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Branding – Vintage Brand Guidelines

This week we’re rewinding the years, going back to an age when people walked the streets holding a thing called a ‘walkman’, which held a thing called ‘cassettes’! That’s way back; yes, this week we’re looking in to vintage brand guidelines, when one of designers here at Higher Ground Creative unearthed some guide specimens, we thought the next natural step was to write a blog on this very subject.

A company’s brand is vital. It explains what your company stands for and defines who you are, what you do and how you do it. A brand establishes ownership, creates unity and provides a set of values to rally around. But, behind every good brand is a comprehensive set of brand guidelines.

Guidelines should be comprehensive, yet flexible enough to provide a framework of instruction on how to apply your brand across any material or media. Guidelines help retain consistency, especially through times of growth, but they will also help create and maintain a clearly defined brand identity and will contribute to an understanding of your business, motivating both customers and employees to share in your company’s vision and ethos.

Just as brands develop over time, so can guidelines and as with any good brand these can be tweaked, adapted and changed over time. From a designer’s point of view, we hate being restricted. So it’s important to give designers enough room for interpretation; that’s why brand guidelines should be just that – ‘a guide’, not a creative straight jacket! Guidelines need to be specific enough to uphold the brand values, yet flexible enough not to stifle creative opportunity.


Below we’ve highlighted some vintage guidelines that made our designers’ eyes water…



Apparently funded by the Nazis, I guess you could say that ‘Volkswagen’ were never shy of guides, strict policies or procedures. This specimen below shows how the ‘VW’ brand identity (that we’re all familiar with) came about, and as you’ll see, it delicately details proportions, curvature, form & function.

Volkswagen Vintage Brand Guidelines




You don’t get much bigger or more universal then ‘NASA’…

NASA Vintage Brand Guidelines


If you wish to read more on this topic, please check out these related articles:


If your company has guidelines, use them, or if not… why not give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll help you decide if it’s time you develop one…

Alternatively you can head over to our portfolio, to see how we can make your branding projects shine…

Ciao for now!


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