Brand refresh & style guide creation
Seertech Solutions, a global LMS provider lacked branding consistency as the company grew faster than the design could keep up. Their primary issue was the bad design throughout the website and their Microsoft templates. During discovery, it was made clear the priority was the poorly designed Microsoft templates that rendered them difficult to use, and difficult for their clients to read. I had a few calls with their team to find their biggest pain points and began conceptualizing an updated style guide until approval. Following this I rebuilt their Powerpoint, Word, Google docs and Google slide templates providing strict rules on how the collateral can and can't be used as it was shared with the team. I set up many locked formats within the templates so the Seertech team would never find themselves in a situation where they send a sales package to a client with a poorly functioning design.
The changes - old vs new
The old branding didn't give context or rules to the colour palette. With so many industries Seertech served, they wanted to separate these by using colour. There was one huge flaw with this in their style guide and as such, across the entire brand collateral. There were too many colours to leave the user to use at their own discretion. This can only ensure that across teams and individuals, a complete lack of consistency.
Creating new templates I managed to avoid a lot of the previous problems of multiple and randomised templates. I created master templates following the brand guidelines but I also included the following information in the updated style guide for clarity and in the hopes that individuals understand the importance of not editing the master templates.
Like the colours, the typography page didn't give enough context. You'll see in a few examples further down the page the inconsistencies between documents and also between slides in presentations. I expanded this page to include rules to follow with typography when the user finds themselves making their own decisions on what they can and can't do with the brand. Some really common errors are small, spontaneous decisions like "This email builder doesn't have Roboto, I'll just pick another font.", "I want his heading to stand out more, I 'll just write it all in uppercase", or "This section is important I'll just make this whole paragraph red". These are just some examples of the answers I could provide clarity in with the new brand guidelines.
In my initial review of the style guide I noticed a lack of information about digital vs print output so when building out the typography section of the style guide, I kept the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines ) in mind when discussing the digital output. Seertech Solutions have a huge amount of digital collateral so even with the updated rules above, leaving WCAG out of consideration was only doing them a disservice. Something that had previously not been considered was now taken care of for every 3rd party that they work with in future.
Imagery is a huge part of branding. Knowing whom you market to, the results you're trying to drive, and how you want to be perceived are all influenced by imagery. Pictures scan with much more ease than text so nailing the image style is of the utmost importance. Showing examples of appropriate imagery is a good start, but explaining why they are appropriate but also showing what isn't appropriate (and why it isn't) leaves much less chance of a half-baked message and a more direct understanding.