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Visual Brand. Getting Started.

Understanding the approach to visual design and messaging of your brand isn’t complicated — and you have to start somewhere. You should have an idea of what it is and to use the right words to describe. I’ve worked with SMBs and corporate clients for over 20 years. New clients sometimes don’t know where to start. Bigger clients sometimes forget why they are in business! Here’s a very simple primer to get you going.

Research & Needs
Who and where is your target market? Who is your competition? What initiatives or campaigns have been completed in the past and have the results been measured? Is there existing creative and logo? What about Brand Standards or Logo Guidelines? Questions like this will help us determine the best approach to developing brand creative and messaging. Be forewarned! Sometimes these questions bring out deeper issues relating to your business that can’t be ignored.

Content and Images
Will you require photography or will stock photos suffice? What about content or copywriting? Graphics, infographics? What do we need to tell your story, engage your customer and create interest or a dialogue?

New corporate identity (logo) & stationery package
This is logo, word-mark or both which is applied to all of your collateral materials. Colours chosen is a starting element for your brand creative. All file formats and colour versions are supplied with an option for a style guide to follow. This lays out rules for anyone using your logo in advertising or publishing or any application for that matter to maintain the integrity of the design and to ensure consistency of your brand. Stationery design — cards, letterhead, digital letterhead, envelopes is usually included. Specs are required for printing as printing cost is separate.

New brand creative
This is the visual imagery, graphics, decorative text, corporate typeface and/or photography that makes up the “look” and design of your materials. From website to sales sheets, to neck tags and video — they should all feel like they are from the same family. This can sometimes also crossover to interior design or uniforms for employees. A slogan or tag-line can sometimes be incorporated to support the creative or brand. We usually apply the new creative to the first piece of recommended materials such as a presentation folder, sell sheets or in most cases, a website.

Website
Since your website is such an important communication and commerce tool for you it would probably be developed first or in tandem with print materials. Recommendations can be made but detailed information is needed to create a proper estimate for the proper materials. We would create the design and page templates based on a sitemap and page layouts. Does your company require a CMS (Content Management System) so that someone from your company can update it at any time? Or is a Static site for suitable? Do you need a fully functioning product database with a shopping cart? Do you require full e-commerce? Do you need on-going support and maintenance? Search Engine Marketing? Social Media and eBlast campaigns? User Generated Content? We can go through a needs assessment with you to learn more.

Print materials
What do you require? Presentation folders, sell sheets, POP signage, Direct mailers, invoices, shelf cards, signage?

As you can see there are a lot of variables that are will require decisions. Some of our clients have certain needs while others look to us for guidance and recommendations. We can provide all or part of the entire scope of branding your business. We want to ensure that we communicate properly and that we answer all your questions.

The cost of a project can have quite a range depending on what is delivered. Managing the project, using processes, milestones, approvals all help to create a successful product. Most importantly, building dialogue between client & designer or agency, listening, and showing respect and honesty in all areas always makes it an enjoyable experience. If you value each others’ skills & knowledge it is sure to be a win-win.