Are you thinking about hiring a branding agency for your business? Have you wondered what deliverables you should expect when all of the hard work is finished?
For some reason, agencies have not been able to agree on what a full package of brand deliverables should look like. Over the years at HatchMark Studio, we’ve seen everything from the best in the business to the…not so great.
The truth is that developing a true brand is hard work. That being said, there is a right and wrong way to do things, and having a list of non-negotiable deliverables in-hand before you enter the branding meeting will ensure you are set up for success.
In this article, we will lay out exactly what you should expect from a branding agency.
This is the holy grail for your company’s brand. This is a source of truth moving forward into the future that acts quite literally as a set of guidelines any time you mention your company. From billboards to press releases, the brand guidelines will make your life easier.
This is how you talk about your company. Whether it’s key headlines or a company manifesto, your agency should deliver it all. Ensure that they include key messaging for all of the audiences you plan to engage. While this might not be the flashy and fun part of the branding experience, the work you spend here will pay off big time in the end.
Maybe this one seems like a no-brainer, but you should be receiving an entire suite of files, not just a couple of jpegs. Ask for several file types in both full-color and any other colors you know you will need, including the EPS and SVG that will be critical down the road when passing off your logo to promoters, distributors, and other third-party vendors. The brand guidelines will tell you the dos and don’ts when using your logo. Follow these rules, and you’ll be set.
No brand is complete with a color palette. These are the colors you will use when creating visual collateral for your brand. Billboard, social posts, mailers–they’re all using these colors. You should see both primary and secondary colors with RGB, CMYK, and HEX codes to go along with them. Depending on the look and feel of the brand, you might even have color gradients and tints, tones, and shades to support your primary and secondary palette. Rules for use should be provided here, too.
Icons, Patterns, & Design Assets
When designing for your brand, it’s important to ensure all patterns and icons used look cohesive and purposeful. A legitimate brand guidelines should feature several pages of icons, patterns, and design assets along with tips and rules for use at each level. Having this available to any designer will make production smoother and end products instantly recognizable.
Picking photos for collateral and social media tiles may seem mundane, but it’s an important part of your visual identity. Any agency working on your brand should consider photography style, demographic, and aesthetic. Whether you’re a designer picking stock photos or planning an upcoming lifestyle shoot with the team, this section of your brand guidelines will prove useful.
And with all of those components in place, it’s time to see how your shiny new brand comes to life–this is the cherry on top. What will it look like on a billboard or stationery? Challenge your agency to show you several mock ups of your choice to add to the brand guidelines across several marketing channels. This helps you visualize the overall vibe of the brand and provides a perfect starting point when you go to hand it off to your design team.
If you’re currently working with a branding agency, run them through this checklist.