The Guardian has just released their brand guidelines to “demonstrate the importance of their design language within their DNA” through a series of posters, according to the company. “When Alex Breuer [The Guardian creative director] and I joined The Guardian just over two years ago we were faced with the task of unifying a myriad of different styling, typographic patterns, colour theory and grammar that through various iterations of The Guardian had weaved itself into the tapestry of our design vernacular,” explains Chris Clarke deputy creative director at The Guardian.
The challenge was to unify all of these elements into a coherent and communicative design language that could be translated by not only the design team but the company as a whole. “It is fundamentally important that we are able to communicate the values and ideas that The Guardian embodies simply, consistently and coherently across our own and third party platforms,” explains Chris. “We are aware that only a small percentage of our readers are inured with its history as a newspaper.”
The brand landscape according to the design team is complex, as the The Guardian’s identity reaches far beyond journalistic and editorial tone of voice, but also trickles down to their other platforms, businesses and sub brands. “This added layer of diversity means we had to evolve an editorial language beyond a marque and design toolkit,” explains Chris. “Our identity therefore isn’t just our masthead – it is a rich kit of parts that resonate in our brand DNA. From our smallest articulation the roundel, to tonal colour theory for different accents of content.
“The presentation of the guidelines shown here is our Guardian design lexicon in its purest and most honest form. We decided to distil the theory and core elements down to a series of posters, currently on display around the building. This coupled with a series of talks, workshops and an internal brand refresh of the various touch points around our offices help us to give a sense of just how important our design language is to us as fundamental to our offering.”
Two years in the making, Chris is certain that these guidelines will continually evolve. “As more and more articulations of The Guardian grow, we are confident that foundations laid with our brand will be robust and flexible enough to stem off it. In short — we’ve built a delightfully diverse diving board, where anything we push off it can swim.”