Nothing tells customers more about a company than its brand image – a collective impression created by factors like a company’s logo, slogan, signage, marketing materials, website and more. And remember, first impressions matter, but so do all the impressions after that!
While hiring a design expert to create your marketing material may be ideal, it’s not always feasible for a start-up’s tight budget. The following design tips will help entrepreneurs as they develop and maintain a brand image in a digital age.
1- Consistency is key. As you create artwork, use the same font, colors and images in all materials. Don’t use a bold green font for the building sign and then an italic yellow font for the business cards. This consistency will support brand recognition. If a customer can’t remember the specific name of your company, they may remember the shoe store with the red stiletto logo on their sign.
2- Rights for life. If you plan to use an image in your branding material, be sure you understand usage rights. You’ll want to have the usage rights with expiration documented in writing for each image. Ideally, you’ll want to purchase unlimited, lifetime rights so you do not have to purchase rights for each time you use the image (e.g., website, printed ads, newsletters, etc.).
3- Don’t compromise on quality. With any image you select for your marketing material, be sure to use high-resolution versions to ensure quality printing. Three hundred (300) DPI is the preferred resolution for printing and 72 DPI is standard for online images.
4- Set the standard. Imagine that you’re inaccessible on vacation and your employee needs to print a business presentation before you return. You may have verbally reviewed your brand’s graphic and style standards with employees in the past, but do you or they have it in writing for easy reference? For example, when do you use the horizontal logo versus vertical logo? What is your company’s standard font type and size? It’s important to have these specifications in writing to protect your brand image.
Also, check out the Branding on a Shoestring Budget tips from our Boost Your Small Business Tweet Chat. FedEx Office® also has other helpful resources for small businesses, such as easy-to-use templates for business cards, presentation folders, letterhead and more.