Standards is a helpful tool to aid the process of identity guidelines, from Standards Manual

Developed from publishing several books on the intricate beauty of graphic standard manuals, the soon-to-be-released tool will pull from the past to aid designers today.

6 August 2020

True appreciators of identity guidelines, since 2012 publishing imprint Standards Manual has collated together doorstops of books, delving into the manuals of Nasa, New York City’s transit authority and EPA. With the aim to archive and preserve guidelines of the past, the team behind Standards Manual are refocusing their attention to how designers work now, with the release of Standards: a new tool to design brand guidelines, “that takes the best from the past, and is built from design today.”

In piecing these books together Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, the founders of Standards Manual as well as partners at design office Order, noticed that as much as these brand guidelines were design gems, the approach to making them “was stubbornly stuck in the past, too”. Teaming up with Seattle-based design and development agency Shore, the pair have been working to create a tool to shape the way brand guidelines are developed now: “No more templates, clunky PDFs, or static asset handoffs to clients,” explains Standards' press release.


Standards Manual: Standards

Built fluidly and centred around necessary information “like colour values, adaptable assets, typeface, and animation,” the tool is a rare release in being “based on the design principles of the past, while looking forward to the future of branding.” Standards’ own identity is an ideal example of this too, pulling from the plethora of influences Jesse and Hamish have investigated in their publication releases, notably the typographic direction of New York’s transit system and using Klim Type Foundry’s The Söhne family.

Not quite released just yet, a teaser site for Standards was released yesterday (5 August 2020) and has already received thousands of sign-ups for its release. You can sign up yourself here.

GalleryStandards Manual: Standards

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Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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