Creating Brand Identity Guidelines

Creating an organized way to document and share your company's identity usage standards ensures that your distinctive brand personality and relevance is never compromised.

Start by documenting the controllable elements of brand identity

  1. Positioning strategy
  2. brand name
  3. nomenclature
  4. tagline
  5. logo.

Consistency is key

Brand Guidelines or a Style Guide may be an online document with links to graphic resources or it may be an elaborate printed manual to communicate with affiliates, staff or suppliers.

It starts with identifying those key elements that reflect the core values and represent the image attributes of the company. A designer details every possible placement and usage standards for the company's identity.

This includes the do's and do not's of logo in various mediums from websites to print and display advertising.

Demonstrate how a company's logo will appear in print, on mobile devices or the web.
For example, when a designer creates a master wordmark or logo as an EPS [encapsulated postscript] file, it scales to any size and will maintain it's quality - no jagged edges.

When the file gets re-saved and distributed in various formats for printing in an ad as a .tiff file or on the website as a jpeg, png or .gif file, the logo should look and feel the same.


  • Font choice
  • Print type treatment: options for headlines, subhead, callouts/decks
  • Online HTML treatment such as Cascading Style sheets [CSS].
2. Colour Palette
  • Colour combinations showing primary and secondary options.
3. Graphic Treatment
  • Logo or logomark
  • Photographic styles
  • borders, rules, bullets, graphic identifiers
  • Illustration and graphic treatment.


4. Templates
  • Layout options for website, mobile and social media formats showing content treatment
  • Sketches to illustrate placement and appearance of key layout features.
5. Navigation and Information design
  • Create a diagram of the navigation design. This is the HTML template that shows
    the structure of the page and identifies key content areas.
  • Link to existing live example
  • Icon-based treatment such as font awesome font and icon toolkit
  • Address global, 1st and 2nd level navigation.

Check out my
Building Blocks of Branding Worksheet


before the brand

by alycia perry with david wisnom 111
creating the unique DNA of an enduring brand identity.

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It was in Williamsville, along the Guaracara Tabaquite Road

This photo taken on Feb 23 2013 at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, a converted cocoa plantation, is just a reminder of what it felt like to visit my grandparents home as a child in the Tabaquite hills.

In the 1930's, Evelyn lived with her parents and fours brothers in Tabaquite near Williamsville, a village along the Guaracara Tabaquite Road in the central hills on the island of Trinidad.

At the turn of the century, Tabaquite transitioned from sleepy cocoa village after the discovery of extensive oil deposits in the area.

During the early days, there was no pipeline system at the Tabaquite operations so the crude oil and natural gas was directed from the wells through earthen drains into a large pit or sump.
Pitch-oil, also known as Kerosene is a derivative of petroleum and this was an important product since, at the time, there was no electric power in the island outside of Port-of-Spain.

Evelyn was the only girl in her family and at nine years old she was already her Mom's right-hand with housekeeping, laundry  and especially in the kitchen.
One of her jobs after school was to collect the Pitch-Oil from one such abandoned Pitch-Oil sumps which drained at the back of the family home, a long way down the hill, pass the kitchen garden and the Out-house.

Evelyn would use this fuel to start a fire under the coal-pot for cooking dinner.
The boys also had chores after school - Bal, the eldest, then Morris, Herman, Raymond and Frank.
There were chickens and goats to tend to. The garden needed watering.

The family also owned some quarry land across the main road and as the boys grew older and stronger, they worked wheelbarrowing gravel into trucks to be sold for essential roadway construction.

Sweet Spot

Everyday after school there was a sweet spot between Schools out and when Pa appeared on his horse.
The children had a little time to themselves for play.

All the siblings were outside playing after school in the yard - pitching marbles, running after the cat, enjoying some fun before getting to work.

The family at Piarco airport when brother Morris leaves with his young family for Venezuela around 1955.

Mama was in the kitchen as she usually was after school.
Pa, the head of the household, John Seucharan was the local headmaster and usually home by 5.

The afternoon breeze was cool and everyone was in a playful mood.
Frank was up in the mango tree.
His job today was Look Out so when Pa appeared on his horse in the distance down the hill, he would give the signal,
"Pa coming!"
All man would scatter and get busy with their daily activities.

But today would be different.

When Evelyn struck a match to start the fire, she had not realized that the Pitch-Oil tin had been leaking and immediately exploded.
Pa was coming up the hill, It happened so fast. By the time, they got Evelyn into the buggy to the hospital, she was gone  "quiet and peaceful".

Raymond was five or six years old. This story is what he recalls.

Evelyn again

John and his partner would go on to have four more children - Malcolm and three daughters; Elizabeth (Elsie), Victoria (Dulcie), Wilma.

It was important to John that his children attend college.
Jobs were readily available for his sons in the oil and gas industry. Elizabeth and Victoria attending college.

By 1955, Victoria was a teacher and Elizabeth had landed the job of executive assistant to the General Manager at Texaco Oil company.
In the Geological Drafting Department, Elizabeth met the only other woman working there at that time.

Her name was Evelyn and they became fast best friends, both lovers of fashion, femininity and enjoying their new-found personal freedom.

Evelyn was an only child who grew up in the city and was excited to be invited for a weekend at the country home of her friend,  Elizabeth.
When Evelyn arrived, Elizabeth's mother broke down.
She hugged her and quietly wept the words in Spanish, which was her native Venezuelan tongue,

"My Evelyn has returned".

Photo note:
In the mid 1950's, the entire family travelled to the airport at Piarco to bid farewell to Morris, dressed in a suit, leaving for Puerta La Cruz, Venezuela with his wife and three young children, pictured here, top row.
Top row from left: Victoria, Elizabeth, Morris, Baby Ian with Mom, Evelyn, Mama, baby Steve with Mom, young Louisa and Wilma.
Bottom row from left: Malcolm, young Tenny, Raymond, Herman, Frank.

History of the Area

Find out more about how Tabaquite went from a sleepy cocoa belt village to Trinidad Central Oilfields.
Even in the Unites States, there were no pipelines at the time of this length for transit of light crude which made the Tabaquite-Claxton Bay trajectory a world first. Because the deposits were shallow, output at Tabaquite fell in the years following 1919 and by 1939, around the time Evelyn died, Trinidad Central Oilfields ceased to exist.

READ: The Rise and Fall

by Angelo Bissessarsingh. Sat Jul 16 2016.
Angelo Bissessarsingh was an historian and author from Trinidad and Tobago.
His written works include A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago.  Wikipedia.

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On The Street

The streets are alive with art, inspiration and commentary on this cool early morning in Kensington picking up the goods at Caribbean Corner located on Baldwin west of Spadina here since 1977.

No West Indian comes here and leaves without some fresh fruits and vegetables such as okra, bodi, shadow bene, banana leaves scotch bonnet peppers, salt fish and cassava from the islands.

Art from 185 AugustaDeadboy and more is "admission free" and passionately served. Rob Ford, Prime Minister Harper feature along the way as the sweet smell of cinnamon calls around the corner to Mexican Churros $13. per dozen filled with caramel, chocolate or strawberry sauce.
Deep fried while you wait. Served hot at Pancho's.

Surrounding by glammed up teens and young adults sharing the F21 love over the holiday season, I make a post boxing day trip to the Eatons Centre, a mecca of  indoor shopping to check on the Forever 21 fashion frenzy.

Plastic. That's the smell. How many soda pop bottles did it take to make that dress?

So much colour and beauty taking the shortcuts down so many downtown alleyways.

Just bring your own paddle and ball for Ping Pong at June Rowlands Park at Davisville and Mt. Pleasant. The ice cream truck still appears every Spring and is in serious need of a 2015 makeover - Gelato, Yogurt shakes and Kombucha popsicles anyone?

Keen Canada makes a great sole for any season on these mean streets of Toronto. This is a lightweight, comfortable waterproof shoe or boot that breathes. Build your own shoe online. Feel good supporting an organization that helps preserve the places we play.

It's art on the street in Kensington. Thank You for no car Sundays in the summer.

Weathered and neglected for years this unbranded wood makes for an exotic 352 Baldwin shop front.

Indigenous Women speak out against TAR SANDS poster.
Endorse, support or get more info at

Not much warmth from the grate and a light green blanket at Bay and Bloor in below zero weather.

Get Inspired by
 the work of French Street Artist Dran and British street Artist Banksy.

Giant multicoloured navigational buoys designed by Douglas Coupland in collaboration with Philips-Farevag-Smallenberg

What a beauty!
On the way home and on the theme of one-of-a-kind, we find a lotus. Ryerson University / Mount Pleasant Cemetary bicycle rack competition 2010 winning design LOTUS by Katy Alter and Jeff Cogliati bring together aesthetic, functionality and ease of use in perfect harmony.

Out front at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, we're happy to find this wonderful swirl of serious bike parking available.

City and Colour

Early morning market's a breeze

Stores are still shut tight in Kensington and hand-painted artwork on the storefronts are exposed when shutters are closed. A few early morning breakfast-seekers and food shoppers are about.

Trees are up in flames everywhere

Both urban artscape and natural colours of Fall inspire and charm. We stop just for a moment to enjoy the play of light and the uplifting feeling that a splash of colour adds to life.

Closed Coffee Shop front counter art

It's like a different coloured scarf everyday changing colours, wrapped around this Church on Belsize Drive.

Halloween skeleton pirates hang out below the brightest shades of orange and yellow

On Oct 31, a front yard line up of Halloween favourites include pumpkins, spiders, witches and Count Dracula.

Leaf tips seem dipped in petal colours after the rain

Groceries bagged and a quiet street makes a skateboard-perfect ride home.

In memory of Bill Cunningham

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Control Freak: the steps from project planning to product launch

Photo: Lunch stop at the Lake, Ward's Island, looking back at the city across the lake, July 1 2015

Project Development Overview

Use this project management worksheet to plan and keep your web projects on track. These essential steps and tasks are applicable to most projects.

Project Name:

Strategy - user needs and site objectives identified:

  • The Goal of this project
  • Intended audiences
  • Scope of the information to be included
  • Staffing and resources requirements
  • Approximate time lines
  • Hardware and software requirements
  • Plans for implementation and maintenance.

Stage 1 - Planning


  • Requirements Gathering
  • Project Creative Brief - Information gathering template
  • Content Requirements - Overview
  • Functional Specifications - description of feature set
  • Content Outline - Guidelines
  • Information Architecture - create Site Map
  • Establish Client Zone - presentation of work in progress.

Stage 2 - Prototype Design


  • Creative outsourcing. Who will do the work: design, write, produce, test, sell
  • Information analysis
  • Design studies. - Design tasklist and activities
    • brainstorming, design language alternatives
    • grids, navigation studies
    • sketches for look and feel, placement of key elements.


  • Information Design
  • Navigation design
  • Interface Design
    • Update client zone - presentation of work in progress
    • Client review and input
    • Develop to incorporate feedback
  • Content Management System - content development and administration
  • Content plan - schedule includes client milestones.


  • Initial visual design
    • comps look and feel, navigation and user interface
  • Update client zone
  • Prototype Review. Client review and input to proceed
  • Review work based of feedback
  • Design Specification - create first draft document for team reference
  • Content development
  • Design development. Final Comps:
    • all graphic elements and treatments identified
    • multimedia development - audio, video components
      • behaviour and functional design
    • Initiate StyleGuide to document development decisions.
  • Content first draft - all pages identified
  • Initial information layout
  • Update client zone - present work in progress
  • Team review
  • Client review and approval to proceed based on design specifications and established requirements.

Stage 3 - Prototype Development

  • Establish internal development area
  • Final content
  • Create working HTML prototype
  • Update site presentation area
  • Conduct internal usability review - see Usability Principles and Checklist
  • Test on identifed browsers and platforms
    • Design revisions based on feedback
    • Client review and input
    • Revisions based on feedback.

Stage 4 - Project Development

  • Develop by completing:
    • templates for all pages
    • code integration
    • graphics and visual elements design
    • final content presentation
  • Conduct quality assurance review - see Guidelines and checklist
  • Conduct User testing - external team as defined by Scope
  • Make revisions based on feedback
  • Document development decisions. Update style guide.
  • Update site presentation area
  • Team review

Stage 5 - Implementation

  • Prep project for technical integration
  • Stage to Q A site for internal team review
  • Maintain communication, support, collaboration with cross-functional team

Stage 6 - Maintenance

includes Next Phase Planning
  • Site Administration User Guide
  • Post Mortem
  • Site Content Annual Launch Plan
  • Update documentation and presentation area
  • Update documentation and site presentation area
  • User Experience Review
  • Content Update
  • Functionality Update
  • Update to incorporate current website standards
  • Document recommendations/milestones for next development cycle
  • Considerations for social media and promotion.
PHOTO: Lake Ontario, Toronto view from Ward's Island, July 1 2015
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