Brand voice. Discovery phase. Style guidelines. Graphic designers are artists, and although we love them, they can sometimes use language that is unfamiliar even to the savviest of marketers. As a result, many people avoid the topic of graphic design and branding or assume there's at least a high price tag involved.
Both are bad decisions. Why? Because branding is everything when it comes to marketing.
Consider your own marketing. You choose a particular haircut and carefully select clothing that speaks to your professionalism, experience and poise. These are all efforts to brand yourself so you are perceived in a certain way. The same goes for your brand. Even beyond your logo, there are elements of your marketing, such as social media posts and your website, that need to have a similar look and feel. Without that consistency, the brand looks disjointed and unprofessional, which is exactly how your audience is going to think you do business: unprofessionally.
With some simple assessments of your brand's graphic design elements, you can quickly determine what's been neglected and what needs a little refresh. With this roadmap, you'll be able to assess your areas of highest need and know what to communicate to a graphic design team like the one we have a Flywheel.
1. Visual Identity:
Your visual identity is your suit. Your company's visual identity is its logo, slogan, tagline, etc. If it's been more than 5 years since you've taken a good look at your logo, it's time you give it a gander. (Here's a cool Forbes article that might help you decide if now's the right time!)
When you commit to moving forward with a logo refresh or overhaul, keep in mind there will be some other necessary projects, e.g. letterhead, envelopes and business cards. Sounds expensive? Don't want to learn about paper weights? It doesn't need to be that complicated. Just choose the right partner.
2. Marketing Materials
You love your logo, but you still feel like your marketing is a little dated. (Maybe it's the Word Art on the cover of your brochure that's giving you that vibe?) Creating new or revising old marketing materials is an economical way to begin chipping away at your graphic design wish list by starting with the most widely used materials. Rack cards, brochures, flyers, post cards, posters, bumper stickers, labels and even catalogs are all projects that can give your marketing a boost.
3. Digital Assets & Materials
What the heck is an asset? It's a fancy term for digital images and resources. We're talking about social media profile images and headers, illustrations and infographics, to name a few. There are tons of great resources available today to help with your digital graphic design work, such as Canva; however we still recommend that you let an expert ring in on your ideas to make sure you're not taking an unnecessary step backward and making the best use of your time.
Presentations, downloadable eBooks, social media posts are a few other digitally designed resources that can heavily influence the perception of your company. It's OK if you're not sure what you want something to look like and you do not need to write any content for it either. The main question you need to be able to answer is "what do you want to accomplish with this resource?" Your graphic design partner can take care of the rest.
4. Promotional Marketing
A tastefully placed logo on a hat can really do the trick, but there are some incredible graphic design effects that can be done with today's manufacturing technology. Here are a few of our favorite examples: