Before you can roll out on-brand designs, you need a robust branding package. But what does a branding package include? And where do you even begin with selecting the right design partner to help you develop your brand?
If you haven’t been through the brand development process before it can be difficult to know what to expect.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the above questions, as well as show you what you should anticipate when working with a great design company to get a branding package.
First, let’s break down what a branding package is and what it contains.
A branding package is a set of digital and physical resources developed to establish a brand's image. Each item in the package reflects a desired style that brings together a company’s assets and communicates a cohesive message across channels. The consistency of these details is what helps to define your brand and builds trustworthiness and security amongst your audience.
The most common scenarios where companies order a branding package include:
When you hire another company to create a branding package (sometimes referred to as a brand kit), at a bare minimum you should get a logo and visual identity, as well as a style guide.
A good design company will also look into your marketing strategy, competitive research, customer feedback and any other essential criteria to create a branding package that aligns with your goals. That’s of course assuming your brand isn’t completely brand new, so you have that data and information to use!
The logo is the cornerstone of your brand’s aesthetic and company association. As an inherent part of your visual identity, you need to invest more in the quality of your logo design as this will set the tone for the rest of the branding to follow.
Ideally the logo design needs to be finalised before other branding elements are explored.
While a logo can contain a combination of text and images to represent your brand, visual identity defines your brand’s color palette, typography, variations of your logo, and any photography that embodies your brand's personality.
Together, your logo and visual identity illustrate who your brand is and how you're unique.
Brand identity design crafted by Superside for our client Kadens.
What to expect:
Most packages should include the following as part of logo creation:
TIP: To hone your brand, you’ll need to see multiple concepts with comments on the reasoning behind each design. Good design companies send concepts to you for review on a platform where you can collaborate and comment. That way, all of your feedback is in a single spot where every stakeholder can view the design and provide their input.
For example, see how famous design agency, Pentagram, provided Slack with multiple logo ideas and icon variations before landing on the final concept:
Once you select a specific logo, the design team should provide your company with a primary logo design that will serve as your brand’s main identifier, and a logo one-pager guide.
The logo one-pager guide should include:
Developing a consistent brand starts with the style guide.
A style guide, also known as brand guidelines or a branding standards document, establishes the visual direction of a brand’s website, ads, and any other marketing assets. Think of it as a comprehensive rulebook that governs how your brand should (and shouldn’t) be displayed.
By having a style guide, you ensure you create a consistent brand experience that doesn’t confuse your audience. These brand specifications also create a foundation that can easily be handed over to designers, marketers, web developers and community managers to ensure everyone does their part in representing a unified brand front.
What to expect: Your style guide needs to tell your team or anyone working with you what they can do with your brand. Brand style guides typically include:
Brand positioning: Captures an already established brand vision, mission, purpose and tone of voice.
Logo guidelines: The different elements of your logo and how they should be used.
Spotify has a great example of logo rules to follow!!
Typography: Rules and information regarding your typefaces and font system.
Fonts are powerful and selecting fonts for your brand should be chosen wisely. The most famous fonts are recognizable even when taken out of context.
Typography is the medium to connect who you are and how you communicate to the world. Each typeface—such as script, serif, sans serif etc.—can convey a different feeling just as what color conveys emotion.
Source: Moe Selwaye
Color palette: Custom color palette specifically curated for your brand, along with your color palette’s RGB, CMYK, and hexadecimal codes.
This can include a primary and secondary color palette. How elaborate your palette is will depend on the strategy, for example a small list of colors might govern the logo, but supporting colors might be required for collateral.
Multiple colors can also be selected for specific types of marketing content, channels or product categories. The consistent use of color will reinforce the cohesiveness of your brand.
TIP: Color also serves physiological purpose by communicating a certain feeling to your target audience.
Photography: Approved image examples. This includes best practises in terms of Image tonality and any image treatments.
Graphic elements: Custom graphic shapes, lines, patterns or other elements that best compliment your brand identity. These elements are often used in marketing collateral, in creative advertisements, on social media and so forth.
Source: Kaejon Misuraca
Iconography: Icons that your brand can use on your website, app, packaging and so on. These can be stock icons or custom made!
Illustration: Similarly, your brand style guide can include illustrations—stock or custom made.
Collateral: This section can only be completed once you’ve executed a few examples of existing collateral, such as: stationery, PowerPoint presentations, website, social media etc. These examples provide you with a holistic picture of how your brand extends across a series of format sizes and assets.
One size doesn’t fit all, and some companies may need additional design elements to help round out their brand.
Once you get the basics down (your core branding package), there are some additional on-brand supporting graphic elements that you might require for creating an extended visual language. Let’s go through some of the basics!
Presentation templates give you a default document to create presentations faster for events, investor calls, team meetings, new hire onboarding, or any other recurring needs. See some presentation templates we made for Satair, a massive aircraft component and service company, below!
What to expect: A great design partner will ask where you’ll be using the presentation template so they can provide the most visual impact.
For example, your team may host webinars and need a deck full of engaging visuals that keeps your presentation as your viewer's active window.
A big perk for buying this as an add-on to a branding design package: the design company you work with will already know your brand’s guidelines. And you get your templates quicker because there will be fewer revision rounds.
Business cards are the final touch on a good first impression. One study found 72% percent of people judge a company or person based on the quality of their business cards; 39% of people said they would not do business with a company that had a cheap-looking card.
What to expect: Your design partner will want to know what information you’d like to display on the card. While your logo and brand colors will anchor your business card, they can add elements to make your card stand out further. The design company can also walk you through printing costs associated with any added finishes or special card shapes, so you stay on budget.
Once they ping you the design, check out your business card with the visual flow in mind. What is the first element you notice? And what's the last? Then your branding services partner can change the location or size of any elements if needed.
Take ad banners, email templates, or any other visual projects off your plate. A great design company saves you time as you don’t have to worry about whether key graphics are on-brand.
What to expect: They already have your style guide in hand, but your design partner will request more information through a call or input doc. For example, if you need email templates, they’ll want to know what types of campaigns you’re running.
Since every brand’s specific needs vary, branding package pricing ranges from $2,000-$75,000. If you’re working with one of the big agencies, you can expect to pay even more than that. The price of a branding package depends on your desired turnaround times, the company or designers you’re working with and the scope of work done.
With brand identity design, we spend time on:
Every brand design is unique. Thus, every branding package is also unique. This is often reflected in the pricing of your overall package.
You want to make sure you’re investing your budget wisely. This is why we include a dedicated design team and project manager with our brand design package. As new needs come up, you’re not waiting on getting a new designer up to speed on your brand.
A good design company can deliver any other assets you need to launch or refresh your brand. After developing your core brand identity design, they’ll have the competitive insights and brand guidelines to nail any other visual assets you need.
When you're approaching a potential design partner, remember to:
If you’re interested in finding out more about Superside's brand identity services, schedule a call with our team to explore how we can work with you.
We sat down with Bill Macaitis, former Slack CMO, to chat about what it takes to success with ad design. Hear his tips and more in this Q&A style interview!