How a legendary brand guideline manual was reborn

There's something borderline OCD about identity guidelines, brand manuals and style guides. Designing the perfect combination of lettering, pictograms, colour schemes and other brand elements, ensuring they can be used across huge numbers of assets and products of vastly differing scale and shape, and then meticulously assembling a guide to ensure that no unwanted variants of the carefully prepared identity are utilised… it's an obsession, but one that many of us will find hugely rewarding.

Graphic designer Wallace Henning read an article by Michael C Place about the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual, a four volume, 220-page set of brand guidelines for the UK's national rail service, and was instantly hooked. He focused his MA in communication design on "creating an identity for a renationalised transport network", then came up with the idea of reprinting the original manual.

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Craig Stewart

Craig Stewart is a writer, SEO strategist and content marketer, and is a former editor of Creative Bloq. Craig has written about design, typography, tech and football for publications including Creative Bloq, T3, FourFourTwo and DSG, and he has written a book on motoring for Haynes. When he's not writing, you'll usually find Craig under his old car learning about DIY repairs the hard way.