Project 4 – GSM, pt 1

This project involves creating something I didn’t even know existed until I started on it: a graphic standards manual. Sometimes also called an identity manual or identity guidelines. I started by looking around for some that I really liked and that I might draw inspiration from in creating this one for a client called Crucible–a design competition organization that closed up shop a few years ago but is reopening. We were given the organization’s logo treatments, and that’s it! They have no web presence at the moment, so there’s no checking them out to get a better read on them.

So after much looking around and absorbing ideas, I came up with the below 40-odd thumbnails. Most are iterations of the same spread, but toward the back end I tried to get at least one idea down per spread, so far as I’d worked out what the spreads would be. The last section of the booklet I’m planning to be a kind of gallery of examples of the logo and colors in use, probably image-heavy with mockups, but I didn’t end up doing any thumbnails for those pages yet.

Based on the logo provided, and especially its colors, my sense at this stage of the organization’s ethos involves the words competitive, bold, creative. Going off my thumbnails, I created a couple of roughs for the cover and for a section head kind of spread.

It’s immediately clear I’m not just using red, black, and white in my color scheme, (although those are the primary colors). I chose to add two secondary colors, a royal violet blue (shown above) and a gold. If the names don’t recommend them clearly enough, the royal violet blue suggests, well, royalty, an upper tier. And gold suggests victory and quality. Both, I think, bolster the organization’s ethos and purpose.

Both secondary colors will be used, with the red from the logo, around the booklet in full spreads like this one, and in smaller applications to highlight information or just add visual interest to a page. The black and white will also be prominent, as white will be the most common background, and black the most common text color.

Finally, I want to mention the two manuals I used as inspiration: the identity guidelines for the Barbican, and the manual for Fogg, a “borderless internet” company. I really love the big, bold typography and negative space use in the Barbican’s, and the creative use of color in both is inspiring. Plus, they both have a minimalist focus I like and want to aim for in mine.

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