Designers: Stop sending your brand guidelines on a PDF!
Jan 25, 2023
Janis Verzemnieks, CEO of Corebook, joined HATCH last year to bring a very important question: Why have designers evolved design systems into scalable, tokenised, dynamic tools, while brand designers keep sending a static pdf and logos in a zip file? He and his team plan to get rid of the PDF by 2025. Here's why...
A mission to kill the PDF
Corebookº is a latvian company making waves with a vision to eliminate PDF brand guidelines by 2025. Their tool hosts the brand guidelines of companies like Miro, Mozilla, Hello Fresh, and more. Before he co-founded the company, Janis was working blending his passion for music and design.
Working at agencies, he begun to grow frustrated of how difficult it was to manage, update and share brand guidelines for different projects. Janis argues that while the PDF was a great leap back in its time, brands no longer are what they used to be in the early 90s so new solutions are needed.
But what about consistency?
Janis makes the case that, as creative people, we want to make a stamp on the brand and a legacy in the organisations we work along with. So far this static, locked PDF has helped to guarantee that each brand can have control and consistency with its Dos and Don'ts.
However, in these times it is important to be consistent with the right things. It's not about a font or a color. These specific items can't be constrained to variables in a world that is multi-sensorial and does not even respond only to what can be measured in pixels, points or similar.
For example, consistency says "never stretch the logo". Nonetheless brands like Coca Cola dare to ignore this, staying recognisable and faithful to their brand spirit.
Janis introduces the digitalisation as a solution, what they call the Core loop mentality. Brand guidelines being part of storytelling alongside the assets, but most importantly kick start collaboration and sharing between brand designers, something that was previously not conceivable .
For him, we should be approaching designing brand guidelines the same way we approach designing digital products. Designers should bridge the gap between sensory experiences like audio, motion, video, and be able to showcase this in their guidelines as well.
His vision for brand guidelines is that they shouldn't be just a place or portal where you come to read rules or download files. It should be or become like a collaborative meeting space. Everyone. In a team comes to collaborate on branding projects, so feedback is as important as it is for products.