You have a great corporate identity, so why is it that Bob from Technical Support in Sheffield has a business card on 300g mat and is a different size to Sarah from the London sales office. Not only that, but the type faces are both wrong. Fortunately, they both have our logo. Unfortunately, they’re a different colour. Sounds familiar? I’ve seen this happen repeatedly in global operations, even within the same department.
Without a system in place to enforce brand identity guidelines, the effect of a company’s visual identity will be diluted. At the very least, a company should have a Corporate Identity Guide that contains the design and print specifications of everything from business stationery to vehicle livery. It doesn’t have to be a printed guide. Many companies make this information available to appropriate staff and suppliers via a secure section of the company website.
A Corporate Identity Guide is useless if its guidelines are not enforced. The simplest way to protect corporate identity is by using the technology that is available to us via web to print systems. Not the ‘design your own’ business card websites you will frequently find on the internet aimed at sole traders, but custom templates that are built on corporate print on-line e-procurement systems.
Artwork templates for web to print can be extremely complex. One of the simplest of all might appear to be a business card. But, there is difficulty in dealing with the large variations of telephone numbers, email addresses and URLs. Each one has to have the information carefully positioned in the correct place. The reality is that business cards can be the most complex template for a large organisation, but they also demonstrate the power of using on-line templates.
Now imagine that you have to give new business cards to about 5000 employees because of a re-brand. Not only that, but you have over 500 offices. With on-line ordering, you can make new cards available to order for all office employees and have them printed and dispatched in days. As all the artwork specifications are enforced automatically, the cards will all display the corporate identity accurately.
This demonstrates one of the real benefits of web to print. The most powerful arguments for ordering simple personalised products in this way were illustrated to me by rolling out volume print projects. In one case the Managing Director of a company in question, when overseeing a huge order for a re-brand, said to me, “Aha!, so that’s why we’re doing this”. Seeing is believing.