Brand Identity Deliverables
By Martin Steinhobel
While your brand identity will ultimately become more than a collection of brand elements (logos, business cards, collateral, etc.), this is how it starts out. And while you certainly don’t need to build out all elements of the identity, you do need to be sure to build out enough to establish a clear one. When completed, your brand identity should read as such and be capable of standing on its own. For example, without the logo your visual identity should still be clear across elements.
Types of Deliverables
Here’s our comprehensive list of what brand-related deliverables
can look like.
The function of a logo is to act as an identifier. It should be versatile in that it can be easily used in very different settings. For this reason, you will need a variety of versions of your logo. Typically, this will include a full color version, a white version, a black version, and alternative color versions if appropriate. These should all be provided in a number of sizes.
Your new identity should always include a business card. Both front and back should be designed. Letterhead and envelopes may also be included. If they are, the design of these should be practical. Unless you plan on getting these professionally printed (something that is less prevalent today) they should not include full bleed elements and should be designed for Apps that you and your team actually use to write letters, such as Word or Google Docs.
For Technology consulting firms the design of fact sheets, white papers, and case studies is important. After all, these will play a big part in exposure at conferences and in customer meetings. You will no doubt have a good idea about your specific needs here. What will need to get printed? What will you utilize online only? Will you rely on inkjet or laser printing inhouse, or will you be sending materials out to be professionally printed? These questions can impact the actual designs but will also determine technical specifications of the completed design work.
Building signage can be produced. Here it is best to avoid things like tag lines, as these can change – unless you are willing to replace your building signage every time they do. If you are developing conference signage, hold off printing this until you actually need it as you may want to make minor adjustments in the months to come. Any signage design work should be developed to specifications you have provided. Be sure to check that you have what you need in this regard.
When introducing a new brand to the world companies often provide logo wear and other give-a-ways as part of the launch. These need to be ordered in a timely manner. Last minute orders are always much more expensive as a result of rush fees and expedited shipping requirements. Be sure all artwork has been developed to the vendor’s specifications.
The design or style guide should provide you all the information you need to be able to consistently present your brand identity in a coherent manner going forward. You should also be able to use the style guide as a way to present your brand identity to your employees when you launch (or relaunch) your brand and to new hires as they join your organization. This is an important document and should be used by anyone involved in producing any and all brand elements.
A note about file formats
Designers are typically going to develop ‘design assets’ using Adobe Creative Cloud. The Adobe Creative Cloud applications have been designed to achieve different objectives, but due to the nature of the creative process many of the apps have a lot of overlapping capabilities. These apps are also being constantly updated with new features and capabilities. That said, Adobe Illustrator should be used to develop your logo and you should expect to receive a layered .ai file with all versions of your logo (or individual files for each version) as one of your deliverables. Your designer should also provide various versions of the logo as .png files as these allow for transparency. Note that you need to be sure the files actually provide the transparency you expect as .png files can be produced with white backgrounds.
Case Studies, White Papers, Fact Sheets and eBooks: anything that has a lot of words should be developed in InDesign. InDesign files often include references to external Photoshop, Illustrator, and generic image files, so things can get complex quite quickly. If you do require InDesign files (.indd) be sure that these have been correctly ‘packaged’ using the package option in InDesign. This produces a folder with all assets including fonts (however, if you don’t have a license for a font that is provided you will not be able to use that font on your system.)
Typically, you will be best off requiring .pdf versions of these types of documents. But even here you need to be aware of what you are getting. If you are provided with high-res print ready versions you can create “smaller” versions for online use, but if you only get “smaller” versions you will find that these are inadequate for print. Versions may also be provided with or without crop marks and bleeds that can either be exactly what you need or frustratingly not.
Business cards can be developed in either InDesign or Illustrator, as can signs and posters. Photoshop is best used for dealing with images (photos) and is a good solution for website designs and elements that will not need to be scaled. Photoshop files are saved as pixels and become grainy and unusable when scaled much beyond 1.5x. Illustrator produces files that can be saved as vectors and can scale up and down without any loss in sharpness. That said, if an Illustrator file contains a pixel image, the pixel image is not going to scale any differently than it would in photoshop.
Needless to say, this can get complicated very quickly and is part of the reason why developing a relationship with your designer or design firm can be so helpful over the longer term.
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Check out our Complete Brand Guide!
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