by Kim Rogala
Whether introducing a new brand, or redesigning an established brand, the ultimate goal is to create a logo, a mark, a system that will get your clients’ products or services noticed… and remembered.
Sheila Donnelly from Precise Continental, a custom print shop with 35 years experience in assisting clients in producing branding materials, walks us through five key considerations to elevate brand presence.
Consumers today are flooded with choices in most markets, so for a brand to distinguish itself as unique its identity must do many things: Align strongly with its brand message, present authenticity, instill trust, be perceived as authentic and valuable, and create a lasting impression. For a brand to maintain its distinction and be continually recognized as a strong player in its market, it must consistently convey its messages throughout all touchpoints. To a consumer, a consistent brand means a consistent quality of product or service.
Identify Those Touchpoints
Before designing it’s a wise idea to consider all the ways customers will engage with the brand. Think about the touchpoints in stages of before, during, and after customer interaction. There will undoubtedly be an online presence, but while studies show that web pages are typically skimmed, printed materials lead to longer lasting impressions and stronger brand recognition. So, will there be invoices, brochures, invitations, etc. to design?
Consistency matters when it comes to brand presence. A brand that has visual consistency is perceived to have operational consistency. Consistency of color, type, or texture, instills trust in those who engage with the brand.
The signature Tiffany blue, Coca-Cola red and Home Depot orange are colors that are instantly recognized, which quickly translates into a reliable brand story in the consumer’s head. Donnelly says, “For the sake of consistency, it can be advantageous for clients to print and store masters of items that they go through quickly, or might need at a moment’s notice. This can help avoid the chance that an unexpected deadline might supersede the mission for consistency.”
Design for Screen and Print
In today’s screen-focused world it seems natural to start designing a new brand from the website first. This, however, can create issues when it’s time to print business collateral. A color’s shade can vary greatly from screen to print. Similar to the variance you see between coated and uncoated PMS chips, you will generally see a shift when moving from RGB color (screen) to CMYK color (print). “Clients can get used to seeing their logo on screen or a laser print out, and that will frame their visual reference of their brand color. Though a designer may have specified PMS 540 when creating the identity, viewing that color on screen might look more like PMS 287. This can create a discrepancy in print projects, and therefore, brand consistency. We generally recommend specifying colors by how they look in print, before specifying them for screen. For particularly tricky colors or marks, rather than adjust the design, we might suggest designing with complementary colors. This way materials can look deliberately coordinated rather than like inconsistent color matching,” says Donnelly.
Make Your Printer Your Partner
Collaborating with and creating an in-person connection with a printer can be a valuable asset for designers and brands. Donnelly says, “Think of your printer as your partner. I can’t stress this enough. We consider ourselves part of our your team, it’s our job to help make your visions, reality. And, if we are helping you through the process of establishing the brand, it is in our best interest to protect the brand and its guidelines.” Your printer can also be a helpful tool for file prep, tips for laying out complicated projects, considering the most cost effective process, suggesting ways to resolve challenges, or even inspire production ideas to elevate the design for a stronger visual impact.
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