branding guideline

A new client asked me for a logo design at a big discount. After a few phone calls we set a price that was so low that I made it clear I would not be spending more time on it than absolutely necessary. No presentations, no endless back and forth revisions, the only paperwork would be an invoice, etc.

Everything went as agreed. After sending off the final logo, they were happy, but made another request.

Client: Could you also design a business card with the new logo?

Me: Sure thing. I’ll send you an invoice.

Client: Could you send a contract? I’ve been advised we should do that.

Me: Honestly? At this price and for this much work, drafting up a contract would be more work than it’s worth. If you want to do this completely officially then why don’t you send me a purchase order?

Client: I’m going to have to insist on a contract. When can our lawyers meet to sign it?

Me: Seriously? If that’s what you require, designing a business card isn’t worth it for me, sorry.

He responded by sending me a 27 page contract document that looked as if I was signing over my business. I refused to sign it, and after he argued that I still owed him brand guidelines and brand strategy.

Me: I could do that work for you, but it will cost significantly more than what you’ve already commissioned.

A revised contract of 12 pages came in but with similar demands. I refused once more.

At this point, he started threatening a lawsuit for some reason. I wished him luck with that.

Some months later their company went bust. I wonder why.


Hello, everyone! Here’s our last update for the month. Joining us today to give us a quick rundown on our progress are our four bachelors: Nagi, Rui, Sol, and Kouya!

New to Golden Hour? Click here!


Main Sprites
30% complete

Final sprites for the main routes are in progress! Check out this WIP of Kouya:

(Team Artist is currently regretting Kouya’s hairstyle… because it’s a pain to color)


Wireframes & Mockups
100% complete

Screen Designs
8% complete

Refined previous assets for consistency purposes! Accomplished the brand guidelines as well!

(Team Designer cries because she works on the screens at high res only for the quality to be squished when it comes to Tumblr updates.)


Unity Environment Configuration
100% complete

Visual Novel engine
50% complete


Day 1 Script & Branches
50% done

Kouya’s Route Outline
30% complete

While this may be our last update for the month, we will still be replying to asks so if you have anything to tell us (questions, concerns, anything you want to say), feel free to drop us a line!

A day in the life of Rex...

Brand Guidelines: we must tell stories in our messages, we must be innovative and we must be fresh

Me: writes a brilliantly witty email that tells a story in a fresh and unique way

My colleagues in Marketing: we don’t like this. It’s too risky. You’re focusing too much on the story. Write it like this [inserts dry boring copy]

My boss: what happened to the funny story telling? Why did you take it out? Go back to the original one you did


Originally posted by vhs-ninja

Originally posted by theculturetrip

Originally posted by naoidentificado

Client: I know we approved the set you built, but we didn’t really mean it. You need to start over as we have new brand guidelines that have just come out and this doesn’t fit. I’m sure you expected to have to do it again.

I’d built that set under extreme micromanagement for three months,  following exact instructions and making major changes on demand.

So no. I wasn’t expecting to have to do it again.


The Globe Theatre Stockon is currently being refurbished. Plans include saving as much of the original Art-Deco architecture. Including the Raked (tilted) stage. The only remaining stage of it’s kind in the UK. This has been reflected in the logo design.

The Publication will be handed out on the opening night, giving a brief history, branding guidelines, and current events. The art deco, and architectural theme runs throughout the publication.

The tickets use the stage dimensions, the logo takes advantage of this. The colours used throughout are found within the old interior design for the theatre.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I am in my 40s, female, and a professional.  Married for over 20 years, and mother of two.

There are my PERSON creds, so you understand that I’m not some “screaming, hormonal teenaged girl.”

Throughout my professional career, I’ve worked in two advertising agencies, been the head of a marketing department for a worldwide company, written and followed branding guidelines, and worked with major corporations to make sure their brand is presented correctly.

There are my PROFESSIONAL creds, so you get the idea that I kind of know of what I speak.

In all my marketing, advertising, and branding dealings, one thing has remained the same- you don’t let anyone else make your brand look stupid.  You control how your logo is used, what colors are associated with your company, what can be displayed with your product, where your product is placed in the store, HOW YOUR COMPANY IS PERCEIVED.  For example- I currently work for a large university in the US.  We have an iconic mascot, and there are REAMS of pages in the Graphic Identity Standards relating to how you can use the mascot’s image.  No changing colors, no putting it on a background, no combining it, no removing the lettering, etc.  If anyone DOES want to use the logo, they have to send their idea to the Graphic Identity department for approval.  If your design is found lacking, you don’t get approval, you cannot use it, and if you do, you run the risk of being sued by the University.

Whether we like it or not, celebrities are brands, just as much as Coca Cola, BMW, Tampax, or Ericsson.  If you need convincing- look at any number of Disney child stars.  From Annette to Miley, Disney controlled every aspect of their stars’ public (and often their private) lives.  This is why everyone lost their minds when Miley started showing up mostly naked with her tongue hanging out.  It wasn’t that “OMG- another half naked starlet!”  It was “OMG- THAT’S HANNAH MONTANA!  SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE A KID!  WHOLESOME!”  It was the Disney image machine losing control once Miley was no longer in the stable.

That all said- I have NO IDEA what Benedict Cumberbatch’s people are doing with the “brand” that is BC.  To put it in marketing terms- they’re letting the brand be diluted and the public image presented poorly.  Take the NY article and photoshoot.  If I were a branding manager, and my product was going to be photographed, you bet your bucks I’d want to see the finished product prior to ANY distribution.  You don’t say “Oh photograph my stuff any old way, whatevs.”  You say “I want the proofs on my desk before you send them to anyone else.  I have final say on all images.  If I don’t like it, you redo it.”

Which makes the “but Benedict didn’t say anything nasty in the article” argument all the more annoying and irrelevant.  Maybe BC didn’t say anything, but his branding team did by allowing the pictures to run, and, as we know- “A picture is worth a thousand words.” 

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I know what words the Cumberbatch Branding Team is using to describe his fans, and I don’t appreciate it.  It’ll take more than some feeble backpedaling by BC to “fix” this.

One Directions Brand, The Logo

This post about 1Ds logo made me curious about their style of branding and a possible rebranding of theirs. So since it’s the weekend and I am a graphic designer I thought I’d look into it and give my perspective on it. So this will be a series of post examining the One Direction Brand and my thoughts on what they’re doing with it right now and where it might go in the future.

I will be aiming to cover various topics like albums, perfumes, books, annuals, films, websites, action1D, tours etc. So in this first installation I’m gonna talk mostly about their logo and how they use it.

One Direction have used two „logos“ in their branding from the start. They have the written out One Direction:

and the shortened 1D:

I would argue that both of these are well known among the fans.

Some basics: They are both typographic logos. The written out one has been modified a bit since it’s creation. My guess is someone did a redrawing of it at some point or they added more/different versions of it to their brand guidelines. It could also be part of a rebrand of their logo. Sometimes when transitioning from one brand identity to another a studio will do it in fragments and not all at once. 

The shortened one has structure in it and reminds me of a stamp. It’s kind of rough and I’ve seen this style used for rock bands too. The inner space of the D is shaped like an arrow which makes the whole thing a lot more clever and adds a bit of playfulness and direction, so to speak. 

So are there any changes from UAN to now? Yes!  

Here is an old logo of theirs from the TMH era vs. the screen grab I took from their website today advertising the new single release:

So the thing that jumps out is that they changed it from a solid colour fill to a texture wich gives it a more lively and wild feeling. You can also see that it’s probably a redraw because of the endstrokes all have a slightly different curve and endings to them. In my opinion it looks better now than before.

This kind of painted typography is actually coming into style again, notably in magazines.

I also noticed that they don’t really use the abbreviated logo on albums anymore. They are relying on the written out version since Midnight Memories. It was used heavily in the promo for This Is Us Their older merchandise also still has it. I think it was a good decision to scratch the abbreviated logo for their albums. They don’t really need it and it just took up space on that. 

I like that they recently brought it back for the action1D campaign. It works very well for campaigns, merchandise and film or book promo/art. Or for collaborations where they are not the main act.

So in conclusion I would say that they are definitely changing things and moving towards a better quality of branding judging from their logo changes. Their use of logos is better than it was at the beginning and they follow their guidelines pretty well from what I’ve seen. I’m excited to see if they change their logo completely or if they just keep adjusting it from time to time to make it fit with their target audience.

Also does anyone know who designed both of these? I googled a lot but couldn’t find anything, which is a shame.

Next I’m going to look at their new website.