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Well, this is it. The last batch of updates to the brand standards. Over the course of the last year, we've updated over 25 sections to include the latest changes to our brand, new examples, and (hopefully) clearer guidelines that help all our designers, agencies, and Red Hatters make our brand stronger and more consistent.
For our final update, we have a brand new section on email signatures (and a tool to generate them!), a major expansion of our social media guidelines, updates to animation, video, and audio, and a new addition to our community logo standards.
Of course, our brand will continue to grow and evolve from here. When it does, we'll be back to let you know what's changing and why.
Last year, a new Red Hatter started a conversation on memo-list (our internal, all-employee mailing list) about where to find "official" guidance on email signatures. It turns out there wasn't any—but there were a lot of opinions about what that guidance should be. Should we all use a logo? Should everyone's signature be plaintext only? What kind of info is appropriate to include...and what isn't?
This sounded like a job for brand standards.
After gathering some more info through a poll of memo-list readers, it was clear that there were two distinct camps we needed to make sure were addressed. One was those who had outward-facing roles, like sales or recruiting, and needed their email signature to stand in as a digital business card. The other was engineers, who valued efficiency above all and preferred minimally formatted, or even plain text, emails.
Since then, we've been working not just on standards for what to include in a signature, but a tool that will generate a professionally formatted signature that Red Hatters can use in gmail (or your favorite email client). The tool offers a choice between an HTML signature that includes the Red Hat logo and matches our business cards, and a text-only signature that presents the same information without any images or formatting.
We hope the new tool and standards help new (and current!) Red Hatters take care of their email signature set up more quickly and with more consistent and professional results—so they spend their time getting open source software into the hands of our customers.
Social media is an area that continues to evolve—and so does how we use it. The last version of our social media standards was pretty bare bones, and focused mostly on how Red Hatters should be engaging with social media on their own.
With this update, we've expanded to include a lot more information about how our corporate and technology-focused accounts should be branded. We've included guidelines for avatars and profile backgrounds, as well as tips for creating and using images as part of social media posts.
In the last blog post, we talked about the next evolution of our illustration style. A lot of those changes were driven by a need to make animations that are more dynamic and engaging, and that shift in their visual style to match the story they tell.
Animations should always start with our illustration style, so we've updated our guidelines and examples to reflect that. We also added more information about animating type and logos, and added a "don'ts" section for the first time.
Read our updated standards for animation.
Video and Audio
Interviews with customers and partners make up a huge part of the video we use at Red Hat, and like most of the other sections we've discussed, our approach has evolved over the years. This update to our video standards expands on our guidelines for interviews, including more information about how to conduct interviews and ask better questions.
We also replaced an outdated pdf about setting up a shot on location with newer information that lives directly on the standards site, so there's nothing to download. And of course we updated all the examples so you can see the new guidelines in action.
While we were at it, we made some tweaks and updated the examples in the audio section, too.
Red Hat is involved in a lot of open source communities, but the brand team only takes an active role in the branding of a few of them. Most of the time, it's more important for the community to truly own their brand than it is for us to be involved.
There's a few communities that deserve special note in our standards, though, either because our teams are more involved in their development (like opensource.com), or because the community team has done such an extensive job with their branding that we just have to point it out (like Fedora).
For this update, we added an example to the first column, with The Enterprisers Project. The Enterprisers Project is an online "community of CIOs discussing the future of business and IT", and is produced in collaboration with CIO Magazine and The Harvard Business Review.
Their brand is closer to Red Hat's than most of our communities, but there are some differences when it comes to color palette and logos.
We hope these changes make our brand standards easier to use. If you have any questions about how to use the standards, or want to share some feedback with the team, send us a note.