Your company has worked hard to establish an identity. It’s important to carry over those brands standards for digital signage, too.
Wikipedia defines “Corporate Identity” as follows:
The “persona” of an organization which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of objectives, and is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks. In general, this amounts to a logo and supporting components commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved color palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand.
In short, your organization’s identity is its public face – it’s “look” – and should be considered when you are designing content for digital signage or presentations. You want to put forward a united “brand” in both internal and external communications.
Your content will improve drastically in quality if you use a standardized array of colors, fonts and styles. Side-by-side presentation of your messages will automatically blend and please the eye if you are choosing from a predetermined set of design elements.
This doesn’t mean the end of uniqueness and creativity. Bring in outside designs and graphics that complement and offset identity components for greater impact. You can play with layouts and craft interesting, effective communications while incorporating a few standard themes.
Many organizations publish identity guidelines that you can reference. If you don’t have access to guidelines – some common sense goes a long way.
When designing digital signage content, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need to include your logo?
- If so, make sure you have a high-resolution copy of the logo to work with.
- If your logo has a color background, eliminate the background or design to match that color.
Do you have standard colors to work with?
- If you have PMS print colors defined, start with those and find their equivalent RGB colors for digital designs.
- If you don’t have them already, pick six to eight colors that complement your brand colors so you have more to work with.
What fonts should you use?
- You can still use fun fonts to make your communications exciting, but remember to incorporate approved text styles where you can.
- Remember not to use too many fonts in your design. No more than 2 fonts on a single message is a good rule.
Some organizations have an image library that you can choose from, and your internet or intranet sites can be a good resource for graphics that have already been through the approval process.
In addition to brand standards, you can also use color systems within your overall themes. For example, if your logo is blue and green, you could standardize blue backgrounds for general information, green for important announcements, and red for security and alerts. These color cues help your audience easily recognize the messages their interested in, and over time, you can train viewers to look for colors related to specific types of information. This is especially important when it comes to alerts.
If you’re not sure about your organization’s brand standards, your PR or marketing department is the place to start.
Using approved identity components and mixing in complimentary design elements will improve the quality of your visual messaging while solidifying your organization’s identity with viewers – two communications goals easily met with a little preparation and creativity.