasing. Portfolio 2016 now offers a Smart Keywords module that’s
powered by Clarifai, the visual recognition technology built on the most powerful artificial intelligence in the industry. Simply upload your image and Clarifai suggests smart keywords to help you tag and organize your asset within seconds. One click. It’s that easy.

Skip the excruciatingly mind-numbing process of entering keywords manually. And eliminate the human error factor of common mistakes like typos or misspelled words. Win/win.

Keywords are what make any DAM system effective. Without them, you’re just swimming in a sea of random assets. By accelerating the keyword process, Portfolio Smart Keywords creates more time, energy, and resources for you to focus on doing great work!

 

 

 

 


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If you’re evaluating digital asset management (DAM) solutions, learning about customer experiences is an important step in the process.

We sat down with Les Barker, a seasoned Digital Strategist, to get his unique perspective on the value of digital asset management, best practices, work/life balance, and more! See what he has to say in this brief video.

If you’re interested in exploring digital asset management solutions further, our 45-day free trial is a great place to get started.

To learn more about digital asset management and its benefits, hop over to our Portfolio page.


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DAMOver the past decade, companies large and small have amassed thousands, if not millions, of rich media files as going “digital” has become foundational to business success. From digital and content marketing, to creating digital retail experiences or digitizing historical art collections, most industries now are fully steeped in the digital universe.

As digital file collections grow, so does the need for an efficient organizational system. Many companies come to us for the simple reason that finding the files they need has become a time consuming process. The frustration and inefficiency becomes the breaking point.

In these early stages, many companies question whether they should try building their own digital asset management system, or buy from an established vendor.

In a recent blog posted at the DAM Learning Center, Toby Martin explored this topic in depth, weighing the pros and cons of BYO-DAM (building your own-DAM).

If you are currently weighing this question, it’s worth a read.

Additionally, we’ve put together some resources to help companies evaluate if a DAM solution is right for them, how to measure ROI, and overall best practices. You can find all these tools in our DAM Toolkit.

 

 


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extensis-portfolio-2016-portfolio-packagingA major feature introduced with Portfolio 2016 was the addition of the Vault Catalog type (check out our :60 video demo at the end of this post). Previous to the introduction of the Vault, assets lived within the server’s directory structure. Organizing assets into folders using the operating system’s file structure has some conveniences. For example, you can just grab a file and throw it on a flash drive right from the desktop of the server. However, you can just as easily grab a whole folder of assets and trash them too. Scary thought!

Organizing assets in this manner exposes your organization unnecessarily and creates the opportunity for a major disaster. Of course, you could always recover from a previous back-up (you are diligent about keeping back-ups, right?), but that is a lot of extra effort. Why put yourself through that? You’ve painstakingly curated your collection of assets and they have real value so take every precaution to make sure they are safe and secure.

In addition to having best practices in place to limit access to the server and keeping on top of back-ups, use Vault catalogs to add an extra layer of protection for your digital asset management system.

Below are the Top 5 Benefits you’ll gain by using a Vault catalog to store your digital assets.

If you’re interested in giving Portfolio 2016 a closer look, we’ve got a 45-Day Free Trial so you can give it a test run.

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Trends and observations from the Retail Business Technology Expo

Digital Retail

Last week I joined colleagues from our Northhampton office at the massive Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) in London to get an up-close-and-personal look at the future of global retail. The event was held at the Olympia London Conference Center, a stunning venue which was perfectly suited for showcasing the latest innovations and technology solutions. This included our latest Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, Portfolio 2016.

If you don’t know much about digital asset management, our DAM Best Practices Guide is a perfect place to start.

The RBTE partnered with the Retail Design Expo and Retail Digital Signage Expo to create a sensory overload of color, texture, motion, dimension, and gorgeous typography—paradise for any creative professional! A few of my favorite booths are included below.

I attended a multitude of sessions to see what industry experts were saying about the future of digital retail. These are my key takeaways:

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Creative-Office-DeskFor many designers, photographers, video editors, and other creative professionals, keeping track of versions can be the bane of your existence. From creative directors to clients to anyone passing by your desk, everyone has an opinion and wants you to tweak this or that. And how many times do they ask you to revert back to what you originally had? More often than you’d care to count I’m sure.

Truth be told, I’ve been on the requesting side of the equation far more often than the designer side. I’m guilty of saying things like, “Make it punch” or “This needs to pop” or “It needs to be more whimsical”. As a marketer, I think in terms of the emotion I want to convey or how I want people to react to something. Consequently, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using those same feelings I want to elicit when giving creative direction. When giving these sorts of subjective edits, it’s no wonder artists frequently have to roll back to a previous version. They are just stabbing in the dark.

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