Why is standardisation a must in graphic designing?

Branding is one of the focus areas of all businesses. A brand helps customers recognise the business. Customers identify a brand with its colours, logo, fonts, etc., which are the key elements of visual communication. Therefore, it is essential that a brand is consistent with the aspects that define it.

However, with the changing customer demands and trends in graphic designing, many brands get swayed and lose track of the original design elements. They try to modify the original design elements to meet the changing demands of buyers. In the process, they are likely to confuse their existing customers.

While it is a good idea to modernise the design to incorporate new trends, it is equally important that the brand maintains consistency. Introducing innovation to an existing framework is a challenging task.

Typical characteristics by which customers identify a brand are:

  1. Colour
  2. Logo
  3. Typography
  4. Imagery
  5. Layout

The brand audience needs validation at every point of contact with the brand. Hence, the modern design elements incorporated must ensure that these characteristics do not change and the theme across products and designs remains the same. In other words, design should be standardised. Standardisation is ensuring cohesion, decision, consistency, and clarity of design. Graphic standards provide a visual structure to the brand leveraging design elements like logo, typography, colours, etc.

Simply put, standards in graphic design are a set of dos and don’ts to be followed while making changes in the existing structure of the brand.

How standardisation in design helps a brand

When a business starts building its brand, its design needs are limited and there are few designers working on creating the brand elements. In such a scenario it is easy to maintain the elements of brand identity. However, when a business grows, maintaining uniformity across designs becomes a challenge. This is because the team expands and there are several graphic designers working for the brand. If a business has not standardised its brand elements, then there is a lack of direction for different graphic designers. Each designer will work according to his own ideas and have a different theme. Graphic designs with different themes cannot be used for the brand. It results in wasted time and effort. The absence of standards makes the brand inconsistent which not only confuses the buyers but also the graphic designers. The inconsistency and chaos created in an environment that lacks standards restricts creativity.

When a brand maintains certain standards in graphic design, it gives direction to designers' imagination. It saves their time because they know that they have to create designs within certain boundaries. Standards create a visual guide for designers that fosters creativity.

Establishing standards in graphic design eliminates the guesswork and risk of design disasters. It minimises errors in designing when multiple designers are working for a brand.

Maintaining standards facilitates the cohesive working of different graphic designers. Standards ensure that each designer knows what the identifying elements of the brand are. Once the designers have clarity about the common theme to which they must adhere, they can use their creative ideas to fit in with the theme. Standardisation in graphic designing facilitates teamwork and collaboration.

Standards in graphic designing help scale creative input because when a brand has multiple graphic designers working on a common theme, each designer can introduce his/her creative ideas within the design constraints to enhance the brand design. Graphic designers can collaborate and reach common design features that will benefit the brand.

Standardisation or maintaining uniformity in graphic designing is not a new concept but is something that many brands have applied to over the years. The current digitalisation tools and practices in the market can be put to excellent use in the field of design as well. Standardisation of graphic design does not just help in maintaining consistent imagery of your brand but also helps in you realising a faster turnaround, as your design team would be repurposing and reusing a lot of existing elements. With the pace of competition in today’s marketing landscape, speed and quantity is just as important as creativity that your brand can put out.

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