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Graphic Charter 101

August 25, 2020 Non classé

Your graphic charter uses design elements to communicate your company’s values. It is essential to your company’s image.  Are you wondering if your graphic charter is up to speed? Wonder no more! This article will walk you through everything you need to know.

What is a graphic charter?

Also known as a graphic standards manual, a graphic charter is a document that contains the rules of your visual identity. It brings together specifications on how to use all your company’s design elements.  Your graphic charter acts as a guide that contains all the rules you must follow in order to maintain your company image.  You’ll need to respect your graphic charter across all visual platforms to keep your content coherent.

What is the purpose of a graphic charter?

A graphic charter aims to create design rules that will ensure your visual identity is coherent across all communication platforms.  All your company’s documents must be easy to recognize at first glance, whether they are meant for your customers or partners.  This will show your audience that you’ve mastered your company’s image.

By respecting your graphic charter, you will be able to create a strong and compelling visual identity for your company.  The coherence of your graphic material will then make it easy for the receiver (your clients or partners) to quickly identify the source/sender (your company). In this way, your communication will become more effective.

As a final and not insignificant advantage, a graphic charter will save you time when you prepare your content for your different communication platforms.  You won’t need to start from scratch and come up with new designs since you’ll have already created the foundations of your visual elements.

What should my graphic chart contain?

It is the fundamental component of all of your communication.  Your charter should contain all the graphic elements associated with your company.


This is the foundation of every company’s visual identity.  It needs to represent your brand values. We should see it on all of your company’s documents. The visual identity should also contain variations of your logo for your different platforms.


The graphic charter defines all typographical terms of use in its documents. Typography is an important element that adds character to your documents and has to potential to be quite powerful.  Some companies even create their own typography.


It’s best to limit your choice of colours to make it easy for people to recognize your aesthetic and connect with your brand.  But your colours still need to help you stand out from other companies so you’ll have to strike the right balance. In general, we recommend about 5 colours.  You will need to adapt these to your different platforms. You can also forbid certain colours for various reasons. Consider mentioning these guidelines in your document.  


Some companies opt to include symbols, pictograms illustrations or  photos in their graphic charter. If you would like to include visuals, make sure that they evoke your brand.


It’s important to establish certain rules so that each element looks relatively similar on all your documents.  For example, you should indicate the rules for incorporating each element in each media platform so that you can maintain its proportions and position. It is therefore important to note the position, margins, and space between each element.

Finally, if you find it useful, you can include publication rules in your graphic charter, dictating your desired tone and style so that your documents will remain consistent.