Your brand is not just a logo, a font, or a carefully selected color scheme. Your brand is a face, a fingerprint, and a uniform. Your brand is what makes your business immediately recognizable to your customers and clearly distinguishable from your competition. Having a strong brand presence in your marketing will do more than just increase the efficacy of your message. Over time, your brand will encapsulate that message and become a paragon of the values and services that make up the heart and soul of your business. Imagine, your entire mission statement recognized in your printed logo.
Consistency Is Key
Make sure your brand is consistent across all of your marketing channels. What your customers see in your catalogs and brochures should match what they find in their mailbox and what they experience at your store or online.
Assign specific fonts to your headers, titles, and text. Use imagery that is similar in style and composition. Create an assortment of graphic design elements or icons that can be used regularly throughout multiple marketing pieces. A good example of this would be a stylized tagline with a line or box to accent it. Always stay within your color scheme.
Plan Your Printing
Chances are, printed materials make up a majority of your brand communication. Print is physical, tactile, and somewhat permanent. Once materials are printed and distributed, you cannot edit them or take them back. You can only move forward and learn from the experience.
Plan your printing. Work with your print provider and let them know your priorities. Your printer is the expert when it comes to consistency and expectations. Be consistent with your materials. Identify the paper and sign substrates that best compliment your aesthetic and stick with it. Changing your paper is as noticeable as changing your font or the hue of a color in your logo. If you print on uncoated, recycled paper to communicate your efforts towards sustainability, do the same for your signs and displays.
The same goes for color management. Paper printing, such as collateral and direct mail, require a different type of printer than large posters, signs, and displays. Each machine has a different method for reproducing color. Subtle differences in a paper stock or printable board can also change the color of your print. It is always a good idea to request a physical print sample when trying out a new method of printing.
It is easy to turn to the internet for printed goods at a discounted price. Operating a lean marketing budget is nothing new. While there are some great deals offered by high volume mass producers out there, the key ingredient missing from these transactions is collaboration. When it comes to printing your brand, your printer should be on your team. Develop a relationship with your print provider. Provide your printer with a copy of your brand standards and set expectations for quality control. Getting it right the first time will always cost less than having to reprint.