Why the guidelines?

We designed these guidelines to be a helpful resource, not a pain in the neck. We get it—nobody likes lots of rules, but if we follow them together:

We can be more consistent.

Consistency is what makes a brand work. Every time we get the brand right, we make it stronger. Every time we let things slide, we chip away at it.

We can be more effective.

A brand’s consistency isn’t worth much unless it works. We measure success by how well something fulfills our brand promise.

We can be more compelling.

If we really do this right, we can connect emotionally with people, create relationships with loyal fans, and start to build a community around our brand.

Our why statement

Brightformat exists to communicate big ideas and spark joy through collaborative partnerships—expressing creativity on any canvas.

How to use it

The why statement is primarily an internal message, meant to help guide our work together and shape our vision for the future of Brightformat. We don’t want to water it down or let it get stale, so rather than using it in all our marketing or communications, we primarily want to use it in internal and long-term applications.

Great places to use our “why”:

  • Trainings
  • Employee handbooks
  • Company-wide meetings
  • Reports, documents

Less-than-great places to use our “why”:

  • General marketing materials or branding
  • Specific marketing campaigns
  • Packaging
Our brand story

Creativity on any canvas

We started Brightformat to help people connect with their audience. Throughout our journey that has meant different things to us—from our early work in mailing lists through our evolution to digital printing and mail production. Today it means helping others express creativity in whatever format they can imagine.

Finding our own path

Our team includes people from many walks of life. Before taking his role as CEO, our founder sold adult diapers and our President started his career in this industry driving a delivery van. We stay authentic by embracing the unconventional journeys of every person in our company. We came together so we could create an organization that led rather than followed, innovated rather than replicated, and constantly pushed the boundaries of what is possible. We have succeeded in grounding ourselves in tireless grit, teamwork, and excellence.

Amplifying big ideas

We think of ourselves as amplifiers for the messages and strategies that our clients create. Whether it means reaching the right people, identifying the right mediums, or collaborating to create a wonderfully unexpected moment, we don’t just help turn things to “eleven,” that’s where we begin.

Sparking joy

We take our work very seriously. Ourselves? Not so much. Work is hard, schedules are tight, and the pressure is always on, but a little effort toward levity and celebrating small wins goes a long way in making everyone’s days just a bit better. If amazing results can be achieved for clients while we lean on each other, challenge each other, and smile along the way, that is our definition of success.

Collaborating as partners

The ingredients in our recipe for collaboration are transparency, enthusiasm, and creativity. We treat our customers the way we would want to be treated. We never scoff at any initial request and never promise what we are not confident we can deliver. By working closely with customers, helping to ask the right questions and explore every possibility, we do everything humanly possible to help bring a vision to life for the people we serve.

Using any canvas

It takes courage and creative leaps to realize the ideas of our customers. Pushing the boundaries of our own capability and expertise helps us grow as an organization, and reveals more effective and interesting ways to serve our clients. We don’t pretend to know all of the answers, but we know exactly how to work together to find them.

At Brightformat, traditional classifications don’t suit us.  We are innovators, we are experts, we are problem-solvers. We are kind-hearted banterers and enthusiastic one-line slingers. At Brightformat, we use our talents and passion to help people share messages in new, colorful ways that really connect, and we’re excited to discover what that means for you

How to use the brand story

Internal alignment

The primary use for the story is presenting a consistent vision for the company that everyone within the organization can reference and access. As a tool, it helps people understand and connect to the purpose and direction for the company both today and tomorrow.

Communications content

Messages, language, and ideas from the story may be used piecemeal externally in advertising or online representations, such as social media bios. This should be done with restraint, to avoid wearing out this story.

Introductions, documents, and presentations

Long term applications like the capabilities book can be a place where the story serves the function of introducing the company and its purpose, but the narrative or language may need some edits to be most effective.

Our brand experience

We build trust

We don’t just deliver things on-time or on-budget. We work to understand customer needs and communicate transparently so that people know exactly what’s going on with their project.

We make it fun

We get to solve problems and help people accomplish great things, and that gives us life. It’s important that we share that feeling with our customers through our interactions—and the benefits of making it fun are mutual.

We think creatively

Doing things the same way every time makes this work boring for us and less valuable for our customers. We always think imaginatively because it helps us grow and improve as an organization.

Questions we should always be asking

How can we connect with the customer’s needs?

  • What are they worried about and how can we address their concern
  • What are they excited about and how can we speak to their goals
  • What’s their definition of success here?

How can we make this step in the process more fun?

  • What’s the right way to present options?
  • How can we make this delivery celebratory?
  • What would make this installation more exciting?

How could we do this in an unexpected way?

  • Are there creative ways we could cut production costs?
  • Are there new technologies or techniques we could use for this project?
Brand values


Building trust goes beyond accountability to budget or timeline—we are accountable to customer satisfaction holistically.


Our strength as an organization comes from our unique perspectives and personalities, so we value and celebrate that genuine spirit.


Our best work results from the interplay between our customers’ creativity and our own.


We see failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth. When we face challenges, we band together and dig deeper.


Curiosity, creativity, and experimentation keep our work interesting, while helping us provide greater value and grow.


This work should be fun, and we strive to create a life-giving community through everything we do.

Voice characteristics

Make it personal.

Personal relationships are the foundation of our work, whether it’s a single project or a partnership over decades. The goal of every communication, from a handwritten note to a social post, should be to recreate the experience of meeting us in-person to whatever degree is possible. When communicating for the company, always write as a person (“I”) or people (“we”), not as a disembodied “Brightformat.”

“Brightformat is excited to announce a new capability: 3D printing!”

“We’re entering the third dimension. We’re excited to announce our first large-format 3D printer is ready for action.”

Inspire confidence with optimism.

Our projects often create the opportunity to support our customers in moments of high pressure and high uncertainty. Even when we’re not fully certain how we’ll solve a problem yet, we take the approach of aspirational thinking because we’ve solved thousands of problems before. When we talk to customers, we don’t make promises we can’t keep, but we always show belief in the project and our team.

“We’ve never done a wrap exactly like this before, so we’ll need to figure out what’s possible and what’s not.”

“We’ve done some similar wraps, so we’ll come up with some different approaches and you can see what’s most effective.”

Find fun in the process.

From the posture we take in conversations to the way we approach social media, we want to show how even the process of production can be interesting and exciting. This might be as simple as just peeling back the curtain with a short tour or as involved as collaboratively prototyping different approaches with a customer.

Posting only finished products and installations.

Posting time-lapse videos of installations, behind-the-scenes videos of producing interesting pieces, or informational videos about production.

Brand Identity



In full color applications, the Brightformat typemark should always be black or white with the burst element using one of the colors from the palette. Unless the application necessitates a single color, never use the logo all in just one color.

Although any color from palette can be used for the color burst, in some cases, readability could become an issue. Keep that in mind when choosing a color for the burst.

Download color logos

Reversed color

When logo is reversed out of black (or another dark color), consider the contrast of the burst color. Some colors should be avoided (as indicated).

One-color mark

In instances where the use of a one color logo is necessary the logo should be either solid white, solid black, or a specialty print technique.

Download one-color logo

Standard clear space

The Brightformat mark needs a little breathing room. Make sure it’s surrounded by the prescribed minimum clear space so that it is never crowded by other elements. The distance is determined by the height and width of one burst.

Minimum size
The mark should never be applied smaller than ¾ inch long.

Improper use – do not alter the mark
The Brightformat mark should not be altered in any way.

Do not change colors, rotate, squeeze, skew, apply any effects to the mark, or change the font, size, or proportions.




The Brightformat palette consists of a wide range of colors, with a mix of bold, vibrant hues, softer tones, and neutrals. Colors are typically used at 100%. Use tints and screens sparingly.


PMS: 2035
CMYK: 0, 87, 100, 3
RGB: 214, 0, 28
HEX#: D6001C



PMS: 375
CMYK: 47, 0, 100, 0
RGB 149, 201, 61
HEX#: 94C83D



CMYK: 82, 41, 0, 0
RGB: 23, 130, 197
HEX#: 1681C4



PMS: 115
CMYK: 0, 11, 94, 0
RGB: 255, 206, 46



CMYK: 9, 87, 0, 0
RGB: 225, 0, 152
HEX#: E10098

Light Blue

Light Blue

PMS: 7457
CMYK: 16, 0, 5, 0
RGB: 191, 227, 237



PMS: 170
CMYK: 0, 48, 50, 0
RGB: 255, 134, 116
HEX#: FF8674



PMS: 489
CMYK: 0, 20, 21, 0
RGB: 236, 195, 178

Warm Gray

Warm Gray

CMYK: 49, 46, 49, 7
RGB: 130, 124, 120
HEX#: 827C78



CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 100
RGB: 0, 0, 0
HEX#: 000000



PMS: 877
CMYK: 10, 6, 7, 21
RGB 180, 183, 185
HEX#: B4B7B9



CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 0
RGB: 255,255, 255

Colors vary greatly based on application. Colors displayed on this page follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and were selected specifically to be legible for various color perceptions.


The main expressive mark within the Brightformat system is a set of burst elements. These bursts can be used both individually and combined in a pattern. In print, bursts may use any color from the palette or any special technique (i.e. foil, gloss, die cut, etc.).

As patterns


Use the bursts in a repeating pattern, combining a variety of shapes and the full spectrum of colors in the palette.

One color

The burst pattern can also be used in one color applications — perfect for digital foil or films, opaque white, spot gloss, and other specialty printing techniques.

As "heads"

The bursts can be used as “heads” as part of the visual storytelling language developed. Use one of the 6 bursts identified and apply an appropriate brand color. If on a colored background, make sure the inner burst is white.

Font Family

Primary font: ITC Lubalin Graph
The primary typeface used in the Brightformat system is Lubalin Graph. It is a strong, heavily geometric typeface that is used in the logo and pairs well with the burst elements.

Headings and subheads: Lubalin Graph Demi

Text: Lubalin Graph Book
Note: Refrain from using when large amounts of copy are used.

Quotes and captions: Lubalin Graph Demi

Type sizes: Body copy should be no smaller than 8pt.

Secondary font: Roboto
With friendly and open curves that are largely geometric, this open source font is used for digital applications and when large amounts of copy is being used in print.

Headings: Roboto Black

Headings and subheads: Roboto Bold

Text: Roboto Regular, Roboto Light

Type sizes: Body copy should be no smaller than 8pt.

Download Roboto

Brand expression

Introductions + tours

This is a moment to create a lasting impression of the brand.

Keep it brief
Fifteen minutes should be a ballpark maximum length for a tour. This gives people a full picture of capabilities but doesn’t risk losing attention. A great experience is more important than thorough information.

Ask questions and relate to their context
Try to approach these conversations more like a first date than like a job interview. The goal should be getting to know the other person, using the tour to learn about the customer’s world and needs.

Tailor the conversation to the audience
Present with an outline, not a script. Go further with whatever is getting a response, and breeze through anything that’s not connecting.

Give context to samples with stories
A typical piece and a really innovative piece can look pretty similar on the table. If you can tell some stories of how the project came together to produce the sample someone is holding, it makes the example far more memorable and interesting for the audience.

Educate without condescension
Some customers are experts, but for many people, the production side of design and communications may be very foreign. Explaining technologies and techniques without talking down to people can be one of the most valuable ways to build credibility and a foundation for partnership.

Prioritized types of interactions

New customer introductions

New customer introductions

Providing customers with a full experience of what Brighformat has to offer through exploration of previous work, a tour of the facility, and a conversation around the impact the customer hopes to create.

Trends + opportunities conversations

Trends + opportunities conversations

Holding a conversation with customers or staff about emerging technologies, formats, and expressions, helping to explain the advantages or challenges that each poses.

Project reviews and prototyping

Project reviews and prototyping

Kicking off or reviewing progress for a project by discussing different directions and possibilities, with prepared examples and prototypes to serve as the centerpiece for discussion.

Uniforms + appearance

We wear uniforms because we’re a team.

Safety first
Obviously, we don’t allow open-toed shoes or clothes that could otherwise be dangerous around the machinery we use. This is the only hard and fast rule on the list, but it’s here for every employee’s safety.

Look the part, but bring your personality
We wear simple t-shirts with our branding because it creates a good impression for visitng customers and helps remind us that we’re all working together. We want you to feel like your uniform is unique to you though, so we encourage everybody to choose their own fun motto/phrase for the back.

Please don’t make us need to write stricter guidelines
We don’t want to get deep in the details on what you can or can’t wear. We trust our employees to exercise good judgment around what’s appropriate for the workplace, and in turn, you can trust us to not be a pain about it.

Delivery experience

This interaction can both positively punctuate a project and create the potential for future work.

Maximizing brand impact
Whether we’re doing a full show-and-tell with samples or just dropping off a revised proof, we create a positive impression, with appearance and demeanor in person or packaging and communication otherwise.

Make it personal and real
Representing the personality of the brand can be easy in a conversation, but if that’s not possible—little touches like adding a handwritten note or sending an extra message to inform the customer can help build the relationship.

Take the time to check the details
From making sure the van is clean to looking over the packaging and ensuring there’s packing slip, delivery is the right time to double-check things. This can be a big moment for clients and details make a difference.


Samples + packaging strategy

Especially when you can’t be there in person, samples and packaging are a huge part of people’s impression of our work.

Check it again
It’s a lot more efficient to double-check things than it is to fix a mistake or send another package. When things always arrive in the right packaging with the right contents and documentation, it makes us look really good.

Give it a personal touch
Attaching a mint is one small way we make our work a little more personal, but adding a handwritten note can make a huge difference, and helps build a relationship more than the best-written email.

Communicate before and after
People expect notifications for shipments today, so sending a message before shipping out a sample or project can give them a helpful heads up, and a follow-up message shows you’re paying attention to the relationship and making sure they’re satisfied.

Installation strategy

Installation is one of the most important customer touchpoints, and one of the best chances to create an experience that will build trust.

Look the part
Whether the team is all from Brightformat or hired contractors, using a crew uniform is key to a professional impression and organized process.

Clarify the chain of communication
Make sure that there is a Brightformat point person for questions, and that everyone on site (and the client) knows to communicate through that person.

Communicate early and often
Help the client feel confident about what’s going on by providing updates with photos and info strategically throughout the process. These regular check-ins also make it easier to catch and solve problems.

Be careful and thorough
Paying attention to detail and double-checking saves time in the long run. Completing the install includes cleaning the space to create a great reveal.

Assembly instructions strategy

We want these instructions to create Brighformat’s personal touch and make things incredibly simple, even from a distance.

Making things incredibly simple

Multiple mediums

Using both a video walkthrough and a printed piece (with a PDF online), we can ensure that people never feel confused about how to put their pieces together. Like IKEA or Lego, this makes the process of assembly straightforward and fun.

Instructions as marketing
Placing the video in a prominent place on the website can serve several purposes by explaining how the product works to prospective customers, demonstrating how easy it is to use, and sharing Brightformat’s personality.

Aligning our message
Taking the time to really think through the way we explain the product for these instructions can create a consistent message across the company.

Place strategy

We discussed different possibilities for the design of Brightformat’s space, organized to support key customer interactions.

Designing for three types of interactions

1. New customer introductions

This interaction is focused on providing customers with a full experience of what Brighformat has to offer through exploration of previous work, a tour of the facility, and a conversation on the impact the customer hopes to create.

2. Trends + opportunities conversations
This interaction represents a conversation with customers or staff about emerging technologies, formats, and expressions, helping to explain the advantages or challenges that each poses.

3. Project reviews and prototyping
This interaction includes kicking off or reviewing progress for a project by discussing different directions and possibilities, with prepared examples and prototypes to serve as the centerpiece for discussion.

Prioritized spaces

Reception experience

Reception experience

While we know there are constraints from HIPAA regulations, this process should be smoother and simpler for customers.

Lounge space

Lounge space

This space should be redesigned to intentionally support brainstorming and meeting, a gallery display of samples, and internal experimentation for research and development.

Production spaces

Production spaces

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Brand communication

Direct mail + email strategy

While direct mail and email can drive new business and attract new customers, we want to think of it as a relationship tool, not just sales.

One message, one call to action
Keeping things simple in terms of message can be the key to engagement. Putting in extra effort to get to the core of the message and desired response can help your customers get there more quickly too.

When you tell a story, make it easy to follow
Storytelling takes some intuition and creativity, but making sure there’s a clear character and following the arc of how they overcame an obstacle or found a creative solution helps people engage with your narrative.

Spark a little joy for people
Emails and mailers are mostly boring and disposable. Anything you can do to make this moment fun or interesting makes the piece much more noticable, memorable, and valuable. Prioritize the “smile factor.” 

Prioritized types of communications

Brand + identity communications

Introductory, reintroductory, or “just for fun” materials that share who you are in a way that any audience would be interested in.

Capabilities communications

Sharing a category of capabilities, or a new capability, targeted to specific prospects or presented to a general audience.

“What’s new”

Responding to a new need (pandemic prompting the need for laminated menus) or sharing a new capability (new technology or product).

Project stories

Telling the story of a specific project, including visuals of various stages along the way.


Letting people know about specific new offerings or discounts on proprietary products.

Storytelling strategy

Whether it’s a social media post or a full fledged documentary-style video, the following ingredients can help make a story easy to follow.

Make it about people
This one sounds obvious, but one of the easiest ways to make a story more engaging is just providing a character to follow. The character could be you, the client, or even just the people of an organization. Only talking about “what was made” for a project feels empty without a person involved.

Focus on change
Good stories show how people (or organizations) change. The best way to tie things together is to explain how a conflict was resolved or obstacle was overcome. Conflicts don’t need to be life and death—it could be as simple as wanting to create a great experience and not knowing how.

Premise, insight, change
Rules are made to be broken, but this is a simple structure to follow: a beginning that explains the premise and conflict, a middle that shows insight/creativity, and an end that concludes with what changed.

Example story: Brightformat + Dialogue

Starting with a character + premise + conflict

When we met the student editors of Calvin College’s Dialogue Creative Arts Journal, they were in a tough spot due to a budget crisis—needing to cut costs without sacrificing print quality.

Showing the insight or “turn”

Since the editors had previously worked only with offset printers, we were able to show how digital printing offered a lot more flexibility and savings for a print run of their size. After prototyping several different format options, we were able to find an approach that worked for them.

Concluding with change

Dialogue was able to publish their issue without exceeding their budget or cutting the number of copies, and digital printing has continued to open up new design possibilities for the organization in the years since then.

Social media strategy

Rather than a rigid social media posting cadence, we’d recommend a more flexible, but disciplined approach to sharing on these platforms.

“Around the plant”
This is casual posts of fun or interesting moments throughout the plant. This form of content is already being executed well, and just needs to be kept up.

Employee highlights
This is humanizing the brand and giving special attention to employees who are joining, leaving, transitioning to another role, or more.

Project “behind the scenes”
This informal content shows creative problem-solving or capabilities at any stage in the process, from planning to installation or delivery.

Project “final results”
This more formal content showcases projects with artistic photography and a fuller description of project goals and outcomes, including quotes, statistics, or other pieces of evidence that demonstrate the impact of the work.

Best practices

Focus on people

Focus on people

Whenever possible, include people in both the images and written content you’re posting. This makes content both more likely to be engaged and is a simple way to humanize the brand.

Capture everything, post the best

Capture everything, post the best

Being disciplined about capturing every major project will increase the amount of content you’ll have to choose from. Not only will this create a valuable archive, it will allow you to curate a selection of the very best projects to share when you encounter them.

Prioritize platforms

Prioritize platforms

We would recommend focusing on Instagram for lighter, shorter, more fun content, sharing posts simulataneously with Facebook. The other primary platform we would recommend is LinkedIn for case studies, capability updates, and similarly significant content.

Web strategy

Your website is the digital representation of Bright Format—so it should look, sound, and feel like the rest of the brand.

Use a consistent voice
Whether someone is just finding your phone number, evaluating you as a potential vendor, or wanting to check up on your newest projects, it’s important that the brand voice characteristics come through loud and clear.

Prioritize quality visuals
For samples, installations, capabilities, and more, the quality of the visuals you use to present your work can make or break someone’s impression. Good lighting, proper framing, and sufficient resolution are key.

Use people purposefully in images
Including people in shots can be helpful for making things friendlier and providing scale—but having someone’s shoe or finger poke into the shot doesn’t add much. Add life to images with faces, hands, and poses instead.

Content types

Basic content

Make sure that contact info, contact forms, and other fundamental information stays up to date and prominently available.

Static content

While your story, values, and other identity content might not change much, the way you include them presents a key opportunity to share your brand with potential customers and recruits.

Dynamic content

The initial launch of the site can be promoted, but over time you’ll need to create new content—such as stories, testimonials, new products, new capabilities, and more—that can be shared through social media and that rewards existing customers who visit the site.

Video strategy

Videos would be organized around a number of specific goals, from presenting a basic brand image to sharing specific stories and capabilities.

Video categories

Brand identity
These videos are meant to simply flesh out the brand personality of Brightformat, from fun videos for holidays to profiles of employees.

Installation or final production videos
These videos would be just showing off the final stages of cool projects or pieces, giving people a sense of Brighformat’s best work.

Project story videos
These project stories would take a more narrative approach, including interviews, context, prototypes, and final results.

Educational or instructional videos
These videos would support product offerings while simultaneously highlighting product features or printing capabilities.