The Lost, Surprisingly Soulful Art of Corporate Identity | Branding |

Before corporations, entertainment companies, sports franchises, and political parties acquired “brand narratives,” the notion of branding was a subset of a practice called “corporate identity.” CI, as it was known, required companies and design firms to develop, refine, and maintain an integrated identity system defined by laws set down in a bible known as the graphic standards manual.

This gospel according to the design-creator was handed down to supplicant designers whose job, like scribes of old, was to precisely apply the logos, adhere to the corporate color and typographic palettes, and follow the formats without diverging even a fraction from the established guidelines.  For designers and collectors of graphic design, some of these manuals—including ones for IBM, Lufthansa, the New York Subway System, and NASA—are sacred texts, revered for how they help shift graphic design from simply an intuitive practice to a rigorously strategic one.

Via Brian Yanish -