Talkback: Successful Higher Ed Branding for the Web

By Michael Fienen

This post is very timely for me. We’re nearing the end of working with an outside firm on our university’s new branding campaign. While I’ve been fortunate enough to be an member of the Brand Marketing Taskforce, I’ve still felt the Web has been considered much of an afterthought through much of this process.

We’re expecting to redesign our site to go along with this new initiative, but I’ve been thinking we’re going to have to take the new standards given to us and make a subsequent document for the Web. We’ll create new templates and standards that will be part of the overall branded family, but I’d imagine there will be some specifics that will have to differ from print.

I’m very interested to read how others have approached this, and if you have documents you’d be willing to share with us.

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    Michael Powers Says:

    Our visual design standards are mostly oriented toward print, but I’ve been working with our print folks to come up with standard adaptations for the web.

    Most successful so far has been our color standardization. We have standard Pantone colors that we use in print, but of course there’s no one-to-one correspondence between Pantone and RGB, so we were getting (in one case) four different versions of Pantone 201 on one page.

    The solution was to set up a set up test pages with the background set to the various RGB interpretations:

    https://www.people.iup.edu/mpowers/colortest/

    We then asked everyone in the office to pull up the test and walked around with Pantone cards to determine which was closest to the color we wanted. For the rest of the colors, we figured out how the winning RGB value for Pantone 201 was derived, then used the same process to derive all the others. Here are the results:

    https://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=46253

    For fonts, we informally translate Warnock as Georgia and Vectora as Verdana or Tahoma. Need to get that in the official manual someday-but as we don’t allow our web contributors to change fonts when using our CMS, we don’t have many problems with strange font choices anymore.

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      Kevin Ryan Says:

      Mike,

      Do you mind if I ask what method for getting the hex values was the one that worked out the best for you?

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        Michael Powers Says:

        We ended up using the numbers from Photoshop:

        1. Create an image with the color mode set to “RGB Color/8-bit”

        2. Click on the fill color in the toolbar to open the color palette

        3. Click the “Color Libraries” button and choose your Pantone value, then click “Picker”

        4. You be able to see the translation into HSB, Lab, CMYK, and RGB and hex.

        The trick is starting your file in the right color mode. Our print guys like to work in CMYK/32-bit, but you’ll get a different hex code from a file with that color mode.

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    Chas Grundy Says:

    The key to getting people to follow the brand guidelines/rules is about explaining why the rules exist. If the document is all about typefaces and colors, it will simply place barriers and people will look for ways around them. But connect the dots between the strategy and the rules, and people will understand and respect them.

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    Tag44 Says:

    Thanks for the post and for sharing the useful information with us.

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    Joy Says:

    I have to admit Branding is everything in business, in order to start a good and profitable business you need to create your own unique and creative brand or identity. The brand that you created will boost your online and offline presence, when that happens more sales will be coming in to your business.

    I’ve known this site brandmelive.com that helps and guides and individual or startup company on how to create your own unique brand that stands out from the rest. In less than a month, I assure you, you will start to experience great amount of success on your brand or business with the efforts you put in. Believe me, I’m one of the million that benefited from that site.

    Hope that helps.

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