Corporate design guidelines

Brands play an increasingly important role in business life today. Building, maintaining, and promoting brands has long become a business in itself. Big agencies create recognizable brands that set themselves apart from the competition. For that purpose companies have a corporate image, corporate design, and corporate design guidelines.

These guidelines are mainly aimed at designers to help them to maintain the corporate image. But, there is one more thing, called internal branding, that is supposed to turn every employee into a “brand ambassador”. It is all about that unified strategy, that unified look, that applies even to presentation slides. Although that means another set of rules to follow, it can help us to improve the design of our slides — following four simple steps:

1. Read the corporate design guidelines carefully.
2. Apply them on sample slides using real-life material.
3. Strip these sample slides of all superfluous elements.
4. Keep all streamlined sample slides in a library file for later use.

There are a few more things to consider. Design guidelines can not cover every possible task. They are often created by graphic designers who tend to apply print design principles unfiltered to presentation design. That can lead to a high information density — far too high for screen purposes. We should always streamline our slides, and build a library file with all kinds of samples, such as tables, graphs, illustrations, etc. That is not only a real time saver, it even helps us to improve our design over time.

Paule Wendelberger