Ever been to the supermarket last thing on a Sunday, just before they close at 4pm, only to make your way home and then realise, too late, that you forgot one of the main items on your shopping list? Your best hope for recreating Nigella’s latest offering is that your local corner shop is now stocking kaffir lime leaves or harissa paste amongst its ancient tins of Vaseline and Fray Bentos pies.
This can happen in the world of business brand design too.
You want a new logo for your business, so you find a fab designer, check out their past work, brief them on your ideas for the design. They get to work and do a fantastic job. You paste your logo all over your business cards, flyers, and web pages and you are very happy.
Two years go past.
One day you realise you need a white version of your logo to go on a coloured background. You phone your designer. “Oh, I’m so sorry, she says…..
- …I’ve moved to Bali without my laptop.”
- …I’ve archived that design work, and I don’t have access to the design files.”
- …I’m not doing design work anymore, I’m now a Reiki practitioner.”
“Oh cripes,” you think, “now what do I do?”
The short answer is, you have to pay another designer to reinvent the logo that you have already bought and paid for.
The alternative to this problem, is to ask your designer to create a ‘brand identity’ for your business, when you are at the briefing stage, rather than just ‘a logo’.
But, what else, besides the cherished logo, should a brand identity include?
Here’s my list of all things you need to ask for, before your designer heads off to Indonesia.
- The final version of your logo in jpg, eps and png formats (so you can use it on printed materials and online).
- Various different colourways of your logo. You need ‘full colour’, ‘mono’ (black and white, for use in black and white print) and white (for use on dark colour background, such as navy blue).
- The CMYK and pantone references (for printing) and the hex numbers (for online creation) of the colours used in your logo. You could also ask your designer to supply a colour palette for your brand, that includes colours you can use for highlights and text, with the numbers for each one.
- Font suggestions. Matching fonts is an awfully tough job. Designers are good at it, mere mortals, not so much. You need to know the fonts used in your logo, but also suggested fonts for headings and body text in any documents you are going to be creating. Try to choose google fonts for these as they are more widely recognised by all sorts of computers, even my stone age one. This means that your documents will look as good when they arrive at their online destination as they did when you pressed send.
- The source of any images used in mock-ups, so that you can buy or download them if you want to. The last thing you want to do is spend three months trying to locate a particular random image on the internet.
I like to make sure that my clients have this information in a set of branding guidelines so that they can quickly share this with any designers that they might use in the future and other members of their team. Armed with the right information, they can also save a bit of money by using an online design package such as Canva (www.canva.com) to create their own graphics, or I can do it for them. This helps to safeguard the design that they’ve invested in and make sure that the company has a consistent look to its content going forward. Important stuff when you are building a brand.