Are you ready to give your business image an overhaul? I bet you’re full of excitement and energy, ready to pick out your Pantone colours, find fancy fonts, and create a Pinterest “mood board.”
That was certainly the case with “Jane,” a new client I met with years ago. She was all about the colours and images at our initial consultation. But after just a few minutes it was clear Jane was far from ready for the design process.
Here’s the problems we had:
- Jane didn’t have a clear idea what her brand was.
- She certainly couldn’t explain her business briefly or quickly
- Jane firmly stated that “EVERYBODY was her ideal client” – the biggest red flag of all
Needless to say, we didn’t get very far that day. Jane had to do some serious thinking about her business and her brand, because the reality is that visual branding is about sharing your brand with the world…but first you need to be clear on what that “brand is.” And that’s where the unsexiness begins. Because for a while, it won’t be fun swatches or textures.
If your business is going through some changes and growing, chances are you will need to update your visual brand. If you are ready for that step, you will need 3 keys things on your agenda: a plan, a timeline, and a budget.
First things: what are your goals for this brand refresh?
- Are you planning a major overhaul?
- A simple logo refresh?
- Redesign items gradually, over the span of 12 months?
Depending on what your goals are, your timeline will be affected. It’s one thing to do a logo upgrade; it’s quite another to do an entire overhaul of your visual brand, which includes everything from logo design to redoing your vehicle graphics.
Figure out what exactly you need to do and write out a plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated or pages long; but it should have your brand goals and specifically, what you wish to accomplish with this makeover.
Something like your brand image doesn’t get done in one week. Don’t believe it when someone tells you they can deliver your custom-designed logo and website in three days.
You can expect at least a month for your brand image update to be done. Think of all the items that may be on your list: logo, website, business cards, promotional marketing materials, vehicle graphics, social media banners, and perhaps tradeshow/event graphics. That kind of work simply can’t happen in one week, specially in the case of oversize graphics like rollup banners. Items like that take more than one day to be manufactured.
If you have already planned to be an exhibitor at special events, do not wait until a week before to get your visuals sorted out. Give yourself at least 2 months, that way you can avoid the added stress and rush fees.
To avoid disappointment, go back to your plan; list all the items your business will need to have designed. Prioritize those items. Then talk to your designer about a realistic timeline. Only then will you have realistic expectations.
Here’s a related post: Why I don’t design logos in three days.
Business owners are often surprised by “how much that costs.” So when it comes to design work, you need to educate yourself.
To put it in perspective, logo design ranges from $500-$1000. A website can easily start at $2500. Please do some research to figure out how much your project may cost. Once you know the actual dollar amounts you’ll be in a better position to get the project scheduled and started.
And there you have it. Planning, timeline and budget are three key items you must address before hiring a graphic designer. Because if you don’t, she/he will absolutely bring it up, and you may not be ready to start the creative process just yet.
If you’re ready for that visual brand makeover, please call (613.371.3281) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule your consultation. July is the perfect time!