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Don’t Dress Your Organization in Ripped Jeans and a Dirty T-shirt!

OK, What does that mean! How can you dress your organization in anything?

Well, more likely than not, your organization has spent time and money creating a brand identity… a logo. There’s an icon, a font choice, colors. This is the suit your organization wears when out in public. Just like clothes for a person, a logo conveys a message about an organization, “This is who I am. I’m clean, professional, smart, trendy, not trendy, capable, inviting, elite, creative…” whatever. And people make judgments about an organization based upon what they see.

Using a logo inconsistently is similar to going to a meeting in ripped and dirty clothes. If your logo appears sometimes squished, sometimes stretched, sometimes off color, sometimes with one font and sometimes with another, an impression is definitely created, but probably not the one you want; sloppiness, lack of coordination, lack of professionalism or ability, a home-spun sensibility (BAD).

How to stay well dressed.


Choose a font for your logo and stick with it. If outside sources, such as newspapers or printers, are using your logo, make sure they use the font you specify. Don’t let them get away with setting your logotype in Helvetica on one ad and Times Roman in another. If the font on your logo is Rockwell, then make sure it’s always Rockwell


Color can be tricky because it seems to change from one printer to the next and it looks different on every other monitor. Never the less, choose a color and stick with it. If you’re having something printed, work with your printer to choose a Pantone color and always use that color. If you work with a designer, find out what Pantone colors are used in your logo and make sure they’re always used.

Make A Set Of Files

The easiest way to make sure your use of your logo is consistent in both font and color is to create a set of logo files that you can use internally or send to vendors, printers and advertisers. That way, the font and color are set and wont change from one use to the next.


And now that you have a set of logo files, make sure your logo is always recreated in its proper proportions. Don’t stretch it to fit a picture box or squish it to fit into too tight of a space.

Standards Manual

For larger organizations who have many internal and external users of their logo, we not only create a set of logo files for the client to use, but we also create a Use Standards Manual that lays out how (and how not) the logo should appear; fonts, colors, placement, sizes, etc. This helps ensure that, no matter who is using the logo, they will know how to make it look right.

It’s not easy to be consistent, not with your kids, not with your dog, not in life, and especially, not with the use of your logo. However, you probably take the time to dress well when you go to work in order to make the right impression. It’s a good idea to take the time to make sure your organization is dressed well too. After all, the impression your organization makes is just as important.

If you don’t care about the impression you’re making, how do you think your audience feels?

Candace Sanborn | October 19, 2011


  1. Avatar!

    Woh I really like your articles , saved to fav! .

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