We have talked about why it is important to use your trademark consistently. The easiest way to be sure that everyone in your organization knows the proper way to use the company’s trademarks is to create and distribute a trademark usage manual. The trademark usage manual should also include easy to follow guidelines setting out that the mark is to be used as an adjective and not a noun. The usage manual does not need to be a complex or confusing document. It should be a straightforward listing of the acceptable ways that the company’s trademark should be used. For example:
1) Where color is an option the, Ô logo is to be printed in “PANTONE® Classic Blue 19-4052 TPX.” The wordmark FLOWER POWER is to be printed in “Pantone® Virtual Pink 18-1856 TPX.”
2) The Ô logo should be printed as shown on this page. This graphic can be copied and pasted from the attached graphics file to ensure consistent use.
3) The word mark FLOWER POWER should be printed using Algerian font where available. Otherwise it is to be used bolded in the same font as the surrounding text.
4) In banner ads, the combined mark is to be used as follows: Ô FLOWER POWER with the combined mark being used in a size that is at least twice as large as the other text in the banner. To ensure proper sizing and spacing of the logo in relationship to the work mark, the combined mark should be copied and pasted from the attached graphics file.
5) On the website, on each main page, the mark is to be used as follows either centered on the page or placed to the edge of the left margin:
It is possible to have more than one approved use. For example the manual can state:
6) In all multi-page print brochures the combined mark can be used in one of the following ways:
Ô FLOWER POWER or FLOWER POWER Ô or
The manual should also list any uses that are not desired:
7) The combined mark should never be used as
FLOWER Ô POWER
The examples above list Pantone® color numbers, but any method of identifying the proper colors is acceptable. It is also common for the manual to include a graphics file that has the accepted methods of use that can be used by marketing or others in the company to be sure that everything is correct. The image to be used can simply be copied and pasted into the draft of the advertising or marketing piece. This file should include different sizes so that there is no error made if the logo needs to be enlarged or reduced from what is in the graphics file.
The most important step in development of a trademark usage manual is to enact a policy that informs all employees that the usage manual exists and is to be followed. The manual and graphics file should be kept in a central location on the company’s computer where it can be easily accessed.
If your company does not have a trademark usage manual, one way to start is to have a trademark audit (link) conducted with a special focus on collecting all of the ways the mark is being used. These can then be reviewed to determine if any changes are required and then the usage manual can be created based on the final approved usages.
Here are the other installments in this series: