A complete brand design engagement should include so much more than your logo package. In addition to a Brand Guidelines document, your design partner should also offer a brand asset package that incorporates your new visual identity into a wide array of print and digital assets. When you invest in a brand design system and a professional set of company assets, you get the assurance that your company will look consistent and professional across all touch points.

Benefits of designed brand assets

No, it’s not enough to simply add your logo to the front side of your business card and consider it designed. A logo is a one-dimensional design that builds brand awareness and recognition, but it isn’t the only element you need. Even if your logo has a strong mark and an expanded color palette, it is still a very limiting design element.

Today, creating a seamless brand experience is essential. If you’re a service-based business, every letter, email and proposal you send is an opportunity to tell your story and build a sense of brand authority and professionalism with your clients. If you’re in the retail or hospitality business, the list of brand assets you need is much more expansive, as your brand experience extends to very tactile and spatial experiences. You can explore design options not only for shopping totes and food packaging, but also for signage, wayfinding and display options.

The ideal design system will anticipate everywhere your brand needs to be, and define specific rules for how it appears and takes form in online destinations (websites and landing pages), on social media and across the full range of print and packaging needs. Your designers may design patterns, image frames, custom iconography, secondary logomarks and even platform-specific color and typography to develop an expansive vision for your brand’s look and feel. Your Brand Guidelines should include usage rules for all of these supporting elements.

Sound expansive? This level of brand design is what you should be investing in and expecting from your design agency or team. It allows your brand to stay competitive, maintain visual consistency and make the best impression in today’s design-centric world.

Brand asset checklist:

Below is a breakdown of the most popular and widely-requested assets our clients need, whether they are launching a new brand or preparing to unveil a refreshed look. (This list does not include website, but address the supporting elements in a typical company’s asset library).

Presentation slides: Nearly every client we partner with requests at least one set of branded presentation slides – whether the format is PowerPoint, Slides or even Canva. Slide decks far outnumber the requests we receive for business cards and even letterhead, which are used less and less in today’s Zoom-centric world.

Business cards: Business cards are still a top ask by most clients, but we are seeing more selective consideration for who gets one. Many of our clients request business cards for only top leadership team members. This is a distinct change from a decade ago, when more companies ordered complete sets.

Letterhead: Company letterhead has evolved in recent years to incorporate more modern design trends, including more use of color and pattern.

Letter and mailer envelopes: The surge in popularity of customized shipping boxes, fueled by the rise in e-commerce, has definitely led to a domino-effect with envelopes of all sizes. More brands are interested in designs that will stand out in the mail pile and help deliver an elevated experience from the first touchpoint.

Stationary: We’ve seen an uptick in the number of clients who want branded stationary, including flat and bi-fold card designs. Many of our clients report that they are sending traditional, pen-and-paper thank you notes as a way to forge stronger connections with their clients.

Social media profile images: Every platform requires a main profile image for your brand, and some – like Facebook and LinkedIn – have an additional space for a cover image. We encourage our clients to view these images as an essential opportunity to brand their social media accounts and create a seamless experience with their website and landing pages.

Email templates: We still provide many email banner images, but more of our clients are engaging in detailed nurture and lead gen email marketing campaigns and want a more complete design. We design flexible templates for newsletters, automations, drip campaigns and more in a variety of platforms. The challenge with designing for email is that font choices can be limited. Not all custom fonts will cooperate will all email service providers (notably, Outlook) so the brand guidelines often need to take this into account for better deliverability.

White paper or article templates: Digitally savvy clients are leveraging these templates to create gated content as part of a strategic lead generation campaign.

Swag: From water bottles to Post-It notes and T-shirts, there’s no end to the assortment of items a company can brand today. Fortunately, many clients are realizing the value in embracing an eco-friendly approach and exercising restraint with over-branding items of low value. There’s also great interest in creating well-designed items that recipients – employees, clients, conference attendees and industry partners – will actually use and not throw away.

©2023 Huck Strategies, LLC