Sunday, 21 May 2017

Mind your own brand: Creating guidelines for your logo/identity usage

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

This means the consistent display of a company's logo in print, on tv or the web.
For example, when designer creates a master workmark 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 resaved 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.

A logo usage guide or 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.


  • 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 identifers
  • Illustration and graphic treatment.

4. Templates
  • Web grid layout that shows designated content areas
  • 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.
  • Print out or link to live example
  • Icon-based treatment
  • Address global, 1st and 2nd level navigation.

Here's an example colour palette that displays references for web hexadecimal colour, RGB for TV, and Pantone numbers for print.

#CC3300 R204 G51 B0 PMS 1665

#993300 R153 G51 B0 PMS 1675

#000000 R0 G0 B0 PMS Black

#666633 R102 G102 B51 PMS 378

#999966 R153 G153 B102 PMS 0000

#666666 R102 G102 B102 Cool Grey 9

#993366 R153 G51 B102 PMS 208

#FFCC66 R255 G204 B102 PMS 134

Check out my Building Blocks of Branding Worksheet.

Image above: Tulips at home on the windowsill.

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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Use it : Creating a customer-friendly website

Superslide at the EX - Canadian National Exhibition on Lakeshore last 2 weeks of August 

If you're a communicator tasked with developing a website, consider your customer's point of view with this basic usability checklist:

Access to the site is easy
  • users can find the site and it loads quickly

Minimize the potential for errors through design
  • use accurate and descriptive labels, link names and section titles.

Navigation is intuitive
  • minimize the amount of information a user must type in for forms
  • use intuitive content structure and labels, hierarchies and natural order (sequential, frequency of use, function)
  • use simple, concise language and plain terminology
  • match the content and its presentation to the people who will use the site.

The user has control over how they use the site
  • put a 'home' link on every page
  • provide a site map
  • provide (in some cases, multiple) navigation elements on all content pages.

Consistency to aid navigation
  • use alignment to reinforce site structure
  • place recurring navigation, text and buttons on all pages in same place
  • use the same sequence in lists and navigation throughout the site.

Support movement through the site
  • identify the site on every page
  • identify the page with 1st, 2nd and 3rd level headings
  • link every page to at least one level up
  • use recognizable metaphors for navigation.

Promote recognition rather than recall
  • clearly identify the page using a consistent textual and graphic style
  • provide good navigation using concise, meaningful, unique titles
  • use descriptive labels and links.

Flexibility and efficiency
  • make pages easy to bookmark, avoid pop ups and gimmicks
  • allow users to move through the site how they wish

Efficient design
  • use a clear sequence on navigation bar
  • keep the navigation bar to a maximum of 9 items
  • chunk and group information to create a deep site with multiple pages rather than a broad one
  • use "pointers" to immediate parent pages and to the beginnings of sections, as well as to the main sections and help

Informative error handling
  • offer informative error messages
  • provide help to recover from the error

Aid the site user
  • provide a search function
  • provide a site map
  • provide step-by-step information on downloads, forms, transactions and other interactions.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Still fighting for our rights

They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds

In my reality, it's 1967,  Pata Pata is Number One, Miriam Makeba and Stokely Carmichael are crazy in love and the The Black Power Revolution exposes the fact that people are being treated differently based solely on their race. WTF.

In my Nelson's West Indian Reader the Slave Trade that brought us across the Atlantic Ocean from the 15th through 19th century seem so far away.

This happened and everyone knows. Finally an apology from the Colonial powers would bring reconciliation.

But it wasn't all over and forgotten.

It's 1996 and Tracy Chapman is still talking about the revolution and flash forward to 2016 and the Trump vs Clinton US election exposes what we knew had not been reconciled.

The underbelly of Hate exposes the truth we have been ignoring – the truth that we all discriminate and we use these tactics to separate, to dominate, to take selfish advantage.

As the visible minority know, this is what you live with everyday. When someone tells you, you're being too sensitive or you're imagining those indiscretions, we can all agree that being ignored, belittled or disrespected did not start with Trump.

We are fortunate to live in a place where the Ontario Human Rights Code gives us a set of rules to live by.
Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.

The Women's March Toronto January 21st 2017 protest, prompted by Trump's victory, we stood up for women’s rights everywhere.

Women's Rights are Human Rights

I can't believe we are still fighting for Women's rights, Gay rights, Religious rights, ethnic rights

Stop racism. Stop misogyny

MSIT NO 'KMAQ means recognizing and acknowledging the living spirit within all things, encompassing the entire animal kingdom, the spirit within plants, rocks and waters of our world

I share this haiku, written by Teresa Fisico so eloquently expresses our Canadian dream:

"Sea to Sea to Sea.
Diversity defines us.
The Land unites us."

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Friday, 3 February 2017

Work Space: tech help, getting around, cheap eats

The Kay Gardiner Beltline Trail runs from west of Allen Road and south just west of the Don Valley is a great city escape for cyclists and walkers.

Got Mac technical issues?. These service guys are the best. MacTweek.

Of course you need help networking or troubleshooting if you're on a PC.
Don't freak. PCMDOnCall
makes hassle-free house calls 416 944 2464.

Part-time collective workspace
Indoor Playground is a next generation co-working environment gives entrepreneurs an occasional office space, in the downtown core of Toronto -364 Richmond St W., near Peter.

Pretty Darn Fast Courier 905 271 9655. Reliable and well, pretty darn fast!

On New Year's Eve you can ride the TTC for free. Party without getting behind the wheel of your car. Smart.

If you live in New York City, you get Puff Daddy "Diddy" handing out mastercards and offering free cab rides to anyone needing a ride home after partying at Times Square. Public transportation rocks ! Toronto Transit Commission.

Toronto City Bicycling Map. PDF format available.


Village by the Grange is homestyle food court with everything you expect and more from fresh dim sum, Japanese ebi fry to ramen noodles and of course, Karine's breakfast, all wonderful and filling. Save room for green tea ice cream at BaskinRobbins, north side of the mall, Dundas Street entrance.

Visit the AGO across the street on a full tummy.

Frank Restaurant at the AGO is a relaxed and delightful date for lunch and an afternoon gallery browse. Ten percent off meals is just one of the perks of an Art Gallery of Ontario membership. Named in honour of the gallery's restoration architect, Frank Gehry.

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