There are graphic designers and there are brand identity designers. Very similar fields but there is a difference.
1. Will you research my client demographic before designing any part of my visual branding?
Research helps the designer find out who your perfect customer is and what makes he or she click.
2. Will you send me a questionnaire regarding my company vision ?
Most brand designers have this doc ready to send you as it gives us the best information about how your business works.
3. Will I get ideas/rough sketches of brand visuals initially to find an outcome to develop?
Designers should offer two to three sketches of a brand identity design in order to stop wasting budget on digitally produced but dead ideas.
4. How many amendment rounds will I get before the work starts costing me again?
All designers should offer at least three or more amends but this will be listed in the statement of work.
5. Will I get a statement of work to show me when and what will be produced?
All designers should work in a professional manner and show a statement of work and a contract that is equally as safe for either side, the brand designer and the business owner.
Once you have all the research done you will have a much better idea of who you want to put your products in front of. The perfect customer.
By now you should have an idea of brand colours to be used.(if not, research some more until you have an idea ) This is the time you need to be thinking about your market position too. High end products with prices to match? Or playful items with costs to interest low income families etc. Think about where your business branding will sit.
Start with designing the logo. Logo’s will usually be the customers first point of contact with your brand. A brand is not your logo by the way. It’s said that your brand is the perception your business gives a client overall. A brand design touches every area of your business, from then ways your receptionists greets a new client to your signage, website….the experience for the client needs to feel good and connect with them emotionally across the board.
While designing your logo decide on company culture also.Perhaps you want the perception to give off young and energetic vibes or a formal, mature way of doing business. My advice is to ask for professional help when designing the logo, it’s so important to get this right before you throw money at printing cards, web design, leaflets only to want to change it soon after realising the logo you have maybe pretty but isn’t effective at all and doesn’t work for you.
I have another blog here about logo design.
World domination? Not quite but your logo design should be on every point of contact with your client by now. So, you’re now on your way. Draw up some brand guidelines in an pdf that you can hand to anyone who works on your company brand identity down the line. Brand guides are rules about how the brand is used, colour codes, typefaces and logo styles in different scenarios.
Lots to think about here. Does your company website give the same experience as the premises? If your website is buzzing but your work force aren’t on board it can ruin relationships before they’ve even started. Staff sign written vans parked in pub car parks every night do not give off the right impression. Every corner of the business brand needs to be the same level user experience. Attracting good customers is not easy unless you’re just competing on price which is not the greatest way to keep a business going in the long run.
You’re probably thinking by now, how much will this immaculate brand identity cost me. It’s been a tough year! Well the good news is, everything is done and completed in stages. The areas most in need would be looked at and resolved first then step by step you build the perception or brand identity that you want. More importantly what your best client wants.
When designing the print or social promo posts, don’t waste time talking about the product tech or how great your service is….talk about what it can do to benefit the customer. How does it solve their problem. Having a graphic designer or brand identity designer on a monthly retainer is a good way to make sure all of this happens without drama. You’re still in complete control of the brand but with a reasonable monthly fee you can have all the knowledge of a branding expert to hit your business branding targets. Building brand visuals this way is often much cheaper than job by job because to a designer freelancing a monthly retainer is top priority in order to survive and there are deals to be had.
I run completely free 30 minute consultations via TheSustainable Designer Facebook page here. Two days a week you can book a call with me to discuss problems within your brand or how to get things moving. It costs you nothing to talk and there is no obligation to buy my services. I genuinely want to help people with their businesses after this awful pandemic. I like to see people do well. If you do buy my services then all the better.