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1.3 Your Essential Checklist

Meet your new best friend… this helpful branding checklist will support your brand design projects every step of the way. The course is structured on this checklist, but it will be equally applicable to future projects of your own.

1.3 Your Essential Checklist

Welcome back guys. So before we really get our teeth into designing a brand, I want to share with you my essential checklist which I refer to whenever I'm faced with a new branding project. You can find a pdf copy of this checklist attached to the lesson. So go ahead and download that for your own use. One thing that I came to realize pretty quickly when I started out doing freelance branding projects, is that your time can be pretty restricted. Particularly if the client is looking for you to pitch concepts, or they just need some ideas really quickly, your brain can easily go into panic mode and just shut down. This has happened to me. It's not nice, but the best way to tackle it is to have a foolproof method of tackling brand design briefs, which you can refer to each and every time that something like this comes up. So, I present to you my ultimate checklist for tackling any brand design project. First up, you're going to need a brief. And the quality and helpfulness of this brief might vary depending on the client. If you've been handed a brief that's too vague or too patchy, you're going to need to do some more digging for yourself. The best way to do this is to put together a questionnaire for the client with detailed questions about their knowledge of the brand as it stands, their aspirations for the brand and also the market that they're looking to target. Once you've a brief, you're ready to get started on the brand design. So, you may think otherwise but I tend to find it most helpful to design a logo for the brand first. This because the logo sums up everything about the brand. It's position in the market, it's emotive qualities and a logo is also a great starting point for building up the rest of your brand identity. It gives you lots of ideas about style, colors and topography. So the next step on the checklist is to design a logo and create variations of that logo such as simple icons, that have a bit more flexibility in how they can be used. Then what I like to do, is to think about flushing out the brand identity with typefaces. Typefaces and their digital counterpart fonts are a vitally important building block of any brand identity. So you're not looking to design these type faces unless you're really looking for a challenge. Instead you want to carefully select a number of type faces that will give your brand communications a distinct identity and a unique voice. Next up you need to think about building in some branding extras which will help to keep your brand a much fuller, more robust identity. So this includes developing a brand color palette and designing simple shapes and custom graphics that might be inspired by your logo design. You also want to think about how you can integrate photography into brand communications in a way that's going to stay consistent and in line with the overall mood of your brand. The next step is to pull together all of your brand elements. The logo and icon, type faces, color palette, shapes, and graphics into a brand guidelines or style guide document. This is going to be a principle document which sets down the rules for your brand identity and it's going to help others use the brand design in the correct way. If the brand is going to be used by a large number of people, for example, if you're dealing with a brand for a big company, you can also consider creating an online brand portal. Which will allow employees to access logo files and things like that in different formats really, really easily. The final thing on your checklist might sound a little bit sad but it's absolutely necessary. You should always consider re-branding as the final step on your check list. If your brand doesn't get results, or it feels dated after a little bit time you're going to have to consider undertaking a rebranding effort. So that is it. Your essential checklist for tackling any brand design project. As I mentioned there's a pdf copy of this attached to the lessons, so go ahead and download it. Pin it up above your desk or store it in a file, but make sure you have it handy when the client comes calling. In the lesson the follow will be using this checklist to structure the plan design of buzz studio and break down each part of the process in more detail. I hope you're excited to get started with designing a brand, I know that I am. Before we move on to the next chapter of the course, head on over to the next lesson where I'm going to take you through the software that you'll need to tackle the course projects ahead.

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