What to Ask Your Designer For
So you've built a brand. You have a gorgeous new logo, beautiful colors and you're in love with it. Then what? What do you need now? What will you need in the future? What if you don't know what you'll need?
I can't tell you how many times I've had to recreate a logo or redraw a file because a client doesn't have what they need. It can also be frustrating when I'm working on a project and ask for a logo and I receive a very poor quality, low resolution one. But I also understand that if you're not a designer, it's really hard to know what types of things to ask your designer for when you do a brand.
As I've branded more and more businesses, I get many differing requests. Whenever I do, I try to make a mental note of those things to add to my package for the future in attempts to stay ahead of what my client needs. While I know every designer is different, here are the things I now include with all of my logo and branding packages in trying to stay on top of all of my clients potential needs.
File Formats | This is the BIGGEST thing I can tell you. It drives me crazy when I work with clients who don't have high resolution files of their logos, mostly because shouldn't their designer have provided that?! I always feel just awful for my clients if they don't have the files they need as it just makes everything that much harder. That said, if you're going through a brand or rebrand, make sure you know exactly what file formats are included in your package and try to think about what file formats you use regularly or might need. As a standard, I provide all of my clients with high resolution Vector/AI, JPEG, PNG, EPS, and PDF. The most important file is the Vector or Illustrator (AI) file as that's the file that creates all of the other ones. If my client ONLY has an AI file, I'm thankful because I can make changes and files as I need them. JUST a JPEG isn't quite as easy depending upon the resolution and size.
Different Color Logos | While you want to be able to use your logos in it's full, color effect, sometimes you may need a white out or basic black logo. A basic black logo is pretty simple, but white can be a bit trickier as you have to have certain file formats. When asking for a white logo, make sure to ask for a PNG, AI or EPS file. These files can be made with transparent backgrounds.
I also try to include basic logos in the different branding colors.
Color Codes | Color codes are incredibly useful! I keep my brand colors on a post-it note right by my computer so if I am ever working on my website or creating a design, I don't have to dig for the codes.
It can also be helpful as every computer monitor (and phone) shows colors and file formats differently. I know that what I see on my screen, isn't necessarily what my client sees on theirs. By providing the color codes, you can eliminate the guessing game and streamline the color usage.
It's also important to have a general idea of the color you want to use as file formats upload to sites differently. In Squarespace, PNG files get a little discolored, while on Etsy I notice that JPEGs get discolored. Below you can see the EXACT same logo (same color used) in JPEG on the left and PNG on the right. Crazy how different they are, right? This is also why it's important to have both the JPEGs, PNGs, and PDFs, because I know as soon as I upload an image if the coloring is correct or not (the correct one is the one on the left).
Patterns, Graphics & Backgrounds | A brand isn't complete without the graphics, patterns and backgrounds. Therefore, make sure that any of the graphics you choose to use for your branding are including in your package so you don't get stuck without key pieces to your brand. As a little extra, I include not just the graphics used, but the graphics as an individual AND as a pattern. My goal in all of the things I provide to my clients is to make branding their business as easy as possible once I send them their files. How many times have you used something else or make a make-shift graphic for your brand because you couldn't find your brand graphic or color or font? It's done A LOT. My goal is to provide my clients with readily available files for anything they may need so that they WANT to use their branding images and don't have any trouble.
Font Files | For a long time, I definitely went back and forth on this. I wasn't sure if I should share/purchase font files with clients. But when it comes down to it, I want my clients to be able to use their brand font as often as possible so I started factoring the prices it into my package (within reason of course) and deliver the font files with everything else.
Branding Board | Lastly, is the all-encompassing branding sheet! For me, this lays out all the different pieces that go into a brand. It's like a cheat sheet...whenever you need to figure out a color or pattern or font, the answers are already right in front of you! No decisions necessary.
Ultimately, I see the goal of a designer is to provide all of the tools necessary to promote a good brand without a client having to go back and asking for more items all of the time. Granted, there are those random file requests from time to time, but overall, by providing this list of items to my clients, I am providing what I think they need to be able to utilize the amazing brand that they created.
If you're going through a branding or re-brand, make sure you know exactly what's included in that package, and don't be afraid to ask questions or make clarifications. I know any designers I've worked with are incredible at making sure your needs are met. Most importantly, if I've learned anything it's to SET EXPECTATIONS. If you don't set expectations, you can't be mad if they're not met!