How often do you reevaluate your marketing materials? Are they dated or no longer even accurate? Are you using typefaces that are not part of your graphic standards? Does your logo represent your product or service? Does it resonate with your target audience? If you don’t feel you have “the eye” to make such judgments, why not ask a reputable graphic designer to conduct the review for you?
When is the right time for a graphic design tune-up? Any time! But here are a few specific scenarios. One is when you are moving to a new location and need to change your contact information. Another is when you want to update your graphic identity or “image.” The world is changing—has your branding kept up with the times?
Here’s an example of a client who thought a tune-up was in order. We designed Bond Wolfe’s (BW) logo several years ago. BW was in the process of moving and needed to update and reprint all of its corporate-identity materials. Foremost, the partners decided to simplify their tagline under the logo from “Architectural solutions” to “Architects.” We presented layouts with the new typography. When the final design was approved, we sent new logos to the client in various file formats—.eps, .jpg, and .tif.
We evaluated all corporate identity materials and made a comprehensive list of the pieces to print with the revised logo and address. BW suggested that we start with what was most important—business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and note cards. We determined print quantities and showed the client paper stocks for approval.
Part of this assignment was to improve BW’s proposals, whose page layout was ready for a tune-up. Here are some of the improvements we made to the master file:
1) Determined and modified fonts; specified typefaces that are common to Mac and PC.
2) Set-up style sheets for headlines and body copy, including leading and kerning.
3) Established page grid and new margins. Previously, photos or text boxes were too close to the binding edge or too tightly positioned near another text box, leaving no breathing space between elements.
4) Furnished master pages and templates for in-house use.
5) Provided a graphic standards manual for employees and vendors.
Finally, we designed a series of direct-mail postcards to promote recently completed projects.
A graphic design tune-up is an opportunity to point out your strengths and weaknesses and offer advice. Make sure that your identity is being used consistently in all forms of communication. Hire a graphic design team that understands you and your business and has the experience to guide you through this process. Let us help you with your tune-up!
Below: BW’s tuned-up RFP pages with grid lines visible.