• PRINT

A New Design Standard?

For years, Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed of Order have been fruitfully focused on the past—but now they’re turning an eye to the future.


With Standards Manual, they’ve published beautiful editions of NASA’s legendary agency guidelines, National Parks ephemera, the New York City Transit Authority’s standards and more. Now, they’re partnering with Shore to launch a new enterprise, simply dubbed Standards, with an eye toward helping designers create the next era of graphic standards.


“As the approach to design has shifted from static to dynamic, the tools for creating, sharing and using brand guidelines have been stubbornly stuck in the past,” the team writes.



The teaser site launched yesterday, giving a peek at what the full system will feature when it launches in early 2021. Designers will be able to embed color values, assets, typefaces and even animation, “all based on the best design principles of the past, while looking to the future of branding.” The guidelines will live in a new modern ecosystem, eschewing dreaded PDFs of the past.


In an era where new design tools often seek to loop the designer out of the creative process, it’s refreshing to see one that empowers designers to do their best work—and then enhances it.


Head to the new Standards site to sign up for early access, and to see how they’ve handled the identity of the future keeper of identities. (The brand utilizes the Söhne family from Klim Type Foundry, honoring Unimark’s New York City Transit Authority’s Standard Medium face.)










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