Consistency is Key

Consistency; I‘m not talking about the type of coffee Tony (my colleague) makes me on a daily basis – the colour and consistency of tar! Nor do I mean my sandwich that’s been left in the car for two days that now has the consistency of cardboard…

I’m not a huge fan of sayings or phrases that we all seem to use at some point, whether on a daily or weekly basis. But when it comes to design, my opinion is consistent with many in the same field – consistency is key.

If we haven’t got consistency then you tend to go nowhere fast and the essence of an idea, a brand, a look and feel, can be easily lost, misguided or unusable.

I haven’t researched anything; I haven’t read articles online or extracted famous quotes to use in a clever way (apart from the obvious). I wanted to write a piece from a recent design experience. It will not revolutionise the world or make you re-think your week, just hopefully cement the fact that consistency really is key.

Re-branding a global technology company was a mighty large challenge. As you can imagine, the process from beginning to launch took a while. Months in fact. Working with multiple offices via video calls discussing colour choices, shading percentages, line weights, fonts, layouts, internal usage, external usage, full bleed vs isolated, props, models, layouts… followed by multiple photo-shoots spanning three European cities… all took its toll on the teams involved. I think you get the gist.

Before the brand was launched to the world, all parties involved had diverse and strong professional opinions about pretty much every aspect of the project. The views of those who were consistent with their feedback had, I believe a stronger influence on those whose views changed daily. If you consistently contradict yourself you lose credibility with your fellow colleagues and clients, and fast. So you either cleverly agree with an opposing view/angle, fall in line, stand by your views or move on.

This epic task may not have had such a successful outcome if the simple rule of consistency hadn’t been applied and adhered to. I believe as long as the agreed guides are followed and adhered to consistently (within the boundaries of everyone’s own perception of the meaning of ‘guidance’) then the brands success can be achieved effortlessly, smoothly and hopefully with minor updates being introduced along the way.

We all need varying amounts of consistency in our lives; at home, the gym or in our favourite coffee shop. But for me, always in a design environment. I believe calculated consistency is key.

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