Branding is not something that businesses do often, or at least they shouldn’t. Often times businesses re-brand or update the look of their current brand every few years, but sometimes it could be 10+ years between updates. That is relevant because a lot changes in a decade in this industry, but one thing that does not is that a good brand helps your overall marketing efforts.
A Good Branding Project Requires Trust
We approach each and every branding project as if it were our business that we were branding. As a small business your success is the only thing that can give us any success. If we can’t be successful with your business, why would others hire us for similar work? Buying in to the process is something that both sides need to do. It’s not always going to be pretty. Sketches, concepts, revisions, meetings, etc. These aren’t the fun part for clients (most of the time), but trust us because it’s an important part of the process. Our ‘typical’ process is as follows:
- Understand style / look / feel that is being asked from the client
- Analyze the information that we have collected via in-person meetings, phone calls, etc.
- Create sketches in a physical notebook. That’s right, pencil and paper.
- Convert those sketches to digital files in the Adobe suite.
- Refine the sketches into 3-4 concepts. These concepts aren’t a final product, but we present something that looks good so we can understand where our client’s tastes are.
- Create a concept presentation for client
- Meet with client to review the concepts
- Get approval on a concept
- Refine the concept to completion (finalize the kerning, spacing, colors, file types, create outlines, etc)
- Export ~20 different file types for the client to have and use as-needed.
- EPS Full Color
- EPS Single Color
- EPS Black / White
- EPS Small (a cropped version of the logo)
- EPS Full Size (the ‘normal’ size)
- JPG Full Color
- JPG Single Color
- JPG Black / White
- JPG Small
- JPG Full Size
- PNG Full Color
- PNG Single Color
- PNG Black / White
- PNG Small
- PNG Full Size
- PNG Avatars (profile photos) (normally 2-3 of these)
- PNG Cover Photos (normally 2-3 of these)
- Create brand guidelines including fonts, colors, approved uses of logo
- Zip everything into a neatly organized folder
- Send to client
This isn’t something that’s easy, or simple, and this is just the “boilerplate” process. Each and every project that comes in to us is going to be different. I’ve worked at several different companies, different industries and different teams, but the one thing that is consistent is that this process doesn’t change a ton from business to business.
Communication is Key
We use a project management app called “Active Collab” for all of our project collaboration. We prefer it because we don’t run into issues where emails get lost or buried, no spam markings, etc. It allows us to easily track time, expenses, to-do’s, etc. But at the end of the day our phones work, our email works and our office is always open (figuratively speaking, we do keep office hours folks). If you want to meet for coffee, beer, water, tea, lunch, brunch, breakfast, just reach out and let us know. Any small business worth their weight is going to be willing to have a personal relationship with people and we are certainly willing to do that.
Branding Isn’t Easy
We have 25+ years combined experience designing brands, websites, marketing material for small business owners. The one thing that we understand very well is that branding projects aren’t simple. We understand as much as you do what the costs are to create a brand, or to update an existing one. There are already business cards, shirts, hats, etc with the current logo on it, it will just be too expensive and difficult to redo. But if your new brand helps your customers, or potential customers, see you as better than before, more professional than before, more polished than before, than isn’t it worth it? The struggle throughout the process is worth the result when you launch. Here are some images of some great brands that we’ve worked on.